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by Wayne Blank
Almonds were known to the people of Israel very early in Bible History. Almonds were included as a gift from Jacob/Israel to the Prime Minister of Egypt, who was, unknown to Jacob, Jacob's own long-lost son Joseph (see Coat Of Many Colors):
"And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds" (Genesis 43:11 KJV)
The lampstand (which is the correct translation - candlesticks were well-known to the King James Version translators in 1611 England, but candles were unknown to the people of ancient Israel) had ornate oil bowls in the shape of almond blossoms:
"And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick."
Aaron's rod was made of an almond branch; when others challenged Aaron's God-given authority, yet another miraculous sign was done with it:
"And The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod. And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. And thou shalt lay them up in the Tabernacle of the congregation [see also The Tabernacle In The Wilderness] before the testimony, where I will meet with you. And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you."
Fact Finder: Aaron was a Levite. What were the responsibilities given to each of the divisions of the Levites?