The Olive Tree Allegory

Treating the Decaying Olive Tree by Pruning and Digging

Jacob 5:1

Jacob explains that the allegory is quoted from the writing of a prophet named Zenos, who wrote on the brass plates.

Behold, my brethren, do ye not remember to have read the words of the prophet Zenos, which he spake unto the house of Israel, saying:

Jacob 5:2–3

The House of Israel is compared to to an aging and decaying olive tree.

Hearken, O ye house of Israel, and hear the words of me, a prophet of the Lord. For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive– tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay.

Jacob 5:4–5

The master of the vineyard, noticing the decay, prunes it and nurtures the olive tree.

And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard went forth, and he saw that his olive–tree began to decay; and he said:

“I will prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it, that perhaps it may shoot forth young and tender branches, and it perish not.”

And it came to pass that he pruned it, and digged about it, and nourished it according to his word.

Jacob 5:6

The tree starts producing new offshoots, but the top of the tree begins to die.

And it came to pass that after many days it began to put forth somewhat a little, young and tender branches; but behold, the main top thereof began to perish.