Olive wood from Jerusalem
Authentic Olive wood products make the ideal souvenir or Christian gift from the Holy Land, not just because the wood is ideal for chiseling in so many ways, but also due to the special Scriptural significance tied to the olive tree.
There are myriad references to olive trees in the Bible, starting with Genesis 8:11 where Noah sends the dove from the ark a second time, and it returns bearing a freshly plucked olive leaf. Hereafter, the olive leaf became a symbol of the end of GOD's wrath and the start of a clean slate. A symbol of peace between GOD and man.
Further connotations with the olive tree as referenced in the Bible include Prosperity : "But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of GOD. I will always trust in GOD's unfailing love." Psalm 52:8 (NLT) The olive tree also features in Deuteronomy 6:10-11 as part of the "good things" that awaited the Israelites in the Promised Land, and likewise in Deuteronomy 8:8 (ESV): "...a land of olive trees and honey..."
GOD singled out the olive tree as a means of blessing HIS chosen people, in both the spiritual and physical sense (providing nourishment, economical growth and even the shavings was burnt for warmth). "I, the LORD, once called them a thriving olive tree, beautiful to see and full of good fruit." (Jeremiah 11:16, NLT) Yet we know that the blessings promised to the descendents of Abraham, is also meant for all nations of the world. "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed..." (Genesis 22:18, KJV)
We derive the symbol of Fertility from Psalm 128:3 "Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table." (NIV) Indeed, the olive tree is known to remain prosperous for centuries by shooting new branches from its roots. Once the trunk grows old and the branches are trimmed, it may look like a lifeless stump, but new shoots start growing just the next year and before you know it the new branches are clothed in a wealth of olives.
This picture brings us to the 'special shoot' from David's lineage who carried the SPIRIT of the LORD. Isaiah 11:1 refers to JESHUA as such: "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." (NIV) Jeremiah 23:5 and 33:15, as well as Zechariah 3:8 and 6:12 also project the image of the MESSIAH as a shoot or a branch bringing righteousness to the world.
John 15 includes us in the picture of the fruitful tree "He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." (verse 2, NIV) "If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (verse 5, NIV) "This is to my FATHER's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." (verse 8, NIV)
And Romans 11:11-24 teaches us about the relationship between Jew and Gentile, illustrating how GOD let the gospel spill over to the nations by removing some of the branches of the cultivated olive tree (symbolic of Israel) and grafting in branches of believing Gentiles (wild olive shoots). JESHUA has become believers' Jewish 'branch' and therefore they share in the nourishment as long as they remain in HIM. From around the world, more and more believers are starting to discover these roots and endeavor to bless, in turn, the 'tree' from which their blessing stems.
Let the story of the seed of salvation unfold in the beauty of olive wood… Our Jerusalem-based olive wood store stocks a vast range of products that are hand-crafted by Christian artisans in Bethlehem, the town known as the cradle of the Christian faith. Olive wood nativity sets that are made in JESUS’ birth place carry a special significance as a Christian gift that is shipped to you directly from the Holy Land.
Echoing the events of the night Joseph and Mary made a humble bed of hay for baby JESUS, nativity sets make the perfect Christmas gift, but with its decorative appeal, symbolism and heritage, it's not something you put away after the holiday season - to the contrary, they make a great showpiece display in any home, church or even place of business and therefore are favored as year-round Christian gifts.
Our selection of olive wood nativity sets caters for a wide audience and includes musical pieces – we indeed stock something for everyone!
The carving of olive wood products is a craft that has been handed down from generation to generation by Christian families living in Bethlehem and typically, a professional artisan will undergo between six and seven years of schooling.
Nativity sets are among the most popular souvenirs bought by visitors to the Holy Land and knowing that the Bible refers to JESUS as the righteous shoot or branch destined to bring justice to the world, we believe you'll agree that an olive wood nativity set is an ideal medium to portray the story of the MESSIAH's birth. These sets allow you to take a piece of the Holy Land home with you as constant reminder that JESUS isn’t simply a literary figure, but that 'traces' of HIS footsteps can still be found today.
Olive wood, as full of oil as it is of spiritual significance, is ideal for carving due to its quality, attractive grain and durability. Stemming from trees that are hundreds of years old, olive wood presents you with a unique, superior quality of wood. The oily make-up of the wood is naturally protective against decay and your olive wood ornaments will age beautifully, giving you all the more reason to invest in it as an heirloom.
A finished carving is sanded and covered with a varnish coating, both for protection and to bring out the texture of the grain. Olive wood products do not require much care, and can simply be cleaned using a slightly damp cloth.
The Scriptures likens olive oil with Joy and Gladness: "Therefore GOD, your GOD, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions..." ( Psalm 45:7, ESV) Also, JESHUA was sent to bring us "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:3, KJV). We trust that our nativity sets, as olive wood home gifts , will bring delight and happiness into your house as you are reminded of the story that brought unending hope and joy to the world!
These olive wood cups are hand-made in Bethlehem, the birth place of the ONE who instituted the LORD's Supper in remembrance of the sacrifice HE made for us. Our fine-crafted chalices are ideal for church congregation use, and as such we provide the option of personalizing your communion cup with the laser engraved logo of your ministry.
Our olive wood store provides chalices craftedby Christian carpenters who live in Bethlehem and come from a long line of artisans handing this specialized skill down from generation to generation.
Crafted just a few kilometers from the 'Upper Room' in Jerusalem where the Last Supper took place and the observance of communion originated, these LORD’s Supper cups are not just aesthetic artworks that show off the beautiful grain of the wood along the curves of the cup, but their heritage and origin add an additional layer of appeal. How precious it is to celebrate the LORD's Supper using an olive wood cup created in the town of JESUS' birth. A cup that is made from the wood of trees that grow in the places where JESUS once walked...
Following in the footsteps of JESUS or following HIS example in breaking the bread and drinking the wine, is at the essence of communion, and it's in the 'Upper Room' that JESUS set this example: "While they were eating, JESUS took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'" (Matthew 26:26-28, NIV)
We offer a variety of communion cups, including related items – from plain chalices to laser engraved designs featuring images such as the Holy City of Jerusalem and The LORD's Prayer. Sets include pairs of large cups, bread trays, communion wine as well as a collection of smaller cups. While they are a great supplement to communion services at your church, they also make great olive wood souvenirs or olive wood home gifts, to be used for display or at special events.
With many trees still bearing olives in abundance while they are hundreds of years old, the regenerative ability of this tree is fascinating. A trunk may become old and appear to have died once pruned, but come the right season new shoots will start growing and eventually blossom into a wealth of olives. The principle of apparent death producing new life reminds of the crucifixion of CHRIST as well as our call to follow HIS example - dying to self to gain life in abundance!
Olive tree trunks have a tendency to hollow out due to deterioration of the interior, yet they don’t lose the ability to produce fruit. This presents yet another parallel that can be drawn with the model relationship between GOD and man: Being emptied as a result of internal decay is actually the ideal state for being filled with the new life that's found in GOD alone.
May you be blessed in following the example of JESUS during your times of communion, and may your cup of blessing overflow as David's did.
Olive Wood cross necklace
Our wide selection of olive wood crosses presents one of the primary symbols of Christianity in precious olive wood, made by hand in Bethlehem, the town where JESUS was born, and shipped directly to you from Jerusalem. Olive wood crosses make ideal Christmas gifts, but since we need the deliverance found in HIS victory on the cross every day, they are also popular year-round Christian gifts and olive wood ornaments.
A broad variety of crosses are stocked in our olive wood store, from small key chains and comfort crosses with sackcloth bags to larger stand-alone crosses and hanging wall versions, as well as a special section for olive wood pendants, including an assortment of cross necklaces. Various decorative designs are used to complement the theme of the cross, as well as augment the beautifully unique grain of the wood.
The wood used for these crosses are sourced from pruned branches, meaning it is not harvested with the intention of creating olive wood items, but basically provides an outlet for the cut-offs produced by the essential process of trimming. Just like the pruning process described in John 15 where GOD acts as the Gardener that trims back the dead areas in our lives so we can bear fruit, the olive tree is a natural example of pruning in action. The old branches are cut off, making way for new life to come, but instead of wasting what could be seen as 'has-beens', the nation of Israel learnt the concept of creating "beauty out of ashes" from their REDEEMER.
Olive wood trees are native to the Holy Land and have been part of the scenery as the events of the Bible played out, surviving (and thriving) still today to stand testimony to the longevity of GOD's Word.
In Matthew 26, we read of JESUS desperately praying to HIS FATHER in the garden of Gethsemane, surrounded by olive trees. The garden of Gethsemane is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives and in Hebrew, its name means 'oil press'. It's assumed that there was an actual oil press in the garden, but in light of GOD's love for weaving symbolism into HIS Word, it can hardly be an incidental connection that JESUS was so hard pressed that night, knowing HE was soon to become downtrodden and broken for our transgressions - just like an olive fruit is squashed in order to harvest that precious oil that brings healing, anointing and light to the world!
Whenever you admire the crafty details of one of our olive wood products, may you be reminded of the GOD who planned everything to the finest detail when HE made the world. The ONE who weaves the story of salvation into every little thing. The ONE who was hard pressed so we could be blessed, died to bring about eternal life for HIS shoots and teaches us that beauty and worth can be generated from something the world is inclined to throw to the side!
Related Olive Wood Products
The Jerusalem Gift Shop also offers a variety of other olive wood products that make great Holy Land souvenirs, Christmas gifts and all-round Christian gifts.
Make your memories last longer with beautiful olive wood ornaments or olive wood souvenirs. We've got great gifting inspiration and all the treasures from our olive wood store can be shipped directly from Jerusalem to a multitude of countries world-wide.
Shop for personal decorative items in our olive wood pendants section - we stock crosses, Jerusalem crosses and a host of other spiritual symbols that you can keep close to your heart.
Olive wood home gifts are a great means of decorating your dwelling place with the rich history and Scriptural significance of the olive tree and many of our kitchen utensils and office tools add an element of purpose to the aesthetics of your purchase. Or bring the essence of the Holy Land into your home and those of your loved ones with handy olive wood boxes that are great for storage as well as brightening up a room, desk or drawer.
The olive wood souvenirs you find in The Jerusalem Gift Shop today has been centuries in the making. The trees from which they originate have been around for hundreds of years, due to the regenerative ability of the olive tree. When they are pruned to induce new life, the trimmings are stored in a suitable environment for an extensive period to dry. Storage in a dark environment is ideal to keep the temperature level and eliminate exposure to moisture. This process ensures the wood dries without splitting or cracking, making it perfect for carving. The craft of olive wood carving is passed down through generations and it can take between six and seven years for an artisan to be fully trained for the art. Modern day drilling enables quicker carving of the rough outline of an object (amounts to about 15% of the process) but the remainder is a labor-intensive process requiring the skill of multiple artisans. For certain products, completion could add up to 45 days. Each olive wood ornament is indeed a work of art and the involved process of producing these Christian gifts is reflected in the finished product.
When you purchase or extend the gift of olive wood ornaments, souvenirs and the like, you are not just investing in the Holy Land economy but also in an item that has a history and a story to tell.
They are not factory mass-made, but carry the markings of people who dedicate their lives to this craft.
The parallels between the olive tree and Biblical concepts seem never ending. Like the fact that their roots system is so extensive that they spread much further below than the leaves do above ground. This ensures they have sufficient moisture and allows them to thrive in the desert beyond expectation. One can't help picturing the "blossoming desert" described in Isaiah 35:1. Just another way in which the olive tree brings GOD's Word and HIS promise of restoration to life!