ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, July 18   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Antonio Cruz
 

The cypress trees believe in God

The psalmist alludes to the tall cypress trees that supported the heavy nests of the storks to highlight the way God cares for his creation.

ZOE AUTHOR Antonio Cruz TRANSLATOR Roger Marshall 16 JUNE 2019 11:00 h GMT+1
Photo: Antonio Cruz

In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. (Psalm 104:17)



The Hebrew word berosh, is not easy to interpret.



The Greek Septuagint version translated the term in a number of different ways: pitys, kyparissos, kedros, and xyla Dibanu, whereas the Latin Vulgate renders it as: abies and cupressis, terms which refer to the fir tree and the cypress tree respectively.



 



Photo: Antonio Cruz

Nonetheless, the most frequent Hebrew term berosh refers to the Mediterranean cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), an evergreen conifer belonging to the Cupressus family, which is very common in Bible lands.



In Bible times, the resilient wood from the cypress tree was used for ship-building, the beams used for buildings, wooded floors and musical instruments.



Cypress trees were used in the building of Solomon’s temple (2 S. 6:5; 1 K. 5:8, 10; 6:15, 34, 9:11; 2 R. 9:23; 2 Chr. 2:8; 3:5; Psalm. 104:17; Is. 14:8; 37:24; 41:19; 55:13; 60:13; Ez. 27:5; 31:8; Hosea. 14:8; Neh. 2:3; Zac. 11:2).



 



Photo: Antonio Cruz



Some have suggested that “gopher wood”, used for the building of Noah’s ark (Genesis 6:14) could actually have been cypress wood.



However, other versions of the Bible translate the word “gopher” as “resinous”, acknowledging that it is difficult to know exactly what type of wood was used for this particular structure In fact, cypress wood, although it emits a pleasant aroma akin to that of the cedar, is not usually resinous.



It is a tree that is renowned for its longevity, as there are specimens that are known to be more than 1,000 years old. Its leaves are very small and are distributed in the form of embedded scales.



Both male and female flowers appear on the same tree; the former are small ovoid shaped trigger-like features at the end of the branches, while the female ones are much larger, dark and round-shaped, each with 12 scales, have flattened seeds and are called cones, or strobiles.



The cypress is native to Mediterranean regions. The scientific name of the species is Cupressus, which means “from Cyprus”, although its area of Distribution extends to the north of Lybia, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Iran.



 



Photo: Antonio Cruz



It is thought that two or three millennia ago, there were huge forests of these trees across these regions, and in North Africa, which were progressively cut down, with the result that now there are just a few examples left there.



Now the cypress tree is being exported and planted throughout the whole world, especially in parks and gardens.



The leaves and cones have been used in traditional medicine to treat a range of illnesses, such as varicose vein issues, haemorrhoids, prostate problems, etc.



Some people insist that the cross that Jesus died on was made of cypress wood. The Greeks and Romans grew many common cypress trees, to the point where they ended up becoming a characteristic feature of the Mediterranean landscape.



They associated them with female beauty but especially with death. They believed that, as they were always green and pointed towards heaven, they could help souls to rise upwards, which is why they are so often planted in cemeteries.



 



Photo: Antonio Cruz



The Latin poet Horace explains that the Romans used to wrap bodies in cypress leaves and branches, in order to facilitate their journey to the afterlife. The Latin naturalist Pliny the Elder commented that the homes that have recently been bereaved would place a cypress branch on the door as a sign of bereavement.



The same legend is echoed, in modern times, in the title of the novel by the Catalan writer, Joan María Gironella (1917-2003), The Cypresses believe in God (1953).



However, according to the Greek Theophrastus, the cypress is associated with the god of death, Hades, as the roots never sprouted again after the tree had been cut down.



Alexander the Great used cypress trees from Cyprus and Phoenicia to build the Euphrates fleet. The durability of this wood is legendary.



One of the gates of Constantinople, which was built during the reign of Constantine the Great, was in perfect condition two thousand after it was built, and the gates of Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, which are also made of cypress, are still unchanged after 1200 years.



The psalmist alludes to the tall cypress trees that supported the heavy nests of the storks to highlight the way God cares for his creation (Psalm 104:15-17). These corpulent trees, which were not planted deliberately but grew spontaneously, are also watered and satiated by the powerful hand of God.



The uninhabitable high regions of Lebanon, with their characteristic cedars, cypress trees and junipers, are barely accessible to human beings and, have therefore long been yearned for on account of their natural exuberance, constitute a wonderful example, not only of the creatorial power of God, but also of the Providence with which he sustains nature.



 



Photo: Antonio Cruz



What it is not possible for any human to do, the Creator continues to do day after day. To wantonly destroy nature is to attack God himself, the One who brought it into being.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The cypress trees believe in God
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa

A short video summary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly, July 3-10.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer
At the invitation of hundreds of churches in Spain, the Luis Palau Association are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in Madrid, June 15-23, 2019, through numerous outreach events and a 2-day family festival in the heart of the city.
 
Mercy Ships volunteers perform 100,000th free surgical procedure Mercy Ships volunteers perform 100,000th free surgical procedure

The milestone represents an important point in the nonprofit’s 40-year legacy.

 
What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context? What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context?

Espen Ottosen talks about the truths Christians should share with people who have little knowledge and/or many prejudices about Christian belief.  

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.