The trees of the field


In The Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 18 Verse 24 states:

And all the trees of the field shall  

know that I, the Lord,
Bring low the high tree,
lift high the lowly tree,
Wither up the green tree,
and make the withered tree bloom.

Are the trees of the field the Israelites?


interesting question…




I think it’s chapter 17…still looking for the explanation though…
I’m thinking it refers to the rebuilding of the Davidic dynasty…


Trees represent nations or kingdoms or peoples.

Cedars - Lebanon
Palm - Egypt
Plane tree - Jericho
Mustard tree - kingdom of God.
Olive tree - Jews
Wild olive tree - gentiles
Fig tree - students of the law

It helps to understand the Ezekiel’s context.

The ruler of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar, lay siege to Jerusalem and took the King of Judah, the royal family, nobles, upper class and priests into captivity in 597BC. Ezekiel was one of the priests sent into captivity in Babylon. He was commissioned by God to prophesy to the exiles in captivity up in Babylon.

Ezekiel’s message is that the people of Judah are responsible for their own exile because they were unfaithful to the covenant. Part of his message of repentance is that God can raise up other nations, kings and peoples as a means of judgement and that if the people of the nation of Judah repent, God can turn around and raise up the Jews above other nations. Ezekiel will explain what will happen to the tree of Judah if the Jews repent…

Every small bird will nest under it,
all kinds of winged birds will dwell
in the shade of its branches.

(Ezekiel 23:17)

Birds represent gentiles. The new tree of Israel when they return from exile will be a home for the Gentiles who will worship God alongside the Jews - if the Jews repent and are faithful to the covenant (True, it is planted; but will it thrive? Ezekiel 17:10).

Jesus uses the exact idea of birds nesting in branches from this passage in the parable of the mustard seed.

it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches." (Matthew 13:32)

The mustard tree is the kingdom of God. Gentiles will find a home in it’s branches. Using ideas from the Hebrew Scriptures by hinting at certain passages is a very rabbinic way of teaching.



from the Haydock CommentaryVer. 24. High and green denote Sedecias; low and dry Jechonias, who was exalted at Babylon, while his rival was hurled down from his present high estate. The prophets speak of that as past, which God has decreed. See Jeremias xxii. 30. (Calmet)



I did not have time to read your post. It really is great.

DID you give the passages for that.

I copied your ideas and will read them later.




I would love to have the quotes.

Also, I would love to have the etc. completed!!!


Any other help I would use!!!


Pianistclare, TimothyH, and Waynec, Thank you for the explanations about the trees.



Hi Tim,

I found this post interesting. Can you tell me where the commentary comes? From a Catholic commentary from your own thoughts?



You are welcome.


I have been reading and studying Scripture for a while. :slight_smile: It comes from many place, most notably the Bible studies from Jeff Cavins/Great Adventure.

YOU ARE WELCOME!!! :smiley:

Many plants in the Bible were native and prolific in specific locations. Mentioning the name of the plant would have drawn the thoughts of the reader and hearer to the location where these plants were known to have grown. It is a very rabinnic way of teaching. I’ll see if I can dig up some references.



Thanks. I have been following The Great Adventure Bible Study in 90 days from that site which I will search out more in depth, the site that is. I also listen on EWTN to the bible time line with Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins along with the bible challenge which I find helpful.





Let’s look at the example of the fig tree. The fig tree symbolic of the Law of the Old Testament.

***Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. *(Genesis 3:7)

In this passage we see the first hint at God’s law given through Moses. The Jewish Talmud teaches that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was (thought by the Jews to be) a fig tree. Man’s sin is symbolized by Adam and Eve’s genitals. Knowledge of good and evil - the law - is symbolized by the leaves. Man’s sin was “covered up” by the leaves, meaning that God’s law taught man right behavior and the difference between good and evil.

Like grapes in the wilderness,
I found Israel.
Like the first fruit on the fig tree,
in its first season,
I saw your fathers.

(Hosea 9:10)

Those who follow God’s law bore fruit in righteousness. The fruit of the fig tree represents righteousness. The patriarchs were righteous (bore fruit) because they followed the law (fig tree).

Each man sat under his vine and his fig tree,
and there was none to make them afraid.

(1 Maccabees 14:12)

You have nothing to fear if you follow God’s law (sit under the fig tree).

***Jesus saw Nathan’a-el coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” Nathan’a-el said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” *(John 1:47-48)

Nathaniel had no guile (deception, duplicity) because he was “under the fig tree” or was a student and follower of the law. Jesus knew that he was a follower of the law because he “saw him under the fig tree”.

Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered - he destroyed the did away with the old law and gave us the new law. There is also the parable of the fig tree.

This is an example of one tree. Whenever we see figs or fig leaves or fig trees in the Bible we have to stop, and think about what figs trees represent, and see if there is a deeper meaning than just some random tree.



What a great thread this is. Thanks for the great answers to those of you studying in depth and sharing your knowledge. :thumbsup:


Let’s look briefly at the oak tree…

Oaks are often associated with idolatry. Sacrifice to idols and pagan gods were made under the shade of the oak and idols were often carved from its wood.
And you shall know that I am the LORD, when their slain lie among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, on all the mountain tops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak, wherever they offered pleasing odor to all their idols. (Ezekiel 6:13)

** They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains,
and make offerings upon the hills,
under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
because their shade is good.
Therefore your daughters play the harlot,
and your brides commit adultery.**
(Hosea 4:13)

you who burn with lust among the oaks,
under every green tree;
who slay your children in the valleys,
under the clefts of the rocks?

(Isaiah 57:5)*

Oaks were also a symbol of strength and righteousness.

to grant to those who mourn in Zion –
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
(Isaiah 61:3)

Monuments were often set up under oaks and people were buried under oaks. Oaks were places of meeting for people and places of divine encounter with God.

*and the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. (Genesis 18:1)

**Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak at Ophrah, *(Judges 6:11)

Interestingly, I can’t find any oaks in the New Testament. The Terabinth tree is often used synonymously with the oak.




How are these related to the tree of life?

Are they related to the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

I believe they are. One example: prudence a tree of life. Or, as I believe that it might be, prudence comes from the tree of life.




The Tree of Life is the most important tree…

***The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. *(Acts 5:30)

Also see 1 Peter 2:24.



In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 755 states:

 The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles had been brought about and will be brought about again.

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