Seven Species of Israel

When my Junior Master Gardeners planted our biblical garden outside the Servant’s House at our Denton location, we used several of the seven species of Israel.  In case you are unfamiliar with the seven species, let’s have a look at Deuteronomy:

“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing” (8:7-9).

When the scripture refers to honey as one of the seven species, it is actually the date palm.  In ancient times, the date was often made into a form of honey by mashing the dates and cooking them with water until they thickened into a syrup.  It is believed that the “honey” mentioned here is that of the date palm, not the honey produced by bees.  That is why dates are the seventh species.

The seven species of Israel will provide the foundational structure for the Twelve Tribes garden in Corinth.   Of course, because of environmental differences between north Texas and Israel, we will have to substitute a hardier tree to represent the date palm.  In addition, we will plant the “unofficial” eighth species of Israel, the almond tree.  The presence of these plants throughout the garden will be a living reminder of God’s chosen land and people, Israel.

Several other species figure prominently in the biblical landscape, including the four species of the Feast of Tabernacles–myrtle, citrus, palm, and willow–and numerous herbs and flowers.  In many cases, plants that are native and adapted to this continent are close relatives of those found in Israel.  It has been, and continues to be, a delightful investigative experience for me!  I look forward to sharing these plants and their significance with you as they go into the ground.

Bless you.

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11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rebekah on March 14, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Very educational. I did not know that about the date tree. I have, probably like most people, always thought the Bible referred to bee produced honey. Thanks!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Vickie on March 14, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Hi Pam, that scripture speaks volumes and to think this place is being bought to life is so amazing to me. Thank you so much for taking on the task of investigating and sharing the experience with us all. Looking forward for more. God Bless

    Reply

  3. Posted by Patty Roudebush on March 14, 2011 at 2:13 am

    WHY NOT GO AHEAD AND TRY OUT THE DATE PALM AND LET THE LORD SURPRISE US WTH HIS ABILITY TO MAKE IT FLOURISH IN TEXAS?

    Reply

  4. Posted by Jean Shortsleeve on March 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Very Cool!!! Are you actually gonna plant wheat & barley? Are we then gonna have a wheat harvest & and barley harvest??? I’ve never even seen a pomegranate tree! Wow, the garden really is gonna fourish!!!

    Reply

  5. Posted by Sally on March 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Love the information about the Date Tree Pam ! Never knew that it wasn’t speaking about honey that the bees made ! I love learning new things about the Scriptures and about gardening !!

    Reply

  6. Posted by Linda Bryant on March 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Amen!!! I’m excited! This is awesome! I am truly greatful to be able to share in this exeperience with you. I love gardening, though I am a beginner I’m looking forward to learning alot on this journey. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Elspeth Brown on March 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Hi-your mention of small space gardening the other day struck a chord in me as I rent a house with a small enclosed back yard that is totally paved -no soil! I belong to a house of Zion in the north of England, and for some time we ve been seeking God to see the land in our area redeemed.In 1069 William the Conqueror laid waste to the north of England, totally devastating the land. We ve had promises that God will open rivers on the desolate heights and we ll see the wilderness flourish again. We ve been so blessed learning about the land through GOZ webcasts this winter , so I got 2 of my pavers lifted, and the concrete underneath smashed,and the builder working on the house next door even brought me some topsoil from molehills in his own field!We poured wine on the soil and this weekend i ve planted the plants I feel God told me-rose of Sharon also called Aarons beard,lilies, crocosmia-, as He gave me Is. 35-the waste land will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses,and forget me nots as God has not forgotten the land.We have also been working an allotment for several years as a prophetic act and we ve seen amazing harvests of vegetables!Thank you for your encouragement. Blessings from England! Elspeth Brown

    Reply

  8. Posted by maria wennberg on March 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Hello Pam, thank you so much for your explanation and teaching on all you are doing. This is amazing and very timely information.
    I love gardening and love digging in the dirt. The Lord has taught me the greatest life lessons digging in the dirt, so your words are so welcome.
    I love learning about the species of plants and trees from Israel.
    It is so excellent that you have for years, taught the next generation and given them a love for the land. Thank you.

    Reply

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