Dates

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Israel has made some amazing finds. Seeds from ancient dates were found around archaeological various digs at places such as Qumran, Masada, and Wadi Kelt during the years of 1963 through 1991.

Most seed were not in a good condition for germination but some were. The seeds selected for germination were named after Bible characters and were planted in a Kibbutz by the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in a quarantined area in southern Israel (United with Israel Staff, 2020).

The seeds named Adam, Methuselah, and Hannah from the fourth and first centuries BC. The date seeds named Boaz and Judith are believed to be from around the middle of the second century BC while the seeds named Uriel and Jonah are believed to be from the second and first century CE. One interesting thing about the date seed Methusalah which was found in excavations of Masada is that it is related to an ancient variety of dates from Egypt and as a result it has been speculated it may have been brought from Egypt by the Israelites during the time of the exodus. (United with Israel Staff, 2020).

Dates have been a part of Israeli life for many years. In the Bible it states “When David had finished sacrificing burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. He also distributed to every person in Israel—both men and women—a loaf of bread, a date cake, and a raisin cake.” 1 Chronicles 16:2-3. Dates are still considered a sweet treat today and have many lessons for us.

I had the blessing of going to Israel one year and tasting some Qumran dates which were wonderful. Although it was a long time ago it still amazes me how something so sweet can come from a part of Israel that was so dry near the barren Dead Sea. It is proof to me that no matter what are current situation is, God can bring sweetness out of the what seems to be the most barren places in your own life. And like the dates seeds that Israel was able to grow after many years the hopes you think may have been lost forever can still bear fruit like how Abraham and Sarah were able to have the child they hope for in their old age after a long time of infertility. God says “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the great locust, the grasshopper, and the caterpillar, my great army, which I sent among you.” Joel 2:25. So live in peace today and don’t give up on the seeds of hope God has placed in your life.

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