“The word of the LORD came to me, What do you see, Jeremiah? I see the branch of an almond tree, I replied. The LORD said to me, You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” Jeremiah 1:11-12
Many of us have read the recent posts by Ron Reece, on which, he has calculated the rapture/sudden destruction to be January 28 of this year. And, while, I have always favored a Feast of Trumpets rapture, I find it both interesting and beneficial to at least consider the work of someone, who has spent so many hours in study, thought and prayer in reaching their conclusions.
On doing some thinking about this, I realized that January 28 falls within the early part of the Jewish month of Shevat. Shevat is the eleventh month of the Jewish religious calendar and the fifth month of the Jewish civil calendar. And, January 28 falls on Shevat 4.
Now, this is interesting because the month of Shevat has everything to do with two words that any watchman would recognize – watching and awakening! For it is during the month of Shevat, that the almond tree first begins to blossom. And, the almond tree is the first tree in Israel to bloom or awaken, while, the other trees are still dormant or sleeping.
In fact, the Hebrew words for almond tree and watch are almost exactly the same word.
Shoqed: Hebrew word # H8245 Strongs Concordance – “to awake, watch, wake, be alert”, and, to “keep watch of, be awakeful over”.
Shaqed: Hebrew word # H8247 Strongs Concordance – “almond tree, almonds”
So, with that in mind, consider once again the verse from Jeremiah 1:11-12 –
“The word of the LORD came to me, What do you see, Jeremiah? I see the branch of a “shaqed”, (almond tree), I replied. The LORD said to me, You have seen correctly, for I am “shoqed” (watching) to see that my word is fulfilled”.
Therefore, we can see that the almond tree and the concept of watching are inextricably tied together. One website, puts it this way:
“The almond tree is the first tree to sprout and the last one to lose its leaves. Its flowers symbolize the cups that crown the seven branches of the Jewish candelabra (Ex. 25:33-36; 37:19-20). In the biblical books, the almond tree is mentioned several times (e.g., Gen. 30:37-39; 43:11; Qo.12.1-5). The prophet, Jeremiah, mentions it in a vision: The word of Yahweh was addressed to me asking, “Jeremiah, what to you see?” “I see a branch of the watchful tree,” I answered. Then Yahweh said, “Well seen! I too watch over My Word to see it fulfilled” (Jer. 1:11-12). In this text there is a word game between the Hebrew words shaqed, almond tree, and shoqed, I watch. Also, the image of the almond tree, the first tree to bloom, reminds us of the watchful eye of God, that watches over His word to set it to practice. God is the almond tree of Israel”. http://188.8.131.52/www1/ofm/mag/HolyLnA2.html
Therefore, the almond tree is very important; for the seven branched Menorah which stood in the Holy place was specifically designed by God to be fashioned liked one.
Exod 25:31-40 “You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece. And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower– and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand. On the lampstand itself fourbowls shall be made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower. And there shall be a knob under the first two branches of the same, a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand. Their knobs and their branches shall be of one piece; all of it shall be one hammered piece of pure gold. You shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall arrange its lamps so that they give light in front of it. And its wick-trimmers and their trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these utensils. And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”
From an article titled, “The Golden Lampstand” –
“Each of the six branches and the center shaft ended in a cup made in the form of an open almond flower. At the very top the opened petals of the flower held an oil lamp. The branches and the central shaft were skillfully decorated with that same open-almond blossom design with three on each branch and four on the center shaft”. http://www.bible-history.com/tabernacle/TAB4The_Golden_Lampstand.htm
So, as you can see, the design for the Menorah was very detailed and very specific; for the seven branced Menorah would be the only source of light in the Holy place of the temple burning olive oil day and night in its blossom shaped cups.
The question is, why, was the almond tree God’s chosen design?
And, while I can’t be exactly sure of the answer, it is interesting to note that the seven lampstands (churches) of Revelation 1:2 are most likely of the same design. And, Jesus while walking among them is examining them for their works; for believers, by virtue of the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit are God’s one and only source of light in the world today, therefore, he expects to see their lights shining brightly and continuously, as did the Menorah in the temple of old.
Interesting, when you compare to Song of Songs 6:11 where, the bridegroom goes down among the nut trees (most likely almond) to see if they are in bloom.
“I went down to the grove of nut trees to look at the new growth in the valley, to see if the vines had budded or the pomegranates were in bloom”. (Pomegranate is another early bloomer).
It is obvious to see, therefore, that the blossoming of the almond tree is important to the prophetic timing of God’s word and God’s strength and power to bring it to pass. Making it, therefore, one of the most important symbols in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.
Consider also, this verse from Ecclesiastes 12:5
” … when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms (Shevat) and the grasshopper drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets”.
And, from Genesis 43:11 –
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds.
Both important verses, because the almonds were a gift to Joseph ( a type of Christ), while, his brothers were still in unbelief, (in other words, while, they still did not recognize him), just as Israel will be, at the time of our departure. And, from Ecclesiastes – Men in fear at the same time the almond tree is in bloom; some taken to their eternal home, some left to mourn.
Leaving me to wonder ….
….. a Shevat rapture? Awake and watch, it just might be!
“Pray for the peace of Jerusaelm, the shall prosper who love thee” Psalm 122:6
Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy