MembersMan is Tree

How a misplaced question mark tried to explain away a difficult Bible passage with an important lesson for us all

| Topics: And Man Named All the Plants
Photo: Flash90

The first two columns in this series were about Eshel, which is not a tree, and milk and honey, which is not really milk and honey. Here we do something similar in considering whether or not trees are people. For as it is written, “do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?” (Deuteronomy 20:19)

The Hebrew does not have the question mark at the end. The Hebrew literally reads, “For man is the tree of the field to go in at your presence in the siege.” So the original verse does say that man is tree, but our logic resists it, hence the various interpretations that try to find other explanations.

Concerning English translations, two meanings emerge. The NIV-like translations say that man is not a tree. And NKJV-like translations...

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