What is a…

Original words translated as branch…

זְמוֹרָה —transliteration: zemorah —meaning: branch, twig, shoot
שׂוֹךְsowk —meaning: branch, brushwood, bough
קָצִירqatsiyr —meaning: bough, branch, harvest man (reaper)
קָנֶהqaneh —meaning: a stalk, reed, a branch, branches, etc.
צֶמַחtsemach —meaning: a sprout, growth, branch
נֵצֶרnetser —meaning: a sprout, shoot, branch —figuratively: a descendant (branch)
כִּפָּהkippah —meaning: a branch, frond (of a palm tree)

κλῆμα —klēma (kléma / klema)
κλάδος —klados
βαΐον —baion —meaning: palm branch
φοίνικες —phoinikes —meaning: palm branches

Branches are mentioned in various ways in Scripture.

  1. As a symbol

  2. Disciples

    Disciples are branches of the true vine (John 15:5-6).

  3. Branch of the terrible ones

    “The branch of the terrible ones” (Isaiah 25:5 KJV) is rightly translated in the Revised King James Version “the song of the terrible ones,” i.e., the song of victory shall be brought low by the destruction of Babylon and the return of the Jews from captivity.

  4. Abominable branch

    The “abominable branch” of Isaiah 14:19 KJV is a tree on which a malefactor has been hanged.

    “loathed branch” —Isaiah 14:19 ESV

    “rejected branch” (literally “an abhorred branch”) —Isaiah 14:19 NASB

    Hebrew: כְּנֵ֣צֶר נִתְעָ֔ב

  5. Highest branch

    The “highest branch” in Ezek. 17:3 represents Jehoiakim the king.

  6. Olive branch

    Latin: oleae ramusculo

    The dove from the ark brought an olive leaf ( Hebrew: aleh zayit or alé zayit  ) to Noah (Genesis 8:11). The dove served as an announcer of the end of God’s wrath upon the pre-Flood world, and the return of peace.

    The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth.
    —Genesis 8:11 NASB

    In later times, the offering of an olive branch came to be a symbol.

    “The olive branch is a symbol of peace or victory deriving from the customs of ancient Greece and found in most cultures of the Mediterranean basin.”
    —reference: Lucia Impelluso, Nature and Its Symbols (Getty Publications, 2004), p. 43.

    Under the Pax Romana, Roman envoys used olive branches as tokens of peace.
    —reference: Jack Tresidder, editor, The Complete Dictionary of Symbols (San Francisco: Chronicle, 2004)

    During the early days of the Church, the olive branch began to appear with a dove in Christian art. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The sepulchers and catacomb tombs of early Christians often included the figure of a dove bearing an olive branch in its beak.

    The offering of an olive branch came to be seen throughout the world as an offer or gesture of goodwill or conciliation. Today, it appears on the Great Seal of the United States and the flags of at least 2 nations (Cyprus and Eritrea).

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Article Version: June 3, 2019