by Jamie Lash
Our biblical plants are flourishing in our backyard garden here in sunny Fort Lauderdale – especially our POMEGRANATE. This fruit, which grows in abundance in the land of the Bible – Israel – is mentioned numerous times in the Holy Scriptures. God promised the Children of Israel “A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates…” in the Torah (Deuteronomy 8:8). We read in Exodus 28:33-34 that the Cohen Gadol, the High Priest, wore a garment that had pomegranates around the hem. It also had alternating golden bells: “A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.” Scholars believe that the bell-like shape of the pomegranate flowers served as the inspiration for the bells on the robe of the Cohen Gadol.
Pomegranates are a biblical symbol of FRUITFULNESS. They are filled with a very large number of seeds. Some say that each pomegranate has 613 seeds, the same number as the number of commandments in the Torah. We have never personally counted them! We generally eat pomegranates once per year, at Sukkot, when we partake of them in our sukkah as a “Schechiyanu fruit”. We eat the bright red seeds – messy – but tart and tasty. Every year we mention that in Israel, a very intelligent person is said to have a mind “full as a pomegranate”. We also discuss the fact that as believers in the Messiah Yeshua, we have been chosen and called to bear much, lasting fruit, to the glory of God our Father.
The pomegranate has received much attention in recent years due to its anti-oxidant properties. Our backyard plant, although flourishing and full of fruit, is the dwarf, ornamental form, providing beauty rather than food. In its pot near the pool, it brightens up our garden with its beautiful scarlet flowers.