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6 Hope of Israel Ministries BIBLE Correspondence Course Lesson 1

have nothing to do with the teachings of substitute other meanings to a few of the words
YEHOVAH God and the Messiah! in Jeremiah’s passages to arrive at the
In fact, they could turn to many conclusion that he is speaking about getting
scriptures that made it quite clear that some timber (cut wood) from the forest, carving
YEHOVAH God was not pleased with such it into the shape of an idol, and then plating it
idolatrous celebrations. over with silver and gold. In brief, they claim
2. One such command is found in that the subject of Jeremiah is not a tree (or trees)
Jeremiah 10:1-5. Also Jeremiah 10:8-9. or “tree worship,” but a carved idol made out of
COMMENT: In recent years a debate wood that has been gilded with gold and silver.
has occurred over whether the Christmas tree (or In effect, the translators who adopt such an idea
have gotten rid of the “tree worship” theme that
the simple use of the Hebrew demands, and have
substituted it with a theme simply condemning
the making of particular types of idols.
3. Read Jeremiah 10:1-5 and 8-9 again
in other translations that you might have.
COMMENT: When Jeremiah said
“they are a tree cut down from the forest,” the
word for “tree” is a Hebrew word that ordinarily
means a LIVING TREE that grows in the
ground. The “trees” in the Garden of Eden,
including that of the knowledge of good and
evil, as well as the tree of life, were indicated as
being ordinary “trees” by the use of this same
word. While it is true that this word can
sometimes mean a block of wood, it cannot refer
to such in this case because Jeremiah said to cut a
tree “from the forest.” A forest is made up of
many trees -- NOT many “blocks of wood” or
“pieces of timber”! The true context in these
passages of Jeremiah clearly show that he is
really talking about a TREE that one can cut
down -- and that it (the tree) can be decked or
adorned with gold or silver and/or blue or purple
Christmas trees are used in celebrating the birth There is a further way to show that the
of the Messiah. Yet history shows that their use context of Jeremiah is speaking of a LITERAL
predates the birth of the Messiah by 2000 years! TREE. He states that the “tree,” which is decked
with ornaments and is nailed in place, is like a
something similar to it) has been singled out by “palm tree” that is upright (secured with
Jeremiah. hammered metal) so that it remains rigid and
If one leaves alone the simple context erect. This is what Jeremiah wrote using the
with all the SUBJECTS kept in view, one is simple meaning of the Hebrew words as a guide.
clearly left with the impression that Jeremiah is 4. Where else in the Bible is a palm tree
condemning the idolatrous act of “tree worship.” mentioned? Read Judges 4:5. A “palm tree” is
There are some translators, however, who certainly being discussed by Jeremiah because

The Pagan Origins of Christmas
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