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Sycamore Tree


The Greek word sūkomoros means fig-mulberry because, by nature, it is a blend of fig-tree and mulberry tree. It resembles fig in its fruit, and the mulberry in its leaves. The name sycamore was common for the trees with similar leaves. Fig, mulberry, and sycamore are often mentioned in the Bible.

As an ancient tree, the Sycamore gained various symbolisms like strength, protection, reliability, and clarity in different religions and cultures; the tree had long, low spreading, and strong branches making it convenient for people to climb and look down on the road, thus affording Zacchaeus a full and clear view of Jesus. Because of Zacchaeus’ story, the Sycamore became a symbol of a ‘clear vision of Jesus’ in Christianity.

Sycamore trees were abundant in the Jordan Valley and other parts of Palestine. But their fruits were low class and were poor people’s food. The sycamore produced fruit for living, shade for people during hot weather, and durable wood for multiple usage (1 Kgs 10:27). As noted earlier, the Sycamore belongs to the family of fig trees. The Fig tree shade was said to be a spot for study and reflection on Holy Scripture. Jesus found Nathaniel doing so under a fig tree (Jn 1:48). Zacchaeus received the fruit of salvation while he was sitting on a fig-like tree, the Sycamore tree that yielded inferior quality produce.


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