Should fruit trees be destroyed?


Moses told his people that when they attacked a city, they shouldn’t cut down the city’s trees. Or at least not the fruit trees. That would be silly; the trees aren’t your enemies. Trees are useful, and fruit trees in particular are most useful when they haven’t been cut down.

God punished Jeremiah’s enemies when they called him a fruit tree and plotted to cut him off and destroy him.

Jesus told a parable where he seemed to approve of a man deciding not to cut down a fig tree even though it hadn’t produced any fruit for three years. (That man Jesus approved of was open to cutting the tree down if it was still unproductive after another year of special care, though…)


The prophet Elisha encouraged the king of Israel and his allies, telling them that with God’s help, they would successfully overthrow their Moabite enemies. He said they would stop up all the Moabites’ springs, ruin all their good fields, and cut down all their good trees. Apparently God thinks spitefully cutting down the enemy’s trees is a good thing now.

In fact, God destroys fruit trees himself. When he was mad at his own people, he said he was going to ruin their fig trees. And Jesus, who the Bible says is God, once made a fig tree wither because he was mad at the tree itself for not giving him fruit out of season.

When God destroyed the Amorites, he described them as fruit trees. And he gave Nebuchadnezzar a vision where an angel of God had a big fruit tree cut down. The Bible tells us to follow God’s example, so clearly he wants us to cut down fruit trees. Otherwise he wouldn’t have ruined all those fig trees, or portrayed himself as destroying fruit trees.

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