Wednesday, February 8, 2012


     When our daughter and grandsons were here about a year ago, I bought pomegranates for the first time.  Gavin loved them and was disappointed I didn't have any the next time they visited.  The rest of us thought it was an interesting fruit to try but didn't develop a craving for it.
     A friend, Karen Lewis, who works with David's Shield, a ministry to Israeli soldiers, included this interesting article about the pomegranate in her most recent newsletter.  I thought you might enjoy knowing more about this fruit, too.

       One of the oldest and most beloved fruits known in Israel is the red pomegranate, native to southwestern Asia around the Caspian Sea, has been grown in countries such as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia and Israel for more than 3,500 years. The word pomegranate comes from the Latin pomum and granatus, or “seedy apple.” The Hebrew word rimon, which comes from the Egyptian rmn, has become a source of confusion in recent years, as the round shape of the fruit lends itself to a less sweet purpose—a hand grenade in the Israeli army is called a rimon yad, or hand pomegranate.
      Biblically, it is significant as the first fruit of the season, but also because it appears often throughout texts as a symbol of abundance, knowledge, fertility and peace. It also may have made a very early appearance in Genesis; Scholars differ on the actual fruit species of the “apple” of the Garden of Eden—some say that it might have been a fig or grapes or an apricot or the “seedy apple,” the pomegranate. The perfect pomegranate is mentioned as one with 613 seeds—the same number as the law of the Torah.
     Pomegranate designs were embroidered on the hems of the robes of the high priests of the Temple and decorated the capitals of the two pillars of King Solomon’s temple (Kings 7:13-22). Coins from Ancient Judea dating from the second century BCE depicted a pomegranate on one side—perhaps in reference to the pomegranate being a symbol of wealth and plenty—and in 2007, the Israeli two-shekel coin has the same image.
From this picture of the bottom of a ripe pomegranate, it is
clear where the Jewish 'Star of David' (in Israel, this is known as the 'Shield of David') came from.    
       This fruit is also sold throughout Israel in its season, which is the end of summer, just before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year; but in any market where Arabs/ Palestinians work, they cut this end of the fruit off before it is put out to be sold. 
       I rejoice to know that this symbol was designed and developed by God Himself, and that He used the fruit with this symbol on the garments of the priests. The Pomegranate is symbol of purity, simplicity and holiness... 

No comments: