What is the Meaning of the Almond Tree?

The almond tree is rife with biblical meanings. Moses’ brother, Aaron, carried a rod cut from an almond tree. When almond blossoms and leaves suddenly sprouted on the rod, this miracle was attributed as a sign that God had chosen Aaron and his tribe to be His priests. Almonds were mentioned often in the Bible, possibly because they are native to the Middle East and would have been widely available during biblical times.

Priestly Meaning

During the many years in the wilderness, the people of the Lord quarreled between themselves trying to determine who should be the priests and directly serve God. So, representatives of all 12 tribes brought their rods and placed them within the tabernacle. The next day, when Moses went into the tabernacle, he discovered that Aaron’s rod which was cut from an almond tree had miraculously burst into flowers. This meant that God had chosen Aaron and his family, from the tribe of Levites, to be His priests.

Old Age

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In Ecclesiastes, the almond is indicative of old age. This is an apt description since the almond bursts into flowers in late winter—and winter is often considered anthropomorphically as an old man. The almond blooms are borne on naked stems before the leaves emerge, and the old blossoms often look like white snowflakes when they fall to the ground.

Watchful Tree

The almond tree is also referred to as a “watchful” tree by the Prophet Jeremiah when he talks to God in a vision. Yahweh asks Jeremiah what he sees and Jeremiah mentions that he sees “a branch of an almond tree.” Yahweh answers: “You have seen well: for I keep watch over my word to give effect to it” (Jer.1:11-12).

Rod of Authority

In their book “Rod of an Almond Tree in God’s Master Plan,” Peter Michas and Robert Vander Maten propose that the Rod of Authority made from the Tree of Life was passed down through the ages by the biblical patriarchs. Eventually, King David planted it and centuries later it formed the cross on which Jesus was crucified. They believe that Revelation 22:2 states that the relic of the cross will reappear and flower. This will be a sign of God’s authority just as it was in the days of Aaron.

 

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Posted on February 27, 2013, in Critical Essay Writing, Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. My MARE

    Jon Stallworthy uses a simile to show his enthusiasm and his joy of becoming a father in verse 1 when the poet says “the lights were as green as peppermints.” This suggests that everything is going for him as firstly the lights are all green. Furthermore the poet is comparing the lights to sweets which emphasises his enthusiastic attitude towards his journey to the hospital as sweets are thought of being a nice treat. This leads the reader to think that the poet is indeed looking forward to becoming a parent. This shows that “The Almond Tree” by Jon Stallworthy is a poem which features a positive attitude.

  2. Jon Stallworthy uses repetition in the second verse when saying “Let it be a son”. This demonstrates to the reader that the poet longed for a baby boy thus conveying his excitement and enthusiasm about the arrival. However, this also highlights to the reader that the poet wanted a boy so much that he didn’t think about the baby’s health. This is ironic as at the end of the poem we find that the poet gets a son, however he is born with health issues. Furthermore, we are told that it was “the man in the driving mirror” who said this highlighting how disengaged the poet was. Therefore, the reader knows that the poet was so eager for the arrival of his child that he forgot to consider the important things that matter and he was not himself.

  3. Jon Stallworthy uses word choice in verse one when saying “ahead of me”. This conveys how excited he is to be a parent. Furthermore, his excitement is also conveyed through repetition in verse two, when saying “Let it be a son”. This shows his anticipation of becoming a dad and is so struck on the baby being a boy. However, he is so excited about his baby to be a boy that he totally forgot about the baby’s well being and health which Informs the reader of how enthusiastic he is to be a dad but also how forgetful he is as he was only caring about the baby’s sex.

  4. The poet skilfully uses personification to highlight the anticipation of his wife giving birth, “the tree was waving, waving me upstairs with a child’s hands.” This suggests that in the same way a child reaching its hand out to you would be friendly and inviting, the tree blowing in the wind also appears this way as if to encourage the poet to carry on to see the birth of his child. This is effective as it emphasises the great expectancy of his child being born and shows the reader how excited the poet is as he is imagining his child everywhere, even in the movement of a tree. Furthermore, the repetition of “waving” suggests kindness and being open and friendly which could be compared to the innocence of a young child being brought in to the world.

  5. Jon Stallworthy uses a metaphor in verse four to convey the poet’s excitement and joy at the birth of his son when he writes, “New-minted, my bright farthing!” This demonstrates the poet’s happiness as he compares his new-born to a newly made coin which suggests that he feels his son is flawless as a newly made coin would be. The reference to money also demonstrates how valuable the poet’s son is to him. This idea of value is repeated later in the verse when the poet writes, “How you enrich us!” This emphasises how highly the poet values his son and his enthusiasm at becoming a father.

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