Regarded for its strength, the mighty oak was not only mentioned in the Bible for its presence, but also served as an allusion. The pine was also viewed as a functional species of tree noted for its strength and versatility. In this article, you will learn some of the passages that mention these types of trees.
The oak is a tree familiar to many readers of the Bible with two common species known to have existed during Biblical times. In scriptures, there is no distinction made between the two. The trees are known for their long lives and massive size. They grow tall and large with branches that spread out. In Hosea 4:13, the oak is mentioned: “They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant.”
The oak is also used in text to sometimes refer to a powerful man. In Amos 2:9, the strength of the Amorite is likened to an oak. From the American King James Version, it reads, “Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.”
Oftentimes, the oak is compared to the cedar tree. The oak is typically noted for its strength, while the cedar is regarded for its height. Because of this, the wood that comes from an oak tree is much stronger than the wood of the cedar tree. This feature makes the wood less resistant to decay.
Three pines were prominent in the past. The Pinus pinea (also known as the stone pine or umbrella pine) created the look of an umbrella when it reached maturity. The Aleppo pine was native to Biblical lands with two different species: halepensis and brutia. The brutia species grew abundantly in Syria and Turkey with some Aleppo pine forests found in Israel and Jordan. While the pine tree produces edible seeds, they are really too small to harvest, so the tree is mostly revered for its scent and beauty.
The Pine appears in the following Biblical texts: Nehemiah, Isaiah, and Hosea. It is thought that the text below refers to the Aleppo brutia pine because it is an evergreen that is fragrant and produces decent wood for construction and the making or furniture.
Nehemiah 8:15 , “And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.” [King James Version]
Isaiah 41:19 , “I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together,” [New International Version]
Some believe that the pine referred to in the following passage is the stone pine because it speaks of a tree that produces an edible fruit.
Hosea 14:8 , “O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him. I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me.” [New International Version]