The Olive Tree is the First Tree Mentioned By Name in the Bible
The first tree whose branches and leaves burst forth as the flood waters receded is the olive. This illustrates the tree’s great durability, which also makes it a symbol of eternal life. The olive is an evergreen tree, which grows to a height of 10-40 feet (3-12 meters). Its leaves are long and chisel shaped. The upper side is dark green and glossy while the lower side is silvery gray, giving the tree its magical silvery light when the wind passes through its leaves.
The olive tree lives longer than other fruit trees, and its rare and wonderful ability to survive has made it a symbol of power for long life. As long as we continue to tend the olive tree, it will not die of old age but will continue to bear fruit, but if we cease taking care of it, shoots will grow all round it and gradually destroy its trunk.
Olive Trees that are Two Thousand Years Old!
Examples of these trees can be seen in Galilee and in the garden of the Church of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. In the Beit Hakerem Valley in Galilee there are many olive trees of over 1,000 years. All this is proof that the land of Israel was continuously settled for thousands of years. As the olive tree continues to grow, its bark thickens. In Israel there are trees whose trunks have a circumference of over 9 feet (3 meters). To circle these trees, five grown men would need to join hands. The olive tree trunk does not generally grow higher, but each year another thin layer of bark is added.