Bethlehem olive wood is heavy, dense and durable and it has distinctive colors that range in nuances of red and creamy pigments with irregular gray, brown, and wild black lines.
The olive tree is native to the Holy Land where it has been cultivated ever since ancient times. According to historians, the first olive groves took root in the Holy Land and along the coast of the eastern Mediterranean around 4,000 B.C.
The Olive Tree has both a sentimental and religious significance to all nations and all religions. In the Old Testament, olive oil was used to anoint prophets and kings, and to light the lamps at the temple of Jerusalem, the house of God. For nourishment, healing, cleansing, lighting, and symbolic purposes, olive oil was very important. According to the Bible, it is believed that Jesus prayed underneath an Olive Tree in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper.
This sacred tree is still in existence today. The Bible repeatedly refers to the Olive Tree as a symbol of peace, fertility, and prosperity. In the story of Noah's Ark, a branch from an Olive Tree was brought back to the Ark by Noah's Dove symbolizing peace. Also, on Palm Sunday, pilgrims carry Olive Wood branches commemorating the Lord's entry into Jerusalem. Thus, the Olive Tree became a dominant symbol of the Holy Land.
“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever”