The Olive Tree in the Bible: Symbolism, Significance, and Verses

The olive tree holds great importance in the Bible, with numerous references to it throughout both the Old and New Testaments. It has been used as a symbol of peace, prosperity, and God’s provision for his people. Let’s explore the significance of the olive tree in the Bible, and some of the most notable verses about it.

The Symbolism of the Olive Tree

The olive tree is a symbol of many things in the Bible, including:

  • Peace: In Genesis 8:11, a dove brings an olive branch to Noah, signalling the end of the flood and the arrival of peace.
  • Prosperity: In Deuteronomy 8:8, God promises to bring the Israelites to a land of wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, and olive trees and honey.
  • Anointing: Olive oil was used for anointing kings and priests in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 16:13, Exodus 30:22-25).
  • Healing: In James 5:14-15, believers are told to anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person.
  • The Holy Spirit: The oil that was used to anoint kings and priests in the Old Testament is seen as a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament (Acts 10:38).

Verses About the Olive Tree

Here are some of the most significant verses about the olive tree in the Bible:

  • Genesis 8:11 – “When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.”
  • Deuteronomy 8:8 – “a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey.”
  • Psalm 52:8 – “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.”
  • Psalm 128:3 – “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.”
  • Zechariah 4:11-14 – “Then I asked the angel, ‘What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?’…These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.”
  • Romans 11:17-24 – “If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root…do not be arrogant, but tremble.”
  • James 5:14-15 – “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”


The olive tree has a rich and symbolic history in the Bible, representing everything from peace to prosperity to anointing. It is a reminder of God’s provision and care for his people, and is often used to describe our relationship with Him. So the next time you see an olive tree, remember the significance it holds in the Bible, and the many ways in which it points us to God.