About the Book
Book: In The Garden
Author: Whitaker House Editorial
Genre: Christian non-fiction, Biblical history, cultural, Biblical reference
Release Date: January 10, 2020
Consider not only the lilies of the field, but all the plants, trees, herbs, shrubs, and flowers that play a role in the biblical narrative through this illustrated guide. From the barley Ruth harvested to the hyssop David craved, from the frankincense the wise men brought to Jesus to the sycamore tree Zacchaeus climbed, the Bible is peppered with allusions to the plants that were a part of daily life in the ancient Near East and in New Testament Israel. With original illustrations, this beautiful gift book clarifies the biblical references to fifty plants and provides delightful new insights into the Word of God. Includes indexes to each plant and its corresponding Scripture references, a calendar of Jewish festivals and the growing seasons in Israel, and tips for growing your own biblically inspired garden.
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More from Whitaker House
Rather than being a dictionary of the plants mentioned in the Bible, In the Garden, with its original illustrations and plant descriptions, is meant to spark the reader’s spiritual imagination. It is our hope that these pages about the plants of the Bible will prompt your imagination and inform your study of the precious Word of the living God.
Having previously read and reviewed a book about essential oils used in the Bible and their modern applications (“Essential Oils: God’s Extravagant Provision for Your Health” by Teri Secrest), I was eager to further explore the topic of natural health from a Biblical perspective. For reviewing purposes, I was provided with an e-copy of “In the Garden”, and I can only imagine that the hardcover edition is even more delightful.
The organization of “In the Garden” serves to provide maximum ease of use. There are four sections regarding the plants themselves: Trees and Shrubs, Edible Plants, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, and Flowers. A Bible verse begins each entry, which also includes the Latin, Hebrew, and Greek names of the plant being discussed; to many, perhaps, this may be superfluous information, but as someone who loves languages and etymologies, I have to say that I appreciated it. Gorgeous illustrations give readers a clear visual, which really enhances the reading experience. Each plant’s native location and where it was used is also provided, along with how it relates to Biblical use (usually directly connecting it with the preceding Scripture) and modern use. The book also includes two more interactive segments: Growing Your Own Biblically-Inspired Garden and a Calendar of Jewish Festivals and Growing Seasons. This takes the book beyond an ordinary reference manual and invites readers to grow some of the plants mentioned, while backing the connection with the Bible by illuminating the connection between the Jewish festivals and the typical growing seasons.
Not being particularly well-versed in botany, I learned a lot of interesting facts from this book. I did not realize that the palms referenced in Scripture were date palms, nor did I realize that Solomon seems to be largely credited with the bountiful supply of cedar in Jerusalem. I learned how papyrus is made, and that flax has blue blossoms. I also found the possible explanation of why Jesus rejected the vinegar mixed with gall interesting: because of its painkilling properties. My only criticism is that I would have liked more description about the plants as opposed to the brief information that is given. My favorite aspect of the book is how it often relates a plant to one of God’s promises found in the Bible: “In the same way that foreign imports like cinnamon could be used in the most sacred worship of the Lord, so one day foreign nations would join in worshipping the true God, bowing the knee and confessing that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).”
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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