Psalm 1:3

Hebrew Bible

1 How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand in the pathway with sinners, or sit in the assembly of scoffers. 2 Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands; he meditates on his commands day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts. 4 Not so with the wicked! Instead they are like wind-driven chaff. 5 For this reason the wicked cannot withstand judgment, nor can sinners join the assembly of the godly.

Matthew 7:18

New Testament

16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.

 Notes and References

"... Trees loom large in the minds of many who have given us the biblical text and the parabiblical documents. The Bible begins with the story of Paradise; in central focus is the tree of life. The Psalmists often refer to the righteous as an evergreen tree well planted (as in the famous passage in Psalm 1:3). Isaiah imagined Israel as the trees of a vineyard (Isaiah 5:7). Th e Righteous Teacher, so important for the Qumranites, envisioned that through him God had planted men who are “trees of life,” like the cypress, elm, and cedar (1QH XVI). Knowing Jesus’ landscape helps us appreciate his metaphorical use of the olive tree, the vineyard (Mark 12, Matt 20 and 21), the good and bad tree (Matthew 7 and 12), the fig tree (Luke 13 and 21), and the vine and its branches (John 15). Clearly, Jesus knew the biblical metaphor of tree; frequently he must have pondered the symbolical meaning of the tree as he sat under one or saw many trees around him or in the distance or looked down on Jerusalem from among the olive trees in the Mount of Olives. Perhaps he knew, since he admired the serpent, that trees, like serpents, are in touch with the source of life; that is, they are chthonic beings ..."

Charlesworth, James H. "Jesus of History and the Topography of the Holy Land" in Holmén, Tom, and Stanley E. Porter (eds.) Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus (pp. 2213-2242) Brill, 2011

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