21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. – Romans 11:21-24
The olive tree was first mentioned in the bible in the story of Noah. As the flood waters were subsiding Noah releases a dove a couple of times and the second time:
And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. – Genesis 8:11
There is evidence olives have be used for their fruit and oil since the Bronze Age (3150-1200 BC). Some olive trees are believed to be as old as 4000 years although that is hard to substantiate. Olive trees are found in the wild and have been cultivated. A natural grafting process called “inosculation” occurs where two trees that are close together join through two branches rubbing together and eventually becoming one. At some point mankind made use of this discovery and developed grafting, learning to join branches to an existing root stock.
John Wesley’s beech trees, Lambeg, Co. Down
These trees stand at the entrance to Chrome Hill, just north of Wolfenden’s Bridge on the Lambeg-Ballyskeagh road. During one of his visits to Ireland in the late 18th century, John Wesley stayed at Chrome Hill. He twisted together two beech saplings as a symbol of the friendship of the Methodist Church and the Church of Ireland, and the trees still stand today.
But in that day, the branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of all who survive in Israel. – Isaiah 4:2 (NLT)