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The Significance of Pomegranates in the Bible

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In this post, we’ll dive into pomegranates in the Bible.

We’ve all heard the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but have you ever wondered about the significance of the pomegranate? Did you know that the beloved pomegranate in the Bible has a spiritual significance, with the fruit of the pomegranate being mentioned far more than apples? 

From the Garden of Eden to the high priest’s garments, let’s explore the many symbolic roles the pomegranate has throughout the Word of God and its impact on Christianity. We’ll discuss how the ancient symbol of fertility and abundance still has great relevance in modern-day religion and culture, and why it continues to inspire us. 

With its rich symbolism, the pomegranate has been a beloved symbol of faith for centuries, and this article will give readers a deeper understanding of its role in the Bible.

whole and cut pomegranates on white background with the text Pomegranates in the Bible, the significance of

In the land of Israel, the pomegranate was an integral part of religious heritage. This tree or shrub boasted glossy, dark green leaves and radiant petals that ranged from pale pink to vibrant orange-red. 

Once ripened, these affordable fruits with the hard rind became visually appealing, with bright red orbs of sweetness and tartness, approximately the size of an orange. Each ruby-hued, succulent pomegranate allowed eager Christians to pluck its robust flavor and ample nutrients. Upon full ripeness, the pomegranate fruit would burst open, spilling its ruby-colored seeds.

And they came to the Valley of Eshcol and cut down from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two of them; they also brought some pomegranates and figs.

Numbers 13:23 (ESV)

a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey,

Deuteronomy 8:8 (ESV)

Pomegranates are first mentioned in the Bible in Exodus 28:33–35 as part of God’s instructions for the making of holy garments.

God said, “On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, around its hem, with bells of gold between them, a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe. And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the Holy Place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he does not die.”

Exodus 28:33-35 (ESV)

The sacred symbol of the pomegranate can still be found today: it was featured prominently in the construction of Solomon’s Temple in the Jewish faith. For Christians, this iconic symbol serves as a reminder of faith and the strength of divine protection.

“The capitals were on the two pillars and also above the rounded projection which was beside the latticework. There were two hundred pomegranates in two rows all around, and so with the other capital.” 

1 Kings 7:20 (ESV)

Over 2,500 years ago, these ornately carved pomegranate sculptures were looted from Jerusalem’s Temple and taken to Babylon in a devastating act of destruction. Their faithful symbolism representative of Israel’s rich religious heritage still resonates today in Christian culture.

2 Kings 25:17 (ESV)


On it was a capital of bronze. The height of the one capital was five cubits. A network and pomegranates, all of bronze, were around the capital. And the second pillar had the same, with pomegranates. There were ninety-six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were a hundred upon the network all around.

Jeremiah 52:22–23 (ESV)

The pomegranate’s significance in the temple and on priestly garments is steeped in mystery. However some Jewish traditions believe the 613 seeds of the pomegranate correspond to the 613 laws of the Torah. This is a powerful reminder of the importance of the law to the Christian and Hebrew faiths.

Others believe that the pomegranate has been seen as a symbol of Israel for Christians. Its tough outer shell is a reminder of how Israel was battered, yet despite this, was still able to bless others from within. While God’s reasoning for using the pomegranate as a symbol of Israel remains a mystery, it is clear that there is a purpose in everything He does.

remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
    and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
    the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
    I have purposed, and I will do it.

Isaiah 46:9–11 (ESV)

For thousands of years, pomegranates have been celebrated in the land of Israel for their sweet taste and nutrient-rich juice. As one of the seven species of Israel listed in the Torah, their significance to the people of Israel and Christians is undeniable. 

The wine-red flesh of these fruits provides a burst of flavor that has become an iconic part of the Jewish culture. Whether eaten fresh or used in recipes, pomegranates are a symbol of the rich heritage of Israel and a reminder of the power of faith.

(See more Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)

Pomegranates are a powerful symbol of righteousness in Judaism, first mentioned in the Bible when they were brought back to the land of Canaan to signify its abundance and prosperity. For both Jews and Christians, the pomegranate is a timeless reminder of faith, abundance, and divine grace. (Numbers 13:23)

The pomegranate symbolizes wealth, beauty, and abundance according to the Bible. In Exodus, God provides instructions for using pomegranate designs in the making of priestly garments. 

This idea of prosperity is further evidenced by its presence on ancient coins of the biblical period. 

Jews and Christians throughout history have revered the pomegranate tree, recognizing it as a symbol of their financial and material wealth. (Exodus 28:33–35)

In Jewish tradition, pomegranates signify fertility and love. In fact, it’s said that two hundred of these colorful, rounded fruits were carved on the columns of Roman King Solomon’s Temple. 

Symbolizing bountifulness and blessing, this gesture was likely deeply meaningful for Jews of the time, hailing from the wealthy and powerful king himself. For today’s Christians and Jews, this ancient symbol has maintained its meaning, providing an invitation to reflect on our shared histories and collective beliefs.

Plate with fresh ripe pomegranates on dark background, closeup for the post on pomegranates in the Bible

The pomegranate has long been a symbol of abundance and prosperity, representing the resilience and faith of Israel – its thick, hardy peel making way to the hidden abundance within. 

For both Jews and Christians, the pomegranate stands as an enduring reminder of the promise of the Land of Israel, and a source of spiritual sustenance.

