Monday, February 18, 2008

King of the Trees

One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, 'Be our king.'
"But the olive tree answered, 'Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and men are honored, to hold sway over the trees?'
"Next, the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come and be our king.'
"But the fig tree replied, 'Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?'
"Then the trees said to the vine, 'Come and be our king.'
"But the vine answered, 'Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and men, to hold sway over the trees?'
"Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, 'Come and be our king.'
"The thornbush said to the trees, 'If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!' Judges 9:8-15

Can anyone explain this story to me? Are there some deeper layers of meaning that we need to unearth here? I sense that there is a lot to learn from this parable and I have left a little clue to give you a hint about what I am thinking right now... Feel free to share your thoughts with me and my valued blog readers!

Photograph taken this morning in Driebergen - in the garden of the Youth for Christ head quarters in the Netherlands. Maybe you think that this is 'just a tree' - but I was very impressed by it... The giant tree was just too beautiful to ignore! The same could be said about this intriguing parable from the book of Judges. Just wanted to share this with you. Please let me know what you think.


S.Ghosh said...

it is a very insightful story and it showed a clear moral to me.
i think:
you should give higher authority to those who are wise ,coz' wrong hand can lead into a destructive end. :)

i hope you can visit http:\

John said...

Not avoiding the subject - still pondering. Just wonated to let you know you've been tagged over at my place.



Carol L. Douglas said...

I think the tree in your photograph is a beech tree and it would be my nominee for King of Trees. Those who plant them are planting for future generations, they're so slow growing. Why it has the galls in a ring, I can't say.

As for the parable, see also Ezekiel 17. Not parallel, but still relevant.

The cedars of Lebanon were the most significant tree in the ancient Middle East. They not only grow tall, strong and true, but they are very resistant to decay (and insects). Hence their multiple uses in the ancient world—for the timbers for Solomon’s Temple, and to supply resin and coffins for Egyptian funerary rites. They are considered a symbol of eternity.

We are to rest in our thorn-crowned king. The fires are a threat about the destruction of our deeply held ‘verities’, I suppose.

Very nifty passage. Thanks.