Keywords

Book of Mormon, Allegory of Olive Tree, Jacob 5

Abstract

In chapter 5 of the book of Jacob, we find a unique text commonly referred to as the allegory of the olive tree. President Joseph Fielding Smith once said that “the parable of Zenos . . . is one of the greatest parables ever recorded.”1 Composed of seventy-seven verses, this allegory is thought to follow the progression of a particular olive tree and its offspring in the Lord’s vineyard. Many readers have commented on the special nature of the allegory, with studies ranging from theological meaning, to linguistic comparisons, to actual viticultural practices. Though these studies differ in content, they are similar in one respect: each explores and explains the relationship between the tree and the Lord of the vineyard. This approach is the result of verse 3 concerning the tree itself: “I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive-tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard” (Jacob 5:3). The olive tree, its offshoots, and their interaction with the Lord of the vineyard are the central features of these studies.

Original Publication Citation

The Religious Educator 7/1 (2006), 35-51

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2006-1

Publisher

Religious Studies Center

Language

English

College

Religious Education

Department

Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Instructor

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