The Bible is rich with symbolism which mostly touches on ordinary things. For instance, if you look at the parable of the sower or the rich fool, the Bible intends to bring clarity in deeper things of the kingdom through simple, understandable objects. Fruits are some of the objects often cited in the Bible to portray different meanings depending on the context.
Many of the fruits the Bible refers to were those found in ancient Israel such as figs, olives, apples, and pomegranates (but not bananas, for example). To discover what the Bible meant when it spoke about the different fruits, here is a quick run on a few of the top passages.
What You'll Learn Today
Symbol of the Result of Something
In Psalm 128:2, the Bible says,
“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”
In this context, the fruit is used to show the outcome of one’s labor. It shows that as people work and put effort into things they do, the rewards of labor would satisfy them.
In the same context, the fruit is again used in Proverbs but to portray the opposite of success. In Proverbs 1:31, the Bible says,
“they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.”
While the fruit in Proverbs is still the outcome, in this case, it is a bad fruit which captures the outcome of the evil ways.
There are several other passages in the New Testament that also speak of the fruit. In Galatians 5:19-23, the Bible talks of the fruit of the flesh and of the Spirit.
The bad fruit is that of the flesh while the good fruit is that of the Spirit. People who walk in the flesh will experience an outcome that encompasses fornication, idolatry, uncleanliness, hatred, and other undesirable attributes.
On the contrary, those who walk in the Spirit will experience joy, kindness, self-control, long suffering, and such like fruits that we bear when we are in line with God’s requirements.
Symbol of Prosperity
Throughout the Bible, the overriding theme is that of righteousness and holiness. In Psalm 1:1-3, the Bible says,
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or set foot on the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season.”
The fruit that is spoken of here is that of prosperity. When a person meditates on the Word of God and follows the teachings of scripture, the outcome is prosperity that is godly and holy.
In the same way, Proverbs 8:1-20, talks of a fruit that is described using different adjectives including prosperity, enduring wealth, honor, and riches.
However, the prosperity is not totally earthly, part of it could be riches in the spiritual realms that come from growing wisdom in God.
A Symbol of Generational Offspring
In the Old Testament, there are several verses that mention the fruit of the womb. This means children or offspring born from the person in the context. In the Book of Deuteronomy 28:4, the Bible says,
“The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.”
The passage of scripture combines the fruit of the body, that of the ground, and that of animals.
Contextually, this would mean offspring from animals, humans, and the yield of crops. God desires that his creation bring forth offspring and yield after his command.
A Symbol of Visual Identity
In many of the parables Jesus spoke, his teachings were to bring us to a plain knowledge of the kingdom. Whether he wanted to rebuke us or encourage us, he would pick a few things that helped us to see things clearly. In Matthew 7:16, the Bible says,
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”
In this case, the fruit is the visual part of the hidden identity. It is the expression of nature that is inward. For instance, to a Christian, the fruit would be the evidence that they have Christ living in them.
The blessings that Christians experience are the outcome of Christ who lives in them.
A Symbol of Salvation
In all the Gospel accounts from Matthew through to Luke, there is a narration of the Parable of the Sower. In Matthew 13:23, the Bible says,
“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
In each of these mentions including Mark 4:20 and Luke 8:14-15, the Bible emphasizes on the fruit of salvation.
When the Word of God finds good soil, it bears fruits and yields. This is in sharp contrast to the other types of soil that do not foster growth and productivity in salvation.
The Symbol of Praise and Worship
As we worship the Lord and give thanks to him, the Bible likens that to the fruit of our lips. In the Book of Isaiah 57:19, the Bible says,
“creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD, “and I will heal him.”
The same is repeated in Hebrews 13:15 where the Bible urges us to continually offer the fruit of lips which is the sacrifice of praise.
Fruit has a lot of symbolism in the Bible in addition to what is discussed above. However, most of scriptures will use a context that the reader can easily understand.
For instance, some passages may talk about the fruit in context of witnessing while others may use the word fruit to refer to new Christian converts. Whatever the case, fruit has one of the largest symbolisms in the scripture.