6/01/2008

The great tree of Moreh

Genesis 12:6 - Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem.

I wonder how big the great tree of Moreh was. It was obviously a well-known landmark. How old was it? Did anyone back then have any idea? If it started growing right after the Flood, it could have been about 400 years old by Abram's time.

What kind of tree was it? Cedar? Oak?

Where did the name Moreh come from? A place? A person?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

20 Comments:

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Nikki said...

Ah! I just was reading Genesis and I came to 12:6 and thought "The great tree of Moreh! That sounds incredible" and was enthralled. I love the cultural bits added to Genesis.
So I took out some paper and started to draw what I thought it would look like. Then I typed "The Great Tree of Moreh" into google and found this.
I loved that others are enthralled by this.

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger Peter Barney said...

Same here! I thought that it must have been a mighty tree if it warranted a mention in the Bible. I would very much have liked to see it.

 
At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doing some further research, one bible commentary suggested this; the Canaanites had shrines of teachers usually in oak trees. Morah maybe have been one of their greater teachers. Interesting.

 
At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moreh may have been a teacher...maybe, but in Deuteronomy, 11: 30 it says "the great trees of Moreh"
To which it goes on to figure...there must be more than one due to the pluralization.

 
At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was just going through the Bible, in Genesis at the time Abraham had his calling. As he untertook his journy with his son Lot ,he travelled quite a distance hovever despite this, the tree was still visible. Amazing

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Tamera said...

I stumbled across your blog due to some research about Abram for a history class I am teaching. I am quite intrigued by the fact that whoever wrote Genesis (and especially these Abram/Abraham narratives) knew that this tree would be known to the readers of that time. Or if this was oral history, at first, then they would recognize this landmark. My question is what is its significance? Have you found any further information regarding who or what Moreh was? What was special about this tree or these trees.

 
At 7:55 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Sorry, Tamera, I have no new information for you.

Before Moses wrote these facts, they were probably passed down orally. Then again, it is entirely possible that someone wrote them down in another book before Moses recorded them here.

The significance of the tree itself seems to be mainly as a landmark. It (or they) may have been around for dozens, if not hundreds, of years by the time of this writing.

A reference to Moreh might be similar to a modern day reference to a man-made object such as the Great Wall or the Eiffel Tower - anything that most people would know about and be able to locate.

 
At 7:02 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I've long been curious about "The Great tree of Moreh." Just came up on in again as I start a yearly Bible reading plan. Decided to google it this time. Disappointing that we can't do much more than speculate, but I'd imagine it must have been quite a spectacular site. I picture it something on order of the Sequoias in California. Of course, still being a part of the earlier creation, maybe it even dwarfed the Sequoias.

 
At 7:04 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I've long been curious about "The Great tree of Moreh." Just came up on in again as I start a yearly Bible reading plan. Decided to google it this time. Disappointing that we can't do much more than speculate, but I'd imagine it must have been quite a spectacular site. I picture it something on order of the Sequoias in California. Of course, still being a part of the earlier creation, maybe it even dwarfed the Sequoias.

 
At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed that people are interested in an old tree, however great,that ceased to exist a very long time ago!
When was the last comment written? This train of treeline seems to have started in 2008.

 
At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if the "tree" was that large because of the region in which it grew. Many of the items in the Bible suggesting a large mass have been "traditionally" smaller. Case in point, "The Mount of Olives" or the location of "The Sermon on the Mount"?

 
At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Robin said...

I've read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations several times but never studied the Word. Beginning anew with Genesis, I want to begin studying the Word. Strangely enough, I don't ever remember seeing the Great Tree of Moreh and decided to look it up.

