The Jewish holiday ‘Tu B’Shevet’ is celebrated as the New year for the tree’s on the 15th Shevet. The Jewish sages designated this day as the boundary between one year and another regarding fruit trees for tithing fruit (Leviticus 19:23). The main themes of this holiday is rebirth, renewal, and conservation; it is about giving, and it is about enjoying the fruit God has blessed us with. A lot of Jewish people will plant a tree in Israel today. Tree planting is a great importance in Israel and since the 1900’s roughly 250 million trees have been planted across Israel. It is the only county in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain of trees. In 1948 when Israel became a nation roughly 2% of Israel was covered in trees and this has now grown to around 8.5%. Trees are all over the bible, there are many references to humans being like trees. The ‘Forest of the Martyrs’ in Israel has 6 million trees that were planted for each of the lives lost in the holocaust – each tree a living memory.
The Bible continually refers to a person whose trust is in God being like a fruitful tree. “Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7–8).
The Bible also begins and ends with a tree. In the garden of Eden there were many trees including the tree of life which represents eternal life. Through Adam’s & Eve’s disobedience to God in eating the fruit from the tree of good and evil it allowed sin to enter the world. God did not want us to live eternally in sin so he protected us by shutting off the access to the tree of life. However in God’s mercy and love for us he promised redemption, He sent the messiah Yeshua to die on a tree for our sin “as in Adam all die, so in Messiah all will be made alive. Messiah being the firstfruits in his resurrection; then at His coming, those who belong to Him” (1 Corinthians 15:23). We have hope knowing that because of Yeshua’s sacrifice on the cross we will be resurrected to see the tree of life again, for it stands in the middle of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, where it bears “twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2). In the eternal state, the curse will be no more, access to the tree of life will be reinstated, and darkness will be forever banished. Eden will be restored.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7.