Glenn Ahrens: (302) 761-3286

Glenn Ahrens: (302) 761-3286

Blog Detail

The Olive Tree Metaphor - El Shaddai Christian Ministries

The Olive Tree Metaphor

Here’s The Scripture; 

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18.  do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, {remember that} it is not you who supports the root, but the root {supports} you. 19.  You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20.  Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21.  for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22.  Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23.  And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24.  For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural {branches} be grafted into their own olive tree? 25.  For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery–so that you will not be wise in your own estimation–that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 

The Meaning Of The Olive Tree Metaphor 

Olive trees were rather common in the Holy Land, Mature, cultivated olive trees grow to 20 or more feet in height and produce fruit. At first, it is green but turns to a deep, blue-black, or dark green color when the olives are fully ripened. They are harvested in the early fall. As a result, olives were one of the major products of the area they were shipped out. 

To clarify the olive tree metaphor we need to understand that there are two basic types of olive trees, the wild tree, and the cultivated tree. 

In the Middle East at the time of Paul as well as today, two main types of olive trees are commonly grafted – the wild and the cultivated varieties.  The cultivated trees grow olives used for food and to produce olive oil.  Wild olive fruit isn’t as flavorful and is not usually eaten.  Grafting won’t make a wild branch produce olives of cultivated quality or change the solid root structure of the original tree.  It would, however, allow the wild branch to benefit from the established roots and healthy base of the cultivated tree and help it to produce healthy fruit of its own unique variety. 

The “Wild Olive Shoots” represent Gentiles - i.e., people from other nations. -The “root” of the tree represents God’s covenant promises to the patriarchs -Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Interestingly, the “olive tree” metaphor for Israel is used in other places as well. 

  • The “natural branches” represent individual Israelites – i.e., genetic Jews. 
  • The “wild olive shoots” represent Gentiles – i.e., people from other nations. 
  • The “root” of the tree represents God’s covenant promises to the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

The apostle Paul equates “wild olive trees” to the pagan gentile world who we’re told are able to be grafted into the Israel olive tree because some of its branches have been torn off. In Romans 11, the Apostle Paul uses an olive tree as an example to give an important message. Romans 11:17-24 “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. 

The original members of the Israel Olive Tree were torn off because those particular Israelites refused to accept the chosen Kinsman Redeemer Jehovah had sent to them. In order to be redeemed by Jehovah, our Kinsman Redeemer, Paul says the following must take place. If you are a gentile, you have to be grafted into the Israel Olive Tree even though it is a tree that is not natural to you. If you are a Jew who is native to the Israel Olive Tree, in order to remain attached Paul maintains that you must remain true to God’s covenantswhich include the revelation of Messiah Yeshua. This is the common denominator for BOTH Jew and Gentile. In order to remain or be part of the Israel Olive Tree, one MUST accept the Messiah that Jehovah has sent to Israel.

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter below and never miss our increased social media presence, coming podcasts, book releases, seminars, and other events.