 
At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've recently been realizing th fact that EVERY single word in the bible is relevant and has a significant meaning. God just doesn't decode to put in a random detail or landmark of the time. Though the tree may just be a landmark to the people of that time, later throughout the bible it amounts to so much more.
In the Greek translation this verse translates to "Yahweh appears to Abraham" this tree was the first time that God had actually appeared to Abraham and signified a change in his relations to man. Also at the site of this tree was where the first pillar of the patriarchs was built. Showing that this was a very significant an special place to God which also shows that it was even more special that he gave this land to Abraham and his decendants which would become Israel. Showing how God was choosing them as his special nation.
Quite a while after this when the isrealites had finnished roaming in the desert for 40 years (the number symbolizing testing, a whole different topic) this tree was where they crossed over the river and renewed their covenant with God by building the altar with the 12 stones. This all happened at the base of this tree.
This tree was a significant symbol to God. It to me, symbolizes a new beginning with his relationship to man, his covenant with Abraham (which the ceremony of the covenant was done at the base of this tree as well) and the start of a new nation in the promise land.
I'm sure with more research there could be mre answers and textual ties with the tree, but this is just what I have found according to history and the scriptures in the short amount of time I have spent on the subject

 
At 9:36 PM, Blogger Gary said...

@Previous Anonymous Commenter: Thank you for your input. It would have been better if you would have cited references for your conclusions. I'm not saying they aren't true, but you do make some inferences that aren't immediately apparent.

There are only 2 direct references to the tree(s) of Moreh. One is the Genesis 12 verse that started this thread. The other is in Deuteronomy 11:29-30 - When the LORD your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, west of the road, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal.

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger PHMannes said...

For those seeking more on the "tree of Moreh," go a google search for Terebinth, which the the hebrew word for "might" tree. Clearly a significant location for the meeting between man and God. The word "Moreh" means "teacher" and is some indication of what happens there. I wonder as we start the "covenant" all over again, if this tree is not another witness to the "tree in the midst of the garden." The OT image of "tree which shall not be removed" and the ultimate "tree of life" are all points where the affirmation of the world God creates and the way he witnesses his presence in our midst is powerful.

 
At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone think it possible that it was a Sequoia, they use to be all over the world but they environment is limited now. We saw them this past summer and THEY WERE GREAT TREES.

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I read the devotional from Our Daily Bread and it has Genesis 12:1-8. I, too, was curious as to what I could find out about The Terebinth Tree of Moreh.

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger Tessa Romine said...

PHMannes I think you are on to something, I have been researching this quite diligently and in several versions now tracing back to the Hebrew roots, In the NIV version it says "the great tree of Moreh" the NKJV says "the terebinth tree of Moreh" and in the Restoration Scriptures it says "to the plain of Moreh" and in this instance plain means Heb. 'elon (Gen. 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; Deut. 11:30; Judg. 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version; margin, "terebinth." So there is the scripture to back up part of 12:6 in Genesis but in Hebrew Moreh does mean "Teacher" and so I think that it is a reminder of the covenant that the Lord made with Abram, with being the father of nations. I also believe that the number 4, whether it be 4, 40, 400, 44, 4000, whatever stands for the Messiah, the son of God! So I believe this "Oak tree" is also a shadow picture of what was to come...The Messiah, "teacher", he spent time in the wilderness and if not mistaken taught by...just my studies on this subject thought I'd share....

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger Tessa Romine said...

Genesis 12:6 about the great tree that is in discussion I have also been studying and in the Restoration Scriptures it says "to the plain of Moreh" and looking up Plain in a Hebrew dictionary you find... "Heb. 'elon (Gen. 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; Deut. 11:30; Judg. 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version; margin, "terebinth."". In the NIV it says, "the great tree of Moreh". And the NKJV says, "the terebinth tree of Moreh". Now also looking up Moreh in the Hebrew dictionary I found that it said "Teacher" which I found quite interesting to say the least... Because I see it as reminder of the covenant with Abram that he will be the father of the nations, I also see it as a shadow picture of the coming of the Messiah and how he was a "teacher" he "taught by trees" "The tree of life" I mean there are so many things that can remind us of what has happened and show us what is going to happen in the future if we just look at what it says deep enough...I also believe that any number with a 4 in it resembles or is because of or is in reference to or has something to do with the Messiah! Something to think about in your studies....Just things I have learned and come to learn and understand hope it is helpful! God Bless!

 
At 6:39 AM, Blogger Peter Kertzman said...

Was there not found A tree base/branches that were petrified and it was almost a mile wide ??
http://s8int.com/WordPress/2012/11/23/update-the-biggest-out-of-place-artifacts-ever-immense-stupendous-petrified-trees-of-the-black-hills-south-dakota/

 

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