olive trees in the Bible
The olive tree is mentioned among the most notable trees of Israel, where it was cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deuteronomy 6:11; 8:8). It is referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious privilege (Psalm 52:8; Jeremiah 11:16; Hos. 14:6) and is named among the blessings of the “good land.”
But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my fatness with which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?’ —Judges 9:9 NASB
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).
The Israelite judge Samson set Philistine olive orchards ablaze, which made them furious.
So Samson went and caught 300 foxes and took torches. And he turned them tail to tail and put a torch between each pair of tails. And when he had set fire to the torches, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines and set fire to the stacked grain and the standing grain, as well as the olive orchards.
—Judges 15:4-5 ESV