Abraham camped near the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 14:13 and 18:1-8).
The great trees of Mamre are Quercus calliprinos, called Palestinian oaks. It is the most common tree found in the wildlife of Israel. At one time the Palestinian oak was an important source of hard wood for ships, ploughs, yokes, canes. Bark was a source of tannin to dye skins and leather. Acorns were roasted and eaten during famine. The tribe of Dan made way-bread from acorns and took it to war.
In the Bible, oaks were associated with power, strength, or longevity in the sense of long life. The great oaks of Mamre symbolized Abraham’s long life. A Palestinian oak near Hebron, called Abraham’s Oak, is thought to be over 850 years old.
An Israelite proverb is that the fear of the Lord adds length to life; but the years of the wicked are cut short (Proverbs 10:27). Perhaps the underlying logic of this proverb is as simple as individuals who fear the Lord live more prudent lives than do the wicked; therefore, they live longer. Whatever the cause and effect of the proverb, it is important and true because it is God’s word.
Reflection. Do you want a long life? How do you think a long life is related to fear of the Lord? Does fear of God have any place in how you live your current life?
Updated January 2023. Save
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