Psalm 96:11-13 – “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy before Yahweh, for He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.”
Over the past several years we have taken a look at several Hebrew idioms to better understand the scriptures. In 2015 we discovered that to “fulfill the law” is a Hebrew idiom meaning: to properly interpret, to show how to apply the law, to do it rightly, and that to “abolish the law” is just the opposite, meaning: to misinterpret, to misapply the law, to do it wrongly, thus bringing down judgment.
In 2014 we discovered that the “heavens” refers to governments and rulers, and the “earth” refers to the nations or peoples. We also discovered that the “sea” and “land” again symbolized nations and their peoples, and the “stars” are the angels. Another Hebrew idiom we looked at was the “trees”, which we found represents all human beings.
Today we look at another usage of the “trees” idioms.
Two More Idioms
Luke 23:31 – “For if they do these things to the green tree, what shall be done to the dry?”
Most translations state this verse as: “For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” The King James states it this way: “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”
The Hebrew is very explicit and the actions taken are done TO, not “in” or “when”. The key to proper interpretation of this verse is that the phrases “green tree” and “dry tree” are Hebrew idioms, and the actions taken against either of these trees can only be done to the tree, not in the tree or when the tree is in a particular condition. Here’s why:
• The Green Tree is a messianic title that applies to Yeshua – the only one who is righteous.
• The Green Tree is an idiom for a righteous person, i.e. a person who has salvation in Yeshua and who has been given his righteousness..
• The Dry Tree represents the wicked, unbelieving individual.
This is most clearly seen in Ezekiel 20:47 thru 21:7. In this passage, Ezekiel quotes Yahweh who is speaking to the Negev forest – another name (Hebrew idiom) for Israel! Yahweh says: “I will light a fire in you; it will devour every tree in you, green and dry alike; a blazing, unquenchable flame that will scorch every face . . . I will draw My sword from its sheath and cut off both the righteous and the wicked from you.” This is a prophecy about Israel whose first part was achieved at the time of Yeshua’s crucifixion, and whose second part was completed at the Diaspora of the Jews when they were dispersed to all of the nations of the world.
Verses 21:6-7 tell Ezekiel to groan bitterly for what is coming. Yeshua, as he made his way to his crucifixion tells those following him not to cry (groan bitterly) for himself, but for themselves and their children (Luke 23:27-28). Yeshua then plainly asks the followers: “If they will do this to me, what will they do to you?” (Luke 23:31). He knows that the prophecy of Ezekiel 20:47 – 21:7 is in the process of being fulfilled.
Ezekiel 17:24 – “Then all the trees of the field will know that I, Yahweh, bring down the tall tree and raise up the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree bear fruit. I, Yahweh, have spoken; and I will do it’.”
Matthew 13:23 – “The person who hears the message and understands it will surely bear fruit.”
Scripture uses many Hebrew idioms that are symbolic of other things. The Sea and the Land are almost identical to the Heavens and the Earth – nations and their peoples. The Stars are heavenly beings: angels and fallen angels. The Trees are all human beings, and the Green Tree is Yeshua Ha’Mashiach but the Dry Tree is the wicked, unbelieving person.
Yeshua, the Green Tree, was “dried up”. Crucified, died, buried. And the dry tree, every individual who has been given salvation and who has been given his righteousness, is now bearing fruit to the glory of Yahweh and Yeshua (Matthew 13:23, Mark 4:20, John 15:2-8, Romans 7:4) .
The great day of Yahweh is getting really near, even at the door. It hastens forth and will not delay. We do NOT set dates, but clearly Yahweh is getting ready to change the course of human history once again. The signs are clear for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.