Willows Of The Brook
by Wayne Blank
"ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook"
Willows were among the types of branches used during the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the God-commanded Holy Days of God's people that everyone on earth is going to observe after Christ's return ("And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, The Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith The Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles," Zechariah 14:17-19 KJV)
"Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a Feast unto The Lord seven days [see Christ's Feast of Tabernacles]: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath [see Christ's Eighth Day]. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before The Lord your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto The Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. (Leviticus 23:39-41 KJV)
Willows were spoken of as among the water plants. The "behemoth" (Job 40:15 KJV) described here was likely the elephant or hippopotamus, but there were also "dragons" among the willows (see Dragons).
"He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about" (Job 40:21-22 KJV)
The people of Israel and Judah also knew the willows of Babylon (known today as Iraq, the place where The Lord sent them as punishment for their disobedience to Him) in the time of their exile (see Why Babylon? and The Galilee Captivity).
"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion [see also Who, What or Where Is Zion?]. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing The Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." (Psalm 137:1-6 KJV)
God's people, and in due time all of the rest of humanity, "shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses" as made possible by the "living waters" (see the Fact Finder question below).
"Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith The Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses." (Isaiah 44:1-4 KJV)
Fact Finder: How is the term "living waters" used for the Holy Spirit?