Date Palms Resurrected

“After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from all nations and provinces and languages, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white, with palm branches in their hands.”
Revelation 7.9 

Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. The species name dactylifera “date-bearing” comes from the Greek words daktylos (δάκτυλος), which means “date” (also “finger”), and fero (φέρω), which means “I bear.” The fruit is known as a date. The fruit’s English name (through Old French), as well as the Latin both come from the Greek word for “finger,” dáktulos, because of the fruit’s elongated shape.  

FIRST FRUIT DATES from 2,000 Year Old Resurrected Date Pits.
September 11, 2020 – The date fruit was presented as an offering in Jerusalem from parent trees Hannah and Methuselah. The pits were excavated from Masada and the DNA associates the Judean dates with the Babylonian exile. 

2,000 Year Old Extinct Date Pit Resurrected

The first biblical reference to the date palm is when the children of Israel entered the desert after leaving Egypt (Exodus 15:27). At Elim they encountered palm trees just as a visitor in many parts of the Sahara today would find oases marked by palm trees. The palm was prominent in the decoration of the temple.

                 tamar: palm tree, date palm – תָּמָר

The date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera) is one of the oldest fruit-bearing trees in civilization. The ancients not only used dates as a source of energy, but used the leaves to weave baskets, brooms and ropes. Ancients used the stalk as a foundation to other structures. Even the tree’s sap was fermented into wine.
Before Israelites entered the promised land, Moses told them that it would be filled with milk and honey. Contrary to common belief, Torah honey-like substances weren’t produced by bees. Rather, honey was syrup preserved from dates on date palm trees.

Hebrew – Strong’s 8558 –

Palms and dates have a rich legacy in Israeli culture. 

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar on Lebanon.
Psalm 92:12


Timeline: 1996 – The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies was established after the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo peace accords. –

2005 – Ancient 2,000 year old date seeds planted and sprouted – Methuselah (male)

2011 to 2014 – 30 more seeds planted / 6 seeds sprouted

March 2020 – Pollination of Hannah (female)

September 11, 2020 – First fruits offering of two ancient tree seeds

Parent trees:  Methuselah and Hannah, which are the oldest date trees from the resurrected seeds, have more eastern DNA.
Biblical Names of the Date Palm Trees: Methuselah of the Bible lived 969 years.
Hannah was the mother of Samuel.

First Fruits – September 2020

Israeli Scientists Have Revived Ancient Judean Dates From Extinction
September 20, 2020 –

9-11 – FIRST FRUIT DATES – On Friday, September 11, 2020, an unusual ceremony was held on a hilltop overlooking the Old City in Jerusalem’s Abu Tor neighborhood. It included the Jewish Sheheheyanu prayer recited on momentous occasions, as well as the traditional offering and tithing ceremony. At the heart of the ceremony was a small package of dates. The first dates to ripen came from a palm tree named Hannah, which was grown from a seed about 10 years ago. The two researchers pollinated the flowers from Hannah with those of Methuselah to reconstruct the taste of ancient date palms to the maximum extent possible.
Dates tree grown by a 2,000-year-old seed retrieved from archaeological sites in the Judean Desert, in Ketura, Israel, September 2, 2020.
Ever Tried 2,000-year-old Dates? Now You Can, Thanks to These Israeli Researchers. Researchers celebrate – and sample – the first fruit of palm trees germinated from ancient seeds from the Judean desert
Hannah’s DNA is reminiscent of that of ancient trees from Mesopotamia, today’s Iraq, as is the modern zahidi variety, which is considered an Iraqi species. Sallon has a hypothesis regarding Hannah’s ancestors. “We know from the Talmud that the Jews exiled to Babylonia [in Mesopotamia] cultivated date groves. It’s possible that they brought the seeds with them on their return to Zion,” she said.“There are two groups of date species – eastern and western. The eastern ones are all the species from Arabia and Iraq, and the western ones are from North Africa,” Sallon explained. “In Egypt and the Land of Israel, the two species come together. Methuselah and Hannah, which are the oldest, have more eastern DNA, while the other trees’ DNA is more western.”
Last week, when the first dates ripened, a harvest was organized. About 100 ripe, tasty dates were cut from Hannah. Sallon, who lives in Jerusalem, offered one to a friend, but because she is an observant Jew, she couldn’t accept it because it wasn’t properly tithed, as Jewish religious law requires. As a result, the tithing ceremony was held on Friday.
The site of the ceremony was not happenstance. The open hilltop, which is known as the Hill of Evil Counsel, is at the center of a battle that the neighborhood residents, including Sallon, are fighting against a construction project that they say will obliterate it.
“The Judean date disappeared entirely, and this site is also in terrible danger of destruction. The two stories are related,” she said, “because people destroyed the trees and now the land. But I will secretly plant one of the seeds from Hannah here and hope that in another 20 years, it will produce fruit.”
Aided by Modern Ingenuity, a Taste of Ancient Judean Dates
The harvest of the much-extolled but long-lost Judean dates was something of a scientific miracle. The fruit sprouted from seeds 2,000 years old.
They were given the names of biblical figures when they germinated, but as their genders became clear over time, Judah became Judith, Eve became Adam, and Jeremiah became Hannah.
Hannah’s seed, which came from an ancient burial cave in Wadi el-Makkukh near Jericho, now in the West Bank, was carbon dated to between the first and fourth centuries B.C.E., becoming one of the oldest known seeds to have ever been germinated.
A Roman coin minted around A.D. 70 to celebrate the conquest of Judea depicted the Jewish defeat as a woman weeping under a date palm.
But by the Middle Ages, the famed Judean plantations had died out. Wars and upheaval likely made their cultivation impractical, as did their need for copious amounts of water in summer.
She obtained a few of the date seeds that had been found in the 1960s during an excavation of Masada, the desert fortress by the Dead Sea where Jewish zealots, besieged by the Romans in A.D. 73, famously died by their own hand rather than fall into slavery. The institute, established in 1996 after the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo peace accords
The night before the picking of Hannah’s dates, there was some discussion of what the proper Hebrew blessing would be at the ceremony — the usual one for the fruit of the tree or the “shehecheyanu,” a blessing of thanks for new and unusual experiences. The next morning,  both were recited, to a resounding Amen.

Date Palms and Sukkot – Dates are one of the 7 species associated with the Land of Israel. The others being wheat, barley, grapes, figs, olives  and pomegranates (Deuteronomy 8:8). Mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible, dates have both physical and spiritual attributes.

“Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, 
will grow all kinds of trees used for food; 
their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. 
They will bear fruit every month, 
because their water flows from the sanctuary. 
Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
Ezekiel 47:12

Palms are associated with the Christ’s Triumphal Entry before Passover (Pesach) and for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in building booths/sukkah. 

A personal note 😉  In Israel “Tammy” (תמי) is commonly used as an abbreviation of the original Hebrew name “Tamar.”

More about the fascinating date palms, recipes and history in Israel and the Middle East.




  1. What a wonderful article! I couldn’t help thinking as I was reading this that the names of the first male and female seeds were “Methusela” and “Hannah.” Their names mean “His death will bring” and “Grace.” The two trees will bring forth grace to the people of Israel, a land brought back from the dead, as it were, and blessed by God’s grace since her rebirth! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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