Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Messiah’s Crucifixion Tree
Most Christians have it firmly implanted in their minds that there were three crosses at Calvary -- the center one holding the crucified Messiah while the crosses on either side contained the two thieves. It may come as a surprise to realize that the Bible nowhere states that the Messiah was crucified on a Roman cross! In fact, the Bible clearly reveals that the Messiah and the two criminals were crucified together on a living, growing tree -- fulfilling detailed prophecy and symbolism found in the Old Testament.!
by John D. Keyser
“And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree...” (Acts 13:29, KJV).
We all know the traditional crucifixion scene that depicts three Roman crosses -- the Messiah in the middle and a criminal on either side. However, if you examine the Bible you will soon realize that it nowhere states that there were three Roman crosses. In fact, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. You might ask: What difference does it make? The answer is that YEHOVAH God’s plan is supremely detailed down to the smallest prophetic point for one very important reason -- to point unequivocally to the only true Messiah.
As YEHOVAH God wove prophetic pictures and patterns into the Bible to reveal His Messiah, He provided His holy spirit to enable man to understand their meaning and spiritual significance. A deep study of the Bible, coupled with YEHOVAH’s spirit of truth to bring understanding, reveals YEHOVAH’s beautiful and precise plan. Knowing who our Creator is -- and what our Savior has done for us -- is a solid foundation of truth, not blind faith. Total trust in YEHOVAH God comes from knowing who He is and what He has done for us. The greater our understanding, the greater will be our trust -- and the closer our personal relationship with Him will be.
Therefore, as we strive to gain a deeper understanding of the prophetic fulfillment of the crucifixion, an accurate picture is essential. One of the fundamental elements is the means of redemption. What light does the Bible shed on the actual scene of the crucifixion as it occurred nearly 2,000 years ago? And how does the Biblical/Hebraic picture enhance our understanding of the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy?
The Crucifixion Tree and the N.T.
The Bible DOES NOT support the traditional idea of three crosses. As a matter of fact, certain versions of the Bible -- such as the KJV, the Jerusalem Bible and the NIV -- more accurately translate the following passages by referring to a crucifixion “TREE.” Notice –
"The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead -- whom you had killed by hanging him on a TREE" (Acts 5:30, NIV).
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a TREE" (Acts 5:30, KJV).
"It was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, but it was you who had him executed by hanging on a TREE" (Acts 5:30, Jerusalem Bible).
"We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a TREE..." (Acts 10:39, NIV).
"And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a TREE" (Acts 10:39, KJV).
"Now I, and those with me, can witness to everything he did throughout the countryside of Judaea and in Jerusalem itself: and also to the fact that they killed him by hanging him on a TREE" (Acts 10:39, Jerusalem Bible).
"When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the TREE and laid him in a tomb" (Acts 13:29, NIV).
"When they had carried out everything that scripture foretells about him they took him down from the TREE and buried him in a tomb" (Acts 13:29, Jerusalem Bible).
"And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the TREE, and laid him in a sepulchre" (Acts 13:29, KJV).
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a TREE'” (Galatians 3:13, NIV).
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by being cursed for our sake, since scripture says: Cursed be everyone who is hanged on a TREE" (Galatians 3:13, Jerusalem Bible).
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a TREE" (Galatians 3:13, KJV).
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the TREE..." (1 Peter 2:24, NIV).
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the TREE..." (1 Peter 2:24, KJV).
The Greek word xulou (or xulon) is translated “tree” in each of the above passages. This Greek word refers to a LIVING TREE -- not a Roman cross! We should note that even as Yeshua the Messiah was being led to his crucifixion, he made a direct reference to this act being carried out “when the TREE is green” (Luke 23:31, NIV). The descriptive Greek word means “full of sap.” Such a tree is clearly living.
This is confirmed by Nancy L. Kuehl:
"Whatever one believes, we must believe Jesus was hanged alive on a living tree. The evidence is overwhelming. From the New Covenant, we have several references to it. Never is the word xulon translated as the 'cross.' The word for 'cross' would have been stauros, and even then the Greek word only reflects the upright nature of the tree! The word xulon, however, is the same that Luke uses in 23:31 for 'moist wood' and refers to a living tree! The Hebrew equivalent would be the 'ets (derived from 'atsah), which is also used as a term for 'gallows' in the book of Esther where Haman is 'hanged' (Esth. 5:14; 8:7). It is the same word used in Genesis 40:19 and Deuteronomy 21:22 to describe the hanging of an individual on a 'tree.' These 'gallows' DO NOT refer to a Roman cross. The word is even used to describe the fruit trees of the Garden of Eden, including the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the New Covenant, the disciples were quite clear about HOW Jesus was hanged, and it wasn't upon a Roman cross" (A Book of Evidence: The Trials and Execution of Jesus, Resource Publications, Eugene, OR, 2013, p. 199).
