What is the significance of a tree?

Cat chases bear up a tree (photo)                Cat Chases Bear Up Tree


What can be made from wood?      In baseball a tree can be used to make a baseball bat.
In golf a tree can be used to make a golf club.  In track & field a tree can be used to make
a hurdle.              Question:  Have you ever made anything from wood?


A long time ago . . .     As a kid I remember climbing a tree with my brother, and
selecting apples to eat while we were sitting in the tree.  We were not concerned about
washing off the apple or drinking bottled water.  Our water came from the tap, our milk
was delivered by the milk man, VandeKamp was a restaurant in Arcadia, and donuts &
bread were purchased from the Helm’s Bakery truck.  I guess times have changed.


The Garden . . .       Remember the tree in the garden (Adam and Eve)? 
Genesis 2:9 (NIV):And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the
ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the
garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”


Moses . . .      Moses used a staff (made of wood) (story of the staff found in Genesis).


Noah . . .    In the Bible, why was a “tree” important to Noah?  Noah built the ark from
cypress wood (Gen. 6:14), and when the 40 days of rain finished, Noah and the “saved
group” waited for a sign that the water had receded . . . the sign was a olive leaf (found in
Genesis 8:11).

Ezekiel 17:23-24 (NIV):23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will
produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will
nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the field
will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry
up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.   " 'I the LORD have spoken, and I
will do it.' "

Question: Why was a tree significant to Jesus Christ?

Deuteronomy 21:23 (NIV): “you must not leave his body on the tree
overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is
hung on a tree is under God's curse. You must not desecrate the land
the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.”

Per Matthew Henry’s commentary regarding Deut. 21:23: 
“By the law of Moses, the touch of a dead body was defiling, therefore dead bodies
must not be left hanging, as that would defile the land. There is one reason here
which has reference to Christ; . . . “

Per John Wesley’s Commentary regarding Deut. 21:23: 

“He is accursed of God - He is in a singular manner cursed and punished by God's
appointment with a most shameful kind of punishment, as this was held among the Jews
and all nations; and therefore this punishment may suffice for him, and there shall not be
added to it that of lying unburied. And this curse is here appropriated to those that are
hanged, to so signify that Christ should undergo this execrable punishment, and be made
a curse for us, Gal. iii, 13, which though it was to come in respect to men, yet was present
unto God. Defiled - Either by inhumanity towards the dead: or by suffering the
monument of the man's wickedness, and of God's curse, to remain publick a longer time
than God would have it, whereas it should be put out of sight, and buried in oblivion.”


Per Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Commentary regarding Deut. 21:23: 

“Hanging was not a Hebrew form of execution (gibbeting is meant), but the body was not
to be left to rot or be a prey to ravenous birds; it was to be buried "that day," either
because the stench in a hot climate would corrupt the air, or the spectacle of an exposed
corpse bring ceremonial defilement on the land.”


Question:  Which commentary makes the most sense?

Question:   Why was a tree significant to Jesus Christ?


Additional reading:  Luke 6:32 and Revelation 22:2


Additional items of “wood”: 

The cross, the manger (Jesus was born), the boat (when Jesus walked on water),
the Ark of the Covenant, Palm branches (when Jesus entered the city), the
crown of thorns, and others.


References:             The following websites were referenced on Feb. 16 & 20, 2007:

http://www.biblegateway.com                    http://bible.cc

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv                           http://www.esv.org

http://www.crosssearch.com/Reference      http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments

http://www.bible-knowledge.com               http://www.mybibletoolbox.com