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Bethlehem Olivewood

The olive tree is native to the Holy Land where it has been cultivated since ancient times. According to historians, the first olive groves took root in the Holy Land and along the coast of the eastern Mediterranean around 4,000 B.C.

The Bible contains many references to the culinary and religious uses of olives and olive oil. In the Book of Genesis the dove sent out from the ark by Noah returned with an olive branch (Genesis 8:11). Here it became the great symbol of peace and goodwill, indicating the end of God's anger. And its recognition by Noah suggests that it was already a well-known tree. Also, the use of the olive tree for carvings was mentioned in I King Chapter 6, "And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree... and for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree... also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree".

More than any other plant, the olive tree symbolizes the Holy Land it has been called: "The Sacred Tree", "The Peace Tree", "The Tree of Light", and "The Tree of Legends". The olive tree represents the Holy Land in all religions. The olive tree stands as a perfect personification of man's historical memory in the Holy Land. It is the tree with the highest endurance and fruitful capacity. It is the sign of peace between God and mankind.