Some might ask, “What about the ‘cross’ that Simon had to carry for the Messiah to the crucifixion site on the Mount of Olives?” In reality this beam was not a Roman cross but rather a crossbar that was directly nailed to the crucifixion tree. According to The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible it was to this plank of wood that Yeshua was nailed at the wrists. (We should realize that the traditional depictions, showing nails through the hands, are physically impossible because the weight of the body would cause the nails to tear through the hands). The crossbar was then nailed to the TREE at which time the ankles were tied to the tree trunk.
"It is interesting to note," remarks Nancy L. Kuehl, "that the nailing of the feet is mentioned only once in the New Covenant (Luke 40); however, on closer examination we learn that the words 'and feet' have been interpolated from a late Greek manuscript. A few scholars, including Paulus [Das Leben Jesu, III, 669, 754], claim that his feet were not 'nailed.' The feet were usually tied with a rope to the tree" (A Book of Evidence, p. 195).
In certain passages in the Bible another Greek word -- stauros -- has been translated “cross.” According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, its primary meaning is “upright pole” or “stake.” However, it can also refer to a crossbar -- see The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 1, p. 1038. The same word, therefore, may refer to the CROSSBAR, the actual pole or TREE, or the crossbar/tree as a composite unit. Note the following –
"As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene...and put the cross [crossbar] on him and made him carry it behind Jesus" (Luke 23:26, NIV).
"Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross [crossbar]. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" (John 19:19, NIV).
The height of the tree trunk to which the Messiah was crucified can be estimated from the length of the hyssop branch, upon which a sponge soaked in sour wine was offered. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, pp. 1041-1042) estimates the reed was probably about three feet in length, thus making the height of the tree trunk from seven to nine feet.
There is a very interesting passage in the Book of John which highlights another aspect of the crucifixion –
"The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the BODIES [plural] should not remain on the CROSS [tree -- singular] on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away" (19:31, NIV).
Carefully note that the word “BODIES” is plural, whereas the word “CROSS” is singular. Here, the word stauros is translated “cross” and refers to the tree with three attached crossbars.
The New Testament records that the two criminals were crucified to the Messiah’s right and left -- see Luke 23:33. However, a careful study of the New Testament nowhere indicates that they were crucified on separate crosses. This can only mean that Yeshua and the two criminals were CRUCIFIED ON THE SAME TREE! One man was crucified on his right side and the other on his left side. The symbolic picture represented by this arrangement is truly significant and will be discussed later.
It is now easy to understand how these men could have conversed with each other despite their agony and difficulty in speaking! Now we can clearly see that the soldiers came first to one thief, second to the next thief, and lastly to the Messiah -- as they walked AROUND the tree breaking legs as necessary to hasten death!
Because Dr. Bullinger in his Companion Bible failed to understand that the Messiah was crucified on a living tree, he concocted a radical theory to try and explain how the Roman soldiers killed first the two robbers and last of all came to the Messiah in the middle to slay him. According to Bullinger there were actually four others besides Yeshua who were crucified that day. He claimed that the Bible was showing there were two others on each side of the Messiah who were crucified with him. His reasoning was as follows: Since the New Testament called those crucified with the Messiah both “robbers” (Matthew 27:38) and also “malefactors” (criminals) (Luke 23:32), Bullinger came to the erroneous conclusion that there were two “malefactors” and also two “robbers”! This is why Bullinger came to believe that the two malefactors on one side had their legs broken first and then the soldiers came to the Messiah in the middle of the two malefactors and the two robbers. While Bullinger’s hypothesis was ingenious, the Bible nowhere supports such an interpretation. In fact, all robbers are criminals (malefactors), but it is NOT true that all criminals are robbers. Luke simply used the generic term “malefactors” (criminals) to refer to the two robbers who were crucified with the Messiah.
However, Bullinger had a real point. How could the soldiers first break the legs of the two robbers and then come to Yeshua who was in the middle of them? Actually, the answer is quite simple! Notice what Ernest Martin wrote –
"Since we are told by the apostle John (who was an eyewitness to the crucifixion) that all three were crucified on ONE stauros (i.e. a single tree), it is easy to see how the Roman soldiers broke the legs of the robber in the Messiah’s right side (who had his back to the Messiah and was located on the northeast side of him) and then they broke the legs of the robber on the Messiah’s left side (who also had his back to the Messiah but was located on the southeast side of him). So, proceeding from the northeast side of the tree of crucifixion, the soldiers killed the first robber, went to the southeast side and killed the second robber, but they then came to the Messiah who was facing (let us say) westward towards his Father’s Temple. When they reached Yeshua they found him dead already" (Secrets of Golgotha, pp. 176-177).
All of this is perfectly logical and is actually what happened. There is no need to resort to the outlandish theories of Bullinger, or anyone else for that matter!
The apostle Paul makes the following statement when referring to the Messiah’s crucifixion: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a TREE” (Galatians 3:13). This is a direct reference to Deuteronomy 21:22-23, which says –
"And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the TREE, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance."
A controversy raged among the Pharisees as to whether this passage from the Old Testament refers to a man being hanged on a TREE before or after death. Based on humane considerations, the Pharisees interpreted this passage to mean that the criminal should be put to a quick death by strangulation -- followed by hanging. There is, however, evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Temple Scroll and Nahum Commentary) that this same passage was originally interpreted to mean that a criminal was hanged on a TREE as the method of execution.
According to the Temple Scroll (Column 64), those found guilty of certain capital offenses were killed by hanging on a tree:
"If a man informs against his people, and delivers up his people to a foreign nation, and does harm to his people, you shall hang him on a TREE and he shall die....And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death, and has defected into the midst of the nations, and has cursed his people and the children of Israel, you shall hang him also on the TREE, and he shall die" (Yadin, The Temple Scroll, p. 206).
According to the Sages, only blasphemers and idolaters were to be hanged on a tree -- though they abided by the more humane act of hanging after death. However, the Temple Scroll clearly shows that hanging on a tree could be used as a legitimate method of execution. Notice what Yigael Yadin says –
"It is possible...that hanging alive goes back to the Second Temple period as the legitimate interpretation of the Bible’s command to execute by “hanging,” and that it was only the later Pharisaic halachah which gave a different interpretation, and condemned the practice of stringing up a condemned man while still alive. There is in fact proof of this in the Aramaic Targum (of a sentence in Ruth) which dwells on the four methods of carrying out judicial sentences of death. It affirms that the fourth type, which is strangulation in rabbinic terminology, is indeed “hanging on a tree.” And the late Israeli scholar Professor J. Heinemann pointed out that this Targum preserves an ancient pre-Tannaitic (i.e. Before the mishnaic sages) tradition of punishment by actual hanging -- namely, with hanging as the cause of death" (The Temple Scroll, pp. 207-208).
In Addition to this, Yadin has reinterpreted the Nahum Commentary in light of the Temple Scroll to support the contention that the passage in Deuteronomy does indeed refer to hanging criminals alive on a TREE -- as practiced in ancient Israel. It is also a fact that crucifixion, as a form of hanging, was also practiced later in Israel’s history. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus crucified 800 rebellious Pharisees in the first century B.C. (Wars of the Jews, IV, 6). With this knowledge it is obvious what the Jewish leaders meant when they informed Pontius Pilate that they had a law, and by that law the Messiah must die:
"The Jews answered him, 'We have a law, and by that law he [Yeshua] ought to die because he made himself out to be the Son of God'” (John 19:7).
The Bible records that Pilate washed his hands of the entire affair because he knew the Messiah was innocent of any charge. He then handed the matter over to the religious leaders and stated: “See to it yourselves” (Matthew 27:24). Their response indicates they understood Pilate’s action as a statement made according to Jewish law -- absolving him from any responsibility for this action (Deuteronomy 21:1-9). In this fashion Yeshua the Messiah fulfilled prophecy according to Jewish law -- not Roman law (Matthew 5:17; 26:54).
In an interesting aside Melito, the well-known Bishop of Sardis during the second century A.D., referred to the TREE as the instrument of crucifixion: “Just as from a TREE came sin, so also from a TREE comes salvation.” It is apparent that the early Christians were well aware of the fact that the Messiah was crucified on a literal, living TREE. Also, it is a matter of historical record that before 326 A.D., the cross did not even exist as a Christian symbol, but was derived from paganism. For a fascinating discussion of the origin and history of the cross, read Babylon Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow.
The Two Trees
The fact that the evidence in support of the TREE -- rather than the Roman cross -- for the crucifixion of the Messiah is overwhelming opens the door to making a profound connection between the crucifixion TREE and the Tree of Life. As we have already seen, the Greek word xulou (or xulon) was used to refer to the crucifixion tree. In contrast, the Greek word dendron -- which refers to a living tree primarily known for its fruit -- was NEVER used in this way. Significantly, the same Greek word (xulou/xulon) that refers to the crucifixion tree is also used to refer to the Tree of Life in the Book of Revelation! Notice!
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7).
