Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. (Genesis 12:6)
The very place where Abram stopped, Shechem, we find the terebinth tree of Moreh. The word for Moreh in Hebrew means “to throw, to shoot, to teach” and came to mean “a place where God spoke.” This is where God spoke to Abram—in fact appeared to him.
Now it shall be, when the Lord your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.
Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, toward the setting sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the TEREBINTH TREES OF MOREH?
For you will cross over the Jordan and go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you will possess it and dwell in it. And you shall be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today. (Deuteronomy 11:29-32)
The terebinth tree is no ordinary tree. According to Good News For Israel, the terebinth tree of Moreh is an oak tree. Others say it is Pistacia palaestina which grows prolifically in that region and can grow quite large. It is likely one of these trees started growing at the end of the great flood and became a landmark.
It is widely believed the oak or pistacia seed was guided carefully by the hand of the Lord to float through the torrential and rapidly flowing flood waters finally coming to rest in the soil between the two mountains of Gerazim and Ebal. There it began its life to become the significant landmark that would draw Abram’s eye as he entered the land and cause him to stop and pitch his tent. Here at this ancient landmark the Lord would appear to Abram. Abram would build an altar under its massive branches to mark the ground as holy and special. It was both a landmark and a faith mark. Say the words “faith mark” aloud to yourself.
One hundred seventy-five years later Jacob would buy the land, dig a well, and settle here.
He would bury all the foreign idols at the base of this tree—the place of Abram’s altar. It too, was a faith mark.
Jacob’s sons would herd their sheep near this familiar landmark and sell Jacob’s son, Joseph, into slavery. This sealed God’s plan to save them from future famine, preserve the nation, and fulfil His covenant with Abram. Hundreds of years later Joshua would return with a nation numbering millions of people. Here the nation declared allegiance to the Lord. Joshua laid a great stone there as a landmark and a faith mark. Joseph’s bones were buried at the place where the old tree stood: a faith mark. Abimelech would be declared the first King of Israel here, under the terebinth tree. Rehoboam would come to the tree and be declared King over Israel. Jeroboam would make this site his first capital of the new northern Kingdom of Israel. Jesus would speak to a Samaritan woman here declaring that the covenant was not just for the physical sons of Abram but for all who would believe on Him as the Messiah. The great old landmark, the terebinth tree of Moreh, was a mighty faith mark provided by the Lord to the nation of Israel and to the future spiritual sons of Abram.
Does your life contain a landmark/faith mark to the Lord, like the Great tree of Moreh?
Is it a place where you go to be with Him every day?
Is it a certain song you play and worship to?
Is it a person you go to who will draw your life back to the things of God?
Is it your church or group of people?
What great landmark/ faith mark you use to continually bring yourself back to your commitment to the Lord?
Yogi Barb is a CYA Trainer and works with Member Services for the CYA.