The pomegranate, revered since antiquity for its symbolic connection to love, is deeply woven into the fabric of Judeo-Christian heritage. It is mentioned multiple times in The Song of Solomon, one of the most celebrated love poems of the Bible. 

The Song of Songs brims with references to the pomegranate, a symbol of fertility and beauty. The groom praises the Shulamite’s beauty, noting that her true beauty lies beyond her blushing cheeks. This timeless message still resonates with both Christians and Jews today, reminding us to always look to the beauty within.

I went down to the nut orchard
    to look at the blossoms of the valley,
to see whether the vines had budded,
    whether the pomegranates were in bloom.

Song of Solomon 6:11 (ESV)

let us go out early to the vineyards
    and see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened
    and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.

Song of Solomon 7:12 (ESV)

I would lead you and bring you
    into the house of my mother—
    she who used to teach me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
    the juice of my pomegranate.

Song of Solomon 8:2 (ESV)

To Christians and Jews alike, this juicy, red-fleshed fruit serves as an enduring reminder of lasting love: 

“Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
    with all choicest fruits,
    henna with nard,” 

Song of Solomon 4:13 (ESV)

Pomegranates have a special place on the Jewish New Year table for Rosh Hoshanna. Beyond being a traditional symbol of the harvest, they are culturally linked to plenty of traditions and promises. 

In the biblical Book of Numbers, the Jewish people are referred to as the “people of the pomegranate” due to their abundance of offspring. For Christians, pomegranates are also symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus. No wonder pomegranates are an integral part of this holiday!

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The Bible references pomegranates as more than just a juicy, delicious fruit. Fruitfulness, blessing, and prosperity were often symbolized through the presence of pomegranate trees. As Christians and Jews, we can see the significance of these symbols: material wealth is given to us as part of God’s blessings. This is made evident by the grumbling Israelites’  in the absence of pomegranates, which they believed was a sign of God’s desertion.

“Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.”

Numbers 20:4-5 (ESV)

The vine dries up;
    the fig tree languishes.
Pomegranate, palm, and apple,
    all the trees of the field are dried up,
and gladness dries up
    from the children of man.

Joel 1:12 (ESV)

 Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you.”

Haggai 2:19 (ESV)

Celebrate the Fall feasts in Israel with the symbolic pomegranate! This beloved fruit, overflowing in abundance during Rosh Hoshanna (Jewish new year) and the holiday season, is featured on greeting cards, ceramic ornaments, and beautiful materials throughout the land. But the pomegranate doesn’t just serve as decoration; it’s a reminder of the story God wrote for us. 

The Pomegranates Unusual Design

God’s attention to detail is on full display when it comes to the pomegranate. Whether we’re talking about the round shape, the diverse array of colors, or the numerous seeds, it’s clear that the Creator was intentional in designing this powerful symbol for the Jewish faith. 

Its impact has been felt for thousands of years and continues to remind us of the divine hand in our lives.

This deep red, leathery-skinned fruit is nothing but delightful! With its jewel-like seeds and regal crown, the pomegranate is a favorite among both Christians and Jews alike. 

Eating it can be a bit tricky, but once you figure out how you like to do it (whether by using a pin to pick one seed at a time or chopping it in half and scooping out the pomegranate seeds with a spoon) you can enjoy its rich, nutritious juice that often stains anything in its path a beautiful, deep red.

Wrapping Up Pomegranates in the Bible

Rabbis teach us that God’s blessings and commandments are not meant to gratify our own selfish desires but to benefit others. The proof? Seeds. Flesh dies for good, but when a seed dies, it yields a bounty of new life. This is a reminder of how we should use God’s gifts to be a blessing to others.

The bells that hung between the holy place and the most holy place of the Tabernacle were a reminder that God’s holiness should not be approached lightly. When the bells were silent, it was a warning sign that something was amiss. For both Christians and Jews, the tabernacle bells serve as a reminder to approach God with reverence and humility.

Blue, the color of the heavens, and purple the emblem of royalty, and the scarlet of life-giving blood – these are colors with significance to both Christians and Jews. As a reminder of God’s covenant with His people, He adorned His plan of redemption with pomegranates – a symbol of His mercy.

For centuries, the bronze pomegranates of the temple have represented a symbol of the shared faith of Jews and Christians. Yet this has been overshadowed by the exile of Yeshua’s people to Babylon and his subsequent rejection by his own people. Though it may seem like a tragedy, this does not mark the end of the story – there is still hope for a shared future.

“So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean?
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?

Romans 11: 11-15 (ESV)

The Bible’s references to pomegranates are powerful and meaningful, and they tell us much about the wisdom that ancient cultures held. Pomegranates have been considered symbols of fertility, abundance, and hope throughout the ages. 

From a literal perspective, the pomegranate is a reminder of how much we can give and share with those around us. 

From a figurative perspective, it is a sign of our faith and our trust in the divine order of things. 

Understanding the significance of the pomegranate in the Bible can help us to appreciate its significance and gain insight into the traditions and principles that were important among ancient peoples. 

As we reflect on the importance of the pomegranate throughout history, let us remember that the foundations of our faith today are still rooted in these same ancient traditions.

You may enjoy this video on the significance of pomegranates in the Bible by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

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ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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