I have previously asserted that the tree of life was the frankincense tree which blossoms with a five petaled flower. However, there is evidence that the almond tree may also be a viable candidate for the tree of life. The almond tree is native to the Middle East. Bitter almonds were thought to have medicinal qualities and were used to treat spasms, cough, pain and itch even though it contains hydrocyanic acid which can be lethal. Sweet almonds are very high in nutritional needs and easily transported, so they would have been an important inclusion in the caravan’s ‘lunch box’.
The flower of life is a stylized six petaled almond flower; a flower which presently has five petals, although up to 20% of these flowers have six petals. The flower of life is Egyptian in origin, although it is thought that the Egyptian flower of life was the flower of the acacia as the acacia tree was the Egyptian tree of life. Depictions of the Flower of Life can be found at the Temple at Abydos in the Osirion which dates to the 6th Dynasty. This depiction is considered to be the oldest depiction of this geometric symbol and is illustrated in the picture below:
The Judeans obviously adopted this symbol as it appears on the Galilean Migdal Stone. The ‘wreath’ surrounding the flower has been turned into an ouroboros who is depicted biting its tail. As the flower of life is associated with the almond tree, and the flower of this tree is surