Almond

almondDoctrine of the Almond

Exo 25:33-34

“Shaped like almond blossoms … a knob/bulb and a flower.”

“Almond” is the Hebrew noun SHAQED, שָׁקֵד‎. Scholars believe it derives its name from SHAQAD that means, “to be vigilant, to keep watch.”

In the definition of SHAQAD we find, “The idea of watching is so basic to the root that the name for the almond tree is taken from it SHAQED. The almond tree in Israel can bloom as early as January or February and is considered the “announcer, watcher, or waker” of spring. God used this idea as an object lesson for Jeremiah to remind him that He is watchful and prompt to carry out His promises (Jer. 1:11f).” (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary.)

This tree, a member of the rose family, very much resembles the peach in form and blossom; it is the only other species of the same genus, amygdalus communis.

The almond is diffused by culture from China to Spain, on both sides of the Mediterranean, in the south of England, and in southern portions of the United States. There is no region, however, where it thrives better than in Syria.

There are four species of wild almonds in the Bible lands. Four being the number of Creation and Material Completion.

The common variety grows to the height of 25 feet.

The almond tree blossoms toward the end of January or the beginning of February, before the coming of the leaves. So, that the appearance of a tree in full bloom is striking. Although the blossoms are tinged with pink, the general effect is white. The bloom of some varieties is almost pure white. From a little distance, in other parts the delicate pink, always present at the inner part of the petals, is diffused enough to give a pink blush to the whole blossom. The fruit is a drupe with a dry fibrous or woody husk, which splits into two halves as the fruit ripens.

The early blossoming is the origin of the name SHAKED, which contains the idea of “early.” The Hebrew name of the almond is the, “waker, wakeful, hastening,” in allusion to its being the first of the fruit trees to awake in the winter and put forth its blossoms.

Ex 23:16, “Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field.”

Read: 1 Cor 15:20-23

Rom 8:23, “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

1 Cor 16:15, “Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints.”

James 1:18, “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.”

The masses of almond trees in full bloom in some parts of Palestine make a very beautiful and striking sight.

The Hebrew SHAQED, means, “the awakening one,” probably from its early blossoming.

The common wild variety grows a kernel, which is bitter from the presence of a substance called amygdalon, which yields in its turn prussic (hydrocyanic) acid.

Young trees are grafted with cuttings from the sweet variety or are budded with apricot, peach, or plum. The fruit is eaten in two stages, the first the tender, acidic, unripe, crisp pod, and the other, the ripe almonds, so familiar everywhere.

The bitter Almond was primarily used for its oil, while the sweet was used for desserts.

Gen 27:34, “When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!””

Rev 10:9-11, “So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said* to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 11And they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.””

Charles Ryrie: The eating of the little scroll was to remind John that although these truths from God may be pleasant to his taste, they were bitter when digested, because they spoke of judgment. The revelation of God’s judgment, on careful reflection should always bring heaviness of heart to the child of God. Ezek 2:8-3:27

Read: Ezek 2:8-3:3, 17

“Bitter” and “sweet” speak to the dual effect of God’s word.

To the one who loves and obeys the Word, it is sweet as honey; to the one who rejects the Word and is bitter towards it, the Word judges and is bitter to them. Just as Salt preserves flesh and deadens the Land. Both represent His Word, one in provision for Life the other in Judgment.

Read: Ex 15:22-27; Lev 16:12-13; 2 Cor 2:14-17

In 2 Cor 2:17, “peddling” is, KAPELEUO, “a huckster, to retail, to adulterate, corrupt.”

“Sincerity” is EILIKRINEINA that means, “clearness, purity, sincerity.” It comes from HEILE that means, “the sun’s ray,” and KRINO that means, “to judge, decide.” EILIKRINES then means, ” judged by sunlight, tested as genuine, pure, sincere.”

Here Paul contrasts the deceitfulness of the religious hucksters of his day with his pure motives and honorable methods in preaching the gospel.

Mat 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

In Ex 25:33-34, SHAQAD, means, “to be or make something almond shaped, make like almonds, cups shaped like almond blossoms.”

Its cognate SHAQED means, “the almond tree or nut; (as being the earliest in bloom).”

SHAQAD is a primitive root that also means, “to be alert, sleepless; to be on the lookout, remain, wake, awake, watch for, be alert, wait.”

The Greek words:

GREGOREUO [gray-gor-yoo-o], means, “keep awake, watch, be vigilant”

AGRUPNEO that means, “to be sleepless, that is, keep awake, watch.”

Read: Mark 13:32-37

Mat 26:38-41 w/ Mark 14:34-38 in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Mat 25:13 “Ten Virgins” w/ 24:42 Second coming of the Lord (including the Rapture).

1Cor 16:13, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14Let all that you do be done in love.”

The first mention of the word “Almond” in English is found in Gen 30:37, where “Jacob took rods of fresh poplar, and of the almond (LUZ) and of the plane-tree; and peeled white streaks in them,” as a means of securing “ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted” lambs and goats.

The King James Version “hazel” LAUZ, is the modern Arabic name for “almond.” Luz was the old name of BETHEL (meaning House of God). Jacob used the almond (KJV, “hazel”) as a breeding device to increase his herds. Although not the same word, Almond has a fertile connotation bringing forth offspring. Just as the Word of God is fertile to bring forth Eternal Life.

The first use of SHAQAD [our word] is when Israel (Jacob) directed his sons to carry almonds as part of their present to Joseph in Egypt, Gen 43:11. Note: Just after Joseph was born, Jacob performed the fertility process to gain his freedom from Laban.

Palestine is a land where the almond flourishes; whereas, in Egypt it would appear to have been uncommon. The Word flourished in Palestine, while in Egypt (analogous for Satan’s cosmic system) it did not.

Isa 42:6; 49:6; Israel in the land of Palestine was to spread the Gospel throughout the world.

Jacob sent almonds as one of the best fruits of the land to satisfy the Egyptian ruler. Just as the Word / Christ Jesus should satisfy us today.

Next, we see the blossoms of the almond are mentioned in Ex 25:33 f; 37:19

“Cups made like almond-blossoms in one branch, a knop (i.e. knob) and a flower.”

It is doubtful exactly what was intended—the most probable is that the cup was modeled after the calyx of the almond flower, (blossom, flower, green protective outer portion of the flower).

The bowls for the oil were most likely shaped like almonds. (Ex. 25:33-34).

With its oblong oval shape sharpened at one end and rounded at the other, the almond nut is remarkably graceful, possibly depicting the Grace of God. [Just as other things already mentioned.]

This naturally led to its selection for ornamental carved work; and it was the pattern selected for the bowls of the golden lampstand.

With its early bloom and striking color, it symbolizes the speedy awakening and powerful results of light.

2 Peter 3:9, ” The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Then we see, Aaron’s rod that budded was an almond branch formed into a rod. Num 17:2, 3 Aaron’s rod miraculously produced ripe almonds, showing he and his tribe were the only chosen priests. Num. 17:8

Num. 17:8, “Sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.” Cf. Heb. 9:4

It identified the priesthood for the age of Israel and set the precedence for the Priesthood.

In the age of grace, all believers are members of the new order of Priest and have our precedence in the resurrected Christ. Heb 7:11-12, 24; 1 Peter 2:5-9

Next, we see an almond tree in full bloom upon a distant hillside has a certain likeness to a head of white hair, in Eccl 12:5, where in the description of old age, it says “the almond-tree shall blossom.” The reference is to the white hair of age. The early-appearing white bloom of the almond serves as a picture of the graying of a person’s hair, pointing to the haste with which old age comes and the certainty of death. Almond blossoms symbolize the end of one’s days on earth. Gen 42:38; 44:29, 31; Deut 32:25; 1 Kings 2:6&9

Prov 20:29, “The glory of young men is their strength, and the honor of old men is their gray hair.”

The early blossom meant for Jeremiah that the almond watched for spring and gave the prophet a wordplay on the “almond” (Hebrew, SHAQAD) and his task to watch (Hebrew, SHAQAD) (Jer. 1:11).

The almond tree reassured Jeremiah that God was not asleep, but that He was watching (SHAQAD) The striking snow-white blossoms also reminded Jeremiah that God’s care to perform what He promised would be as striking as the blossoming almond tree.

This word is used as an emblem of our Lord’s, “promptness., watching, or hasten.”

Psa 70:1, “O God, hasten to deliver me. O LORD, hasten to my help!”

2 Peter 3:9, ” The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

James 1:19, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

“Bulbs” KAPHTOR is, “art of the ornamentation of the seven-branched lampstand in the Tabernacle.” (Exodus 25:31-36; 37:17-22; “calyx”].

KAPHTOR means, “knop, knob, bulb, capital (top of a column), lintel, to encircle.”

Read: Amos 9:1-10

Amos 9:1, “I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and He said, “Smite the capitals so that the thresholds will shake, and break them on the heads of them all! Then I will slay the rest of them with the sword; They will not have a fugitive who will flee, or a refugee who will escape… 7Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?” declares the LORD. “Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?”

The original homeland or staging area of the Philistines, perhaps the island of Crete or on the southwest coast of Asia Minor.

CAPHTOR, (a wreath shaped island). The name of a city which means, “a crown.” This has the connotation of strategic importance; of a nation, city, people, or structure.

Just as our Lord won the strategic victory by striking Satan on the capital. Gen 3:15

Gen 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”

KAPHTOR – Read: Zeph 2:10-15

The capitals or the pillars of the temples and palaces shall lie broken and strewn upon the ground, and among those desolate fragments of her pride unclean animals will prey and devour.

The pelican, a ceremonially unclean bird, a.k.a. cormorant, perhaps an extinct bird, but it has its Hebrew name from “vomiting.” It vomits up the shells it had swallowed whole after they had been opened by the heat of the stomach and so picks out the animal contained inside. The very image of greediness and uncleanness.

2 Peter 2:22, “It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

Rev 3:15-17, “‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, “The wild birds will dwell there with the animals.” Their beautiful buildings will be buried under the sands.”

Nahum had also prophesied the fall of Nineveh and its complete destruction.

God describes the punishment of other nations, so the Jews would know that he would avenge them of their enemies in the long run.

“Flower” is the Hebrew word PERACH, “calyx, bloom, blossom, bud, flower.” The Calyx is the green protective outer coating of the flower. The root Parach, figuratively means, “to flourish, break forth.”

Isa 27:6, “In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout, And they will fill the whole world with fruit.”

Num 17:8, “Now on the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.”

Ezek 7:10-11, “‘Behold, the day! Behold, it is coming! Your doom has gone forth; the rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed. 11‘Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness. None of them shall remain, none of their people, none of their wealth, nor anything eminent among them.”

The striking manner in which flowers burst into bloom for a few short weeks in spring and then faded into withered leaves was viewed as an illustration of the transient nature of human life. Job 14:2; Ps. 103:15; Isa. 40:6; 1 Pet. 1:24

The flowers of spring (Song of Sol. 2:12) signify renewal.

The “fading flower” of Isaiah 28:1 represented the downfall of God’s disobedient people.

The “lilies of the field” (Matt. 6:28) grew unassumingly and without any outward signs of anxiety.

If God takes care of the lilies, so God will take care of His children who need not worry uselessly.

The phrase, “flower of her age” (1 Cor. 7:36) described a girl reaching womanhood.

The rich pass away just as quickly as the period of time for blooming flowers passes away, (Jas. 1:10-11).

Then in Gen 28:1-22, Jacob journeys to Haran, (northwestern Iraq today), at the urging of his mother Rebekah to Isaac, to find a wife from his uncle Laban’s family. There he finds Rachel but is tricked into marrying Leah first, and then was allowed to marry Rachel, after a total of two seven-year periods of service.

On Jacob’s trip to his Uncle, God met him in a dream at Luz confirming the passage of Abraham’s covenant to Jacob. This dream is widely known as Jacob’s Ladder.

Jacob, after sanctifying the place, he called it “Bethel” = House of God. Jerusalem was the place where the Temple was built, but Bethel was second to it as a place of worship, both in praise of God and apostasy of false gods.

Holman Bible Dictionary, “Bethel was important in the Old Testament for both geographic and religious reasons. Because of its abundant springs, the area was fertile and attractive to settlements as early as 3200 B.C. Religiously, Bethel served as a sanctuary during the times of the patriarchs, judges, and the divided kingdom, hence was second only to Jerusalem as a religious center. The ark of the covenant was kept in Bethel during a period of the judges (Judg. 20:27), so the tribes converged there upon Benjamin to avenge the moral atrocity at Gibeah (Judg. 20:18-28), offering sacrifices and seeking the Lord’s direction (Judg. 21:1-4). Bethel also was a place where both Deborah (Judg. 4:5) and Samuel (1 Sam. 7:16) judged the civil and religious affairs of the Israelites in the area. Jeroboam I made it a religious center of his innovative, apostate religion of the Northern Kingdom. He erected a golden calf both here and in Dan with non-Levitic priests and an illegitimate feast to compete with the celebrations and religion of Jerusalem, ten and a half miles to the south in Judah (1 Kings 12:29-33).”

“Bethel,” House of God, reminds us that we are the temple of God during the Church Age. 1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:21.

Formerly it had the name Luz, which means Almond Tree. Almond trees were the first to blossom after the winter months and are a type of first fruits. The blossoms are called in Hebrew SHAQED, “the awakening one,” probably from its early blossoming.

This has an analogy to Jacob’s spiritual life. It was his place of awakening, Gen 28:16-17, 21. Here he believed on the Lord and received the promise first given to Abraham.

Later in Gen 35:1-16, at this same place, Jacob’s name was changed by God to Israel. This was signified by the repeating of the promise previously given to him. See also Hos. 12:4, 5.

The promise God gave to Israel included the bringing forth of the Messiah. This was also seen in the story of Jacob meeting Rachel, his uncle’s daughter and eventual wife, for the first time, Gen 29:5-10.

Here we see an appointed time for all the flock to be watered. Signified by the rolling away of the stone from the mouth of the well, just as all people can be watered by our Lord, as a result of His resurrection that was proved by the rolling away of the stone from the tomb. Jesus Christ is the spring and water of life. John 4:7-15; Rev 7:17; 21:6; 22:17

John 4:14, “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Rev 7:17, “For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Rev 21:6, “Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”

The almond also speaks to Christ and the Church, as the first fruits, as a result of His resurrection. 1Cor 15:20; Rom 8:23; James 1:18

1 Cor 15:20, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.”

Rom 8:23, “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

James 1:18, “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.”

The Almond fruit is eaten in two stages: the first the tender, acidic, unripe, crisp pod, and the other, the ripe almonds, so familiar everywhere. Varieties of almonds are classified in two categories, bitter and sweet.

The bitter Almond was primarily used for its oil, while the sweet was used for desserts.

Gen 27:34, “When Esau (Jacob’s brother) heard the words (blessing of Jacob) of his father (Isaac), he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!””

Here the duality of the bitterness of loss and judgment for the unbeliever and sweet blessing for the believer is seen

The Word of God is said to be bitter sweet.

Rev 10:9-11, ” So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 11And they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.””

Charles Ryrie: The eating of the little scroll was to remind John that although these truths from God may be pleasant to his taste, they were bitter when digested, because they spoke of judgment. The revelation of God’s judgment, on careful reflection should always bring heaviness of heart to the child of God. Ezek 2:8-3:27

“Bitter” and “Sweet” speak to the dual effect of God’s word through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. It is blessings for the believer who is advancing in God’s Word and Plan, and judgment for the unbeliever and reversionistic believer.

To the one who loves and obeys the Word, it is sweet as honey; to the one who rejects the Word and is bitter towards it, the Word judges and is bitter to them, just as salt preserves flesh and deadens the land. Both almonds and salt, and bitter and sweet represent His Word. One in provisions for life, the other in judgment.

Now the place of this anointing holds significant meaning too, because Bethel became the land of Ephraim. (It was originally to be part of the tribe of Benjamin [son of my right hand] but they either did not win it or hold it, and it became part of Ephraim. Later it was part of the Northern Kingdom.) “Ephraim” means, “fruitful”. Again, we have an analogy to the Word and Spirit, as we in the church produce the Fruit of the Spirit when we apply the Word of God. Gal 5:22-23

So, the area that Jacob consecrated with oil was the place of the early awakening by the bitter sweet that became the house of God in the land of fruitfulness. Just as you and I (believers in the Church Age) came to salvation by the efficacious grace of God at positive volition to the gospel message and are the dwelling place of God as first fruits. In that place, we are called to produce – the Fruit of the Spirit. 1 Cor 3:16; Eph 3:14-19; Col 3:16; James 4:5

Living Simply—Yet Focused, by Oswald Chambers

“Look at the birds of the air …. Consider the lilies of the field …” (Matthew 6:26, 28).

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin”—they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars, and the moon—all of these simply are as well—yet what a ministry and service they render on our behalf! So often we impair God’s designed influence, which He desires to exhibit through us, because of our own conscious efforts to be consistent and useful. Jesus said there is only one way to develop and grow spiritually, and that is through focusing and concentrating on God. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Do not worry about being of use to others; simply believe on Me.” In other words, pay attention to the Source, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). We cannot discover the source of our natural life through common sense and reasoning, and Jesus is teaching here that growth in our spiritual life comes not from focusing directly on it, but from concentrating on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows our circumstances, and if we will stay focused on Him, instead of our circumstances, we will grow spiritually—just as “the lilies of the field.”

The people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk, but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and “the lilies of the field”—simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold and shape us.

If you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on Him, and He will make use of you every minute you live—yet you will be unaware, on the conscious level of your life, that you are being used of Him.

The Almond Typology Summary

  • Early waker
  • Resurrection
  • First Fruits
  • 4 – Material Completeness
  • 2 – Incarnation
  • Bitter and Sweet – Word
  • First Mention – Fertility = Gen 30:37
  • First Hebrew – The Best = Gen 43:11
  • Client nations – Israel 1st = Isa 42:6; 49:6
  • Bring it to the World
  • Candlestick = Ex 25:33-34
  • Light Glorifying Christ
  • Grace of God
  • Speed and Power
  • Aaron’s Rod = Priesthood Precedence = Num 17:2-3
  • White Flower = White/Gray Hair – Imminence of death and depicting wisdom = Eccl 12:5