What Do Cherries Symbolize In The Bible?

The Bible mentions various fruits several times both in the Old and New Testament. These include figs, melons, olives, apples and grapes. 

While cherries and cherry trees have various spiritual symbolisms, they are not mentioned in the Bible. 

In this post, we discuss the spiritual meaning of cherries. We also touch a bit on the meanings of various other fruits in the Bible. 

Are Cherries Mentioned In The Bible?

Are Cherries Mentioned In The Bible

I have checked all major Bible translations and there isn’t a single mention of cherries in any of them. 

Only the unconventional translation – the Message Bible – mentions cherries. This version of the Bible replaces figs with cherries in a couple verses. 

Habakkuk 3:17 Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted… 

Another mention is in Songs Of Solomon Chapter 2: 

…Lilacs are exuberantly purple and perfumed, and cherry trees fragrant with blossoms. 

The Message Bible is controversial in both protestant and Catholic denominations, so I would still say that cherries are not mentioned in the Bible. 

That said, cherries were likely present even during the Old Testament period. The first mention of cherries in literature is in Theophrastus’ book, Historia Plantarum or the History of Plants.

The book was written between 350 and 287 B.C. In it, the author says cherries have been cultivated for hundreds of years. 

So it’s highly likely they were present in ancient Israel. 

Do Cherries Have Spiritual Meaning?

Even though they are not in the Bible, cherries have several spiritual meanings depending on culture and context. 

In most cultures and regions, cherries are associated with beauty, good fortune and abundance. 

Cherries are also often associated with the beauty and innocence of youth. It is a common symbol of virginity. 

Meaning of Fruits In The Bible

Meaning of Fruits In The Bible

The Bible talks about ‘fruits’ in several places. We can safely assume this encompasses all kinds of edible fruits including cherries.

Fruits in the Bible generally stand for the character of a Christian. The famous ‘fruits of the Holy Spirit’ are the attributes’ that a true Christian should exhibit. 

Here’s what Jesus says in Matthew 7:16-17. 

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.  

So whether we are talking about cherries, figs, or grapes, they all stand for Christian character. 

A bad Christian will be known by their bad fruit, while a true Christian produces good and sweet fruit. 

In some verses, fruits also represent God’s blessings and abundance. In the Garden of Eden, there were all sorts of fruits for Adam and Eve to eat. 

Deuteronomy mentions several fruits to indicate the abundance in the promised land. 

Deuteronomy 8:8 …a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey…

It’s a safe assumption that the land was also abundant in other fruits like cherries. 

What Do Figs Symbolize In The Bible?

Figs are some of the most commonly mentioned fruits in the Bible. 

Similar to other fruits, figs usually indicate abundance, wealth and blessings wherever they are mentioned. 

They also symbolize the character and belief of people. In Mark, Jesus curses a fig tree because it does not bear any fruits, symbolizing people who don’t believe, and thus do not bear any spiritual fruits. 

The next morning, the tree had withered. 

The use of figs to represent character and fruitfulness also shows up in Jeremiah where the prophet has a vision of bad figs and good figs. 

Jeremiah 24:2 One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten…

The fig tree itself also has several mentions in the Bible, where it stands for wealth, health and protection. 

The first famous mention is in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve use leaves from the fig tree to hide their nakedness.

Here’s another example in 1 Kings 4:25.

And Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beersheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon. 

What Do Grapes Symbolize In The Bible?

Another fruit mentioned several times in the Bible is the grape. 

Ancient Israelites made wine from grapes, so they were very familiar with the fruit. It’s no wonder it’s used so heavily in the Bible for symbolism. 

Grapes and grapevines are mentioned repeatedly to symbolize fruitfulness. Here’s an example from John 1:5. 

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Here’s how Joseph is described in Genesis 49:22 as he is blessed by his father, Jacob. 

“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.

Grapes are also mentioned many times in the Bible to symbolize abundance and God’s blessings. The absence of grapes on vines can also symbolize the lack of God’s favor. 

Here’s an example in Jeremiah 8:13 

…there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them.

Bottom Line

Fruits are not always easy to grow. Most require careful cultivation over the years if you are going to get any produce. 

That’s why fruits in the Bible are a great metaphor for character. You have to carefully tend to your faith to bear fruits. 

Because fruits, including, are usually sweet, nutritious and wonderful things to eat, it also makes sense that they represent God’s blessings. 

Next time you come across a fruit when reading or listening to the Bible, try to figure out which of the above two main meanings it represents. 

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