"...And on either side of the river was the tree of life....yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations" (Revelation 22:2).
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).
"...And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:19).
The use of the same Greek word confirms a DIRECT LINK between the Tree of Life and the crucifixion tree. That link, both LITERAL and SYMBOLIC, has been traced from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden to the crucifixion tree on the Mount of Olives.
The Lifting Up of the Messiah
There is evidence that Aaron’s rod, a branch from the Tree of Life, was planted on the Mount of Olives at the place of sin sacrifice, by King David. Even though Hezekiah later destroyed the copper serpent attached to its trunk, the tree remained for YEHOVAH God to work His ultimate redemptive plan for all humankind.
Yeshua the Messiah told Nicodemus: “...as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in him have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). We should remember that the use of the copper serpent attached to the rod was to provide healing and forgiveness to the Israelites. Both symbolic and literal meanings are here evident -- Yeshua was lifted up on the same standard! Just as the serpent was lifted up high so that all could see it, so too was the Messiah lifted up on the highest location in Jerusalem -- so that all could see him. And all who look to him find total spiritual healing and eternal life.
Jeremiah’s vision of the rod of an almond tree -- found in Jeremiah 1:11-12 -- and YEHOVAH God’s promise to watch over His Word (to perform the act of redemption) was fulfilled at the crucifixion. In this way, the Tree of Life, the source of the almond rod, is both literally and symbolically represented in the redemption of all humankind. Through it, YEHOVAH God brought redemption first to the Israelites and then, ultimately, to all humankind through the Messiah -- the Fruit of the Tree of Life who gives eternal life to all who trust in him and YEHOVAH God the Father!
The Ultimate Sacrifice for Sin
Man’s sin separates him from a spiritual relationship with his Creator, YEHOVAH God. YEHOVAH made it possible to establish a spiritual relationship through blood sacrifice because the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23) and life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). However, animal sacrifice could only provide a temporary solution for atonement of sin.
YEHOVAH God made the first animal sacrifice as atonement for Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Understanding how precisely YEHOVAH works, it is more than likely that the place of the first sin sacrifice by YEHOVAH was the same place where Adam was directed to build the first sacrificial altar. Genesis 22:9 indicates that this very altar was repeatedly rebuilt and reused through the years by Abel, Noah and Abraham. The Mount of Olives was the site of this altar -- see our article, The Mount of Olives in YEHOVAH God’s Plan. Furthermore, the most holy sin sacrifice -- the Red Heifer -- is known to have been offered on the summit of the Mount of Olives, “where God was worshiped.”
With this understanding, the call of Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac takes on even greater significance. The Torah Anthology makes it clear that Isaac was not a child at this point in time, but a young man quite capable of overcoming his father. This same pattern was repeated in YEHOVAH God’s sacrifice of His only son, YESHUA the Messiah -- who also willingly followed the will of his Father in the very same place. The Bible shows us that YEHOVAH God provided a substitute sacrifice in Isaac’s place: A ram, whose head was caught in a thorn bush (Genesis 22:13). Two thousand years later, Yeshua, his head surrounded by the same kind of thorns (John 19:2), was provided as the ultimate substitute sacrifice for all humankind’s sins.
As the Messiah’s blood was shed on the crucifixion tree, a symbolic parallel is evident in the Yom Kippur sacrifice (Leviticus 16:14). Notice –
"Moreover, he [the High Priest] shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times."
The Pattern of the Menorah
The crucifixion of the Messiah reveals certain symbolic meanings and patterns when viewed from the Hebraic perspective. One such pattern is that of the menorah. The menorah -- the golden seven-branched candelabrum kept in the Holy Place of the Temple -- represented the Tree of Life. And a miraculous budding branch of this tree, known as Aaron’s rod, was planted on the Mount of Olives by David and grew into the crucifixion tree.
In this symbolic parallel, Yeshua the Messiah represents the fruit of the Tree of Life. Accepting his sacrifice for atonement of sin provides the only way of salvation and eternal life. Therefore, the Tree of Life is seen to be both literally and symbolically connected to the crucifixion and what the Messiah did for us in his sacrifice.
Another pattern of the menorah emerges from the crucifixion tree -- the body of the Messiah forming its central shaft, surrounded by six outstretched arms of the three as they hung on the tree. Even as Yeshua claimed to be the light of the world, the menorah represents this truth:
"Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life'” (John 8:12).
What Happened To the Crucifixion Tree?
The fate of the crucifixion tree is not known. However, it can be assumed that it was eventually cut down and destroyed. Because such a tree was considered cursed by the Jews, it may have been destroyed soon after the Messiah’s crucifixion. Even if this did not occur, it is well known that all trees around Jerusalem were destroyed by 70 A.D. by the Roman general, Titus, during his siege of Jerusalem.
