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God's Word: The Imperishable Seed

When Sarah Sallon moved back home to Israel, to her job at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, she went looking for medicinal plants which had helped her during a previous illness. And she found lots of them. But she also heard about ancient medicinal plants that had disappeared.

She said, “They're just historical ghosts. Like the famous date plantations along the Dead Sea, 2,000 years ago—described by Pliny; described by Josephus, the first-century historian. They're not there anymore. They just vanished!”

But Sallon realized that seeds from those trees still existed. They'd been recovered from archaeological sites. So, she went to the archaeologists and proposed planting some of those seeds, to see if they'd grow again. It didn't go well at first. She said, “They thought I was mad! They didn't think that this was even conceivable.”

But she kept pushing, and eventually persuaded a few of them to provide some seeds to try this. More than a decade ago, she planted some of these ancient palm seeds. Six weeks later, little green shoots appeared!

Sallon and her colleagues recently announced in the journal Science Advances that they'd grown another six trees from some of those ancient seeds. No wonder God’s Word is likened unto an imperishable seed.


Dan Charles, “Dates Like Jesus Ate? Scientists Revive Ancient Trees From 2,000-Year-Old Seeds,” NPR (2-6-20)

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