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Chapter 12


Apples did not grow in the Middle East in ancient times (nor do they successfully today). The fruit Eve ate in the Garden of Eden has been popularly mythologized as an apple, but we may safely assume that it was not. The apple does appear, often metaphorically, in European language translations of the Bible, but probably the golden and refreshing fruit referred to was the apricot. eg: Song of Solomon 2: 3-5, 7: 8; Psalms 17: 8; Lamentations 2: 28; Zechariah 2: 8; Joel 1: 12).

Other fruits known to have grown in Palestine in New Testament times are jujube (Christ's Thorn); pears; peaches; quince; and cherries. The dish into which Jesus "dipped the sop" (bread was still used in lieu of cutlery in 1st Century Palestine) at the Last Supper probably contained a fruit and nut compote called haraset (John 13: 26; Matthew 26: 23)--which symbolized for the Passover meal the mortar that Hebrew slaves used making bricks in Egypt.

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