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It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that of Jotham (Judges 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the “good land,” and is at the present day the one characteristic tree of Israel. The oldest olive trees in the country are those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
In Romans 11:17 Paul refers to the practice of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a “good” olive which has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good olive, by pervading the branch which is “graffed in,” makes it a good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a “wild olive,” but now “graffed in,” yield fruit, but only through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed. This is a process “contrary to nature” (11:24).