Pomegranates: Biblical Blessings and Modern Health Benefits
❝A land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey❞ Deuteronomy 8:8
When the descendants of Jacob returned to the land of their fathers, God blessed them with fruit and grains that were special to the land:
A land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey; Deuteronomy 8:8
The fruits from these seven species were the only acceptable plant offerings in the Temple and their first fruits were brought to be eaten in Jerusalem. The Pascal lamb was roasted on a pomegranate branch. In 2017, the Sanhedrin planted 30 pomegranate trees which were a small step towards fulfilling the needs of the Third Temple. Pomegranates became a sacred artistic motif connected to the Temple service and the High Priest’s robes had golden pomegranates hung around the hem. Archaeologists have discovered artistic representations of pomegranates exclusively in Levitical sites.
But the blessings from these fruits are still being seen. As a result of the Abraham Accords normalizing relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, these first fruits, most notably remarkably impressive pomegranates, grown in the Holy Land were displayed for sale on the shelves of markets in Dubai for the first time.’
The pomegranate also helped bring the blessing of peace between Israel and the nations. In 2014, an Israeli expert from the Ministry of Agriculture held a two-day ‘Pomegranate Seminar’ at the Center of Excellence for Fruits at Mangeana in Sirsa, bordering Punjab, India. India was eager to learn as Israel produces 60,000 metric tons of pomegranates and exports nearly half it because of the high quality of Israeli pomegranates.
In addition to the Biblical blessings, pomegranates also bear health benefits. In 2018, researchers at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology found that pregnant women who drink pomegranate juice could cut the risk of embryos developing brain damage.
It is well-known among the health-conscious that pomegranates are rich in polyphenols (a type of compound that neutralizes damaging free radicals in the body), which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They can also help protect against cardiovascular disease.”