The palm tree occur many places in the Bible. Elim - the oasis with seventy palm trees and twelve springs of water is the first place it is mentioned (Exodus 15:27). One palm tree for each of the seventy elders and one spring of water for each tribe of Israel. The Bible is saying that the righteous will flourish like a palm tree. There are many things we may learn when we compare the righteous with the palm tree.
1. Uprightness. The palm tree stretches itself straight up into the air. It is a tall tree, erect, stately, and strong. It is a true image of the really righteous, for crooked ways are not his.
2. Usefulness. The palm-tree is held in great estimation by the inhabitants of Arabia, Egypt, and Persia, on account of its adaptation to various valuable purposes. The Arabs celebrate its three hundred and sixty uses to which the different parts maybe applied, and many people subsist almost entirely on its fruit. They boast of its medicinal virtues. The camels feed upon the date stone. From the leaves they make a variety of articles for domestic use. From the fibres of the boughs, thread, ropes, and rigging are manufactured. From the sap, a spirituous liquor is prepared; and the body of the tree furnishes fuel.
Likewise, in all departments of life, the influence, the example, the spirit, the words, and works of the righteous man are full of blessing for the entire society.
3. beauty. The palm tree is often taken as an emblem of beauty (Song 7:7-8) and used as decoration in the temple(1King 6:29,32,35; 2Chronicles 3:5). On the righteous man “the beauty of the Lord our God” is seen, as in our Lord above all (John 1:14). Moral beauty is as real as physical.
4. power. Palm-branches were carried as tokens of victory or joy (Leviticus 23:40, John 12:13; Revelation 7:9) Just think of its victory over all kinds of foes which threaten its life. It is a root out of a dry ground: the choking sand surrounds it, the burning heat scorches it, the fierce tempest beats upon it; it is often wounded—its roots crushed with all manner of weights, the elements, man, the beasts of the desert, all combine to injure it; but in spite of them all it rears its beautiful corona of leaves far on high, and flourishes still. The righteous is likewise more than a conqueror as God let all things work out for the good, nothing on earth and in hell ca harm him (Romans. 8:28–39).
5. fruitfulness. The palm tree is a tall, fruit-bearing, shadowy tree, whose fruit is the date: it arrives at perfection in about thirty years, and thus continues about seventy years, bearing fifteen or twenty clusters of dates, each cluster weighing from 7-12 kg. It is the staff of life to the peoples amongst whom it is found. And so the righteous (John 15:1–8).
6. guidance. It is the sure sign of the presence of water (see Elim, Exodus. 15:27). Across the burning sands the caravan, parched with thirst, make for the cluster of palms they see afar off, for they know that water is there. And so the righteous should be and is a prophetic sign to the people and society, which tells where the living waters are.
7. permanence. It continues right on to old age to be all that has been said. It is a true emblem of the perseverance of the people of God.
The Palm Tree
1. First mention of, in Scripture. Ex 15:27.
2. Jericho celebrated for. De 34:3; Jdj 1:16.
3. Described as
a. Tall. Song 7:7.
b. Upright. Jer 10:5.
c. Flourishing. Ps 92:12.
d. Fruitful to a great age. Ps 92:14.
4. The fruit of, called dates. 2Ch 31:5.
5. Requires a moist and fertile soil. Ex 15:27.
6. Tents often pitched under the shade of. Jdj 4:5.
7. The branches of, were
a. The emblem of victory. Re 7:9.
b. Carried at feast of tabernacles. Le 23:40.
c. Used for constructing booths. Ne 8:15.
d. Spread before Christ. Joh 12:13.
8. Blasted as a punishment. Joe 1:12.
9. Represented in carved work on the walls and doors of the temple of Solomon. 1Ki 6:29,32,35; 2Ch 3:5.
10. Illustrative of
a. The church. Song 7:7,8.
b. The righteous. Ps 92:12.
c. The upright appearance of idols. Jer 10:5.