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The fruit of the beautiful tree

This fruit is mentioned in Leviticus in relation to the feast of the Tabernacles and it actually refers to the citron tree.

ZOE AUTOR 102/Antonio_Cruz TRADUCTOR Roger Marshall 10 DE ABRIL DE 2022 13:00 h
The beautiful tree mentioned in the Old Testament (Lev. 23:40) is the citron tree used at the feast of Tabernacles and its appearance is reminiscent of a very lumpy, yellow lemon. / [link]Johann Werfring [/link]

And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. (Lv. 23:40)



Some experts argue that the “splendid tree” mentioned in this verse in Leviticus was the citron, or the lemon (Citrus medica), which would have arrived in the Holy Land from China or India and had become part of Jewish medical practice in the 6th century BC, through the commercial routes.



It may have been grown in Judea during the Biblical period. According to Arabic and Syrian versions of the Bible, and also the Targum of Onguelos, the historian Josephus and the Jewish Talmud, the Hebrew term hadar, which is the term used in the text quoted above (Leviticus 23:40) in relation to the feast of the Tabernacles (Sucot), and which in Spanish versions is translated as the “arbol hermoso”, or in English as “the splendid tree”, “luxuriant tree” or “goodly tree”, actually refers to the citron tree.



Its fruit, which is reminiscent of a very lumpy, yellow lemon, is denoted in Hebrew by the term etrog, and is one of the four ritual spices shaken in this Jewish feast. It is thought that the citron was the first citric fruit brought to Europe, before oranges or lemons.



It is a tree which belongs to the rutaceous family, which is usually between 2.5 and 5 metres high, and is grown for its fruit, the citron, also known as the French lemon. It is not usually eaten fresh but in pastry cooking and for aromatic purposes.



It has thorns at the base of its leaves, which are simple, lanceolate or elliptical, dark green in colour and can measure up to 18 centimetres long. The flowers are white, aromatic and arranged in small clusters.



They have 4 to 5 petals and up to 60 stamens. The fruit is globose, about 15 cm long, covered with a thick, lumpy peel, with many tiny, oily glands.



Inside there are 10 to 15 not very juicy carpels, whose taste varies, depending on the specific type, from sweet to very bitter. In fact, it differs from the lemon in that it has so little juice, but, on the other hand, a great many seeds.



The essential oil from this “goodly tree”, similar at first sight to the lemon tree, has antibiotic properties. In ancient times it was used for medical purposes to treat certain lung and intestinal dysfunctions.



During the celebration of the feast of Tabernacles, the Jews commemorated their years of wandering in the desert and, to this end they would build makeshift huts in which they lived for seven days (Ez. 45:25; Neh. 8:14).



The first day of the feast was Saturday, and so was the last (Lv. 23:39) but no one worked during the whole week, and they only offered up sacrifices to the Lord. It was a time of happiness, because they were celebrating the many blessings that they had received from God.



In the New Testament, the Day of the Lord became Sunday because it was the day when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For this reason, each Sunday is an important day of remembrance for Christians, as they celebrate the definitive blessing: the victory of the Son of God over the power of death.


 

 


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