It should be noted that the Messiah was charged by the Jewish authorities with the most heinous of crimes -- that of blasphemy (see Matthew 26:65). This meant that he was looked upon by the people as “accursed of God,” and this is exactly how the apostle Paul described him in Galatians 3:13. This was a reference to Deuteronomy 21:22-23 in the Old Testament -- where it explains that such an “accursed” person even defiled the very soil where his execution took place. This defilement also applied to the TREE on which a person was hanged or crucified. In the Book of Hebrews Paul said that the tree (the stauros) was considered “a shame” (Hebrews 12:2) and the crosspiece (Latin: patibulum) “the reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). All the instruments of crucifixion were “accursed” because they came into contact with the “accursed one.” Writes Ernest Martin –
"The essential teaching on how to cleanse the land of such “accursedness” is found in Deuteronomy 21:22, 23, and in the previous verse 21 it says this purging was to be done by burning (Hebrew: bahgar). In the Old Testament example of such purging, it was thought necessary to burn the possessions of such an 'accursed one' because the abominable sin of the person was even transferred to the things owned by the sinner (since he had touched them and this reckoned even his possessions 'accursed')" (Secrets of Golgotha, pp. 179-180).
We see this with the possessions of Achan, who lived during the time of Joshua (Joshua 7:15, 24-26). He sinned so grievously that he was killed -- along with his children and animals -- and all his “accursed” things were burnt up with him. This practice of complete and utter destruction was deemed the only way to purify the land of Israel from such defilements.
Taking this as the cardinal example of what happened to an “accursed one” and the “accursed things” which he had come in contact with, it is almost certain that the tree on which the Messiah was crucified was burnt to ashes by the Jewish authorities. It was reckoned “a shame” -- itself “accursed.” To keep the land from being polluted, Yeshua had to be destroyed before sundown of the Preparation Day and the “accursed” stauros had to be burnt up so that no person could ever touch it again.
The Jewish authorities of the day wanted to take the dead body of the Messiah and the “accursed” (shameful) tree and burn them up together just like the example of Achan in the Old Testament. It was for this reason that Joseph of Arimathea went before Pontius Pilate to ask for the Messiah’s body so that he could arrange for its burial before the authorities committed it to the flames (Mark 15:43). If Pilate had refused to release the body of the Messiah to Joseph, it would indeed have been consumed by fire along with the tree he died on.
In fact, there was a prophecy which many people at the time believed referred to the Messiah and his death. Martin explains –
"It [the prophecy] showed that the tree and the person on the tree would be destroyed together. Though the original teaching of this Old Testament prophecy seemed to refer to the prophet Jeremiah, later Christians came to feel that it was a direct prophecy of what happened to Christ at his crucifixion. The prophecy is found in Jeremiah 11:19.
"For I was like a docile lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that it was against me they fashioned their plots: “Let us destroy the TREE WITH ITS FRUIT [or “sap”], let us cut him off from the land of the living. That his name be remembered no more!” (Italics mine -- the subsidiary word “ox” in the King James Version is not in the original Hebrew)" (Secrets of Golgotha, p. 181).
The Anglican Commentary (London: 1875) provides an interesting quote from Jerome in the 4th century regarding this very verse:
"Jerome well says on this verse; 'all the churches agree in understanding that under the person of Jeremiah these things are said of Christ. For he is the lamb brought to the slaughter that opened not its mouth. The TREE is his cross, and the bread [fruit] his body: for he says himself, "I am the bread that came down from heaven. And of him they purposed to cut him off from the land of the living that his name should no more be remembered"'" (vol. V, p. 395).
Even though later Christians interpreted Jeremiah 11:19 in a number of ways, it is a fact that the Hebrew makes one think that the tree, along WITH the fruit (the body) were prophesied to be destroyed together! While this prophecy -- acknowledged by Christians as referring to the Messiah -- has the crucifixion tree destroyed along WITH the Messiah, we know that Joseph of Arimathea was able, at the last moment, to rescue Yeshua’s body from such a fate. However, this Old Testament passage still clearly shows that the tree itself was destroyed. And typically, in the judgment rendered by the Sanhedrin against the Messiah, it could be reckoned that Yeshua was “destroyed” along with the tree (at least he should have been destroyed with the tree) had not Joseph of Arimathea rescued his body from being committed to the flames. The prophecy of Jeremiah 11:19, as understood in the original Hebrew and correctly referring to the Messiah and the tree he died on, is further proof that early Christians knew the crucifixion tree itself was not spared from destruction.
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