Thursday, September 19, 2013

Four hundred pomegranates!

I am reading 1st Kings. I read 1 Kings 6, 7 and 8. Solomon built the Temple, his Palace, and in chapter 8, prayed blessings unto God.

I was entranced in chapter 7 by the description of the temple artifacts. Whoa, the cherubim wings! Fifteen feet wide?! They are very powerful angels in real life and if they look like they do as represented in bronze in the description of the temple that are awesome!

Le Moyne's Botanical Watercolors, 1585
I also got stuck on the detail the LORD put in the chapter about the 400 pomegranates.

"Hiram also made the pots, the shovels, and the basins. So Hiram finished all the work that he did for King Solomon on the house of the Lord: the two pillars, the two bowls of the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars, and the two latticeworks to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars; and the four hundred pomegranates for the two latticeworks, two rows of pomegranates for each latticework, to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the pillars; the ten stands, and the ten basins on the stands; and the one sea, and the twelve oxen underneath the sea." (1 Kings 7:40-44)

I got to thinking,
"Why 400 pomegranates?"
"What was Hiram thinking when he made all those pomegranates?"
"Did Hiram get tired of making 400 pomegranates?"
"Why pomegranates?"

The other questions can't be answered this side of the veil, but I can always ask Hiram when I get there.

As to the pomegranates, I did find out a lot of stuff from the bible. Thanks to Wayne Blank of Keyway Bible Study, here is the lowdown on pomegranates.

The LORD was bringing the people out of bondage and delivering them to a land rich with provision. One of those provisions was fruit of the land, and one of those fruits was pomegranates.
photo credit: chany14 via photopin cc

"For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you." (Deuteronomy 8:7-10)

Joel spoke of the pomegranate's absence being the opposite of provision. When disobedience comes in, everything dries up. In Joel 1:12 we read,

"The vine dries up; the fig tree languishes. Pomegranate, palm, and apple, all the trees of the field are dried up, and gladness dries up from the children of man."

Wikimedia commons
Back to 1 Kings, in addition to the pomegranates being cast in bronze for the temple adornment, the LORD had ordered Moses to direct the priests to make specific garments in which they would carry out their duties. The hem of the robe must be adorned with pomegranates.

"He also made the robe of the ephod woven all of blue, and the opening of the robe in it was like the opening in a garment, with a binding around the opening, so that it might not tear. On the hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates all around the hem of the robe, between the pomegranates— bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate around the hem of the robe for ministering, as the Lord had commanded Moses." (Exodus 39:22-26)

The pomegranate is a good candidate for the forbidden fruit that was eaten in the Garden, though we cannot be sure. As a personal anecdote, we used to eat them at Thanksgiving. Every family has their traditions, and in ours, my mother always used to buy lots of shelled nuts and put them in a bowl with nutcrackers. Filberts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts...they were all there and I enjoyed them each year. They were the one-per-year friends. Me and my cousins would sit around and pick nuts and laugh and talk.

She also used to put out a bowl of pomegranates. I don't know why that particular fruit, but there they were. I remember them as being delicious, juicy, and refreshing.

If you enjoy studying flora and fauna, try a study of the bible's natural history. The birds, insects, animals, and plants in the bible is a wonderful study. I can't wait to find out why the Lord prefers pomegranates, what their symbolism is and what they mean to Him.

Meanwhile, I wonder...was a pomegranate the fruit that Eve and Adam ate in the Garden? Will a pomegranate tree be one of the fruit trees lining the River of Life in the Millennium?

"And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47:12)

LOL, that is the original "Fruit of the Month Club"!


1 comment:

  1. LOL I had the same thought from reading Revelation 22:2 - the original "Fruit of the Month Club".

    Pomegranate - mmm!

    Details like this in Scripture are so interesting. Thanks for sharing!

    -carolyn

    ReplyDelete

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