The Olive

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Studying this versatile fruit can yield many insights into our Savior’s sacrifice.

olive trees, olives, and olive press

Photographs by iStock/Thinkstock and Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock; Christ in Gethsemane by Harry Anderson

“Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.”

Mediterranean Olive Trees

Plant name: Olea europaea

Plant type: evergreen, angiosperm (flowering)

Propagation: from softwood cuttings or seeds

Process for extracting oil: cleaning, crushing, and pressing

Facts about Olives

  • Olive trees can live a very long time. Some olive trees in the Near East are thought to be more than 2,000 years old.

  • If an olive tree is chopped down, it does not die, but new shoots come up from the roots.

  • Olive trees keep their leaves all year round.

  • Olive oil was used anciently for lamp oil, cooking oil, food, soap, religious ceremonies, and ointment for treating wounds.

Example of an Olive Press

Crushing basin

Crushing stone

Groove

Axis

Handle

What We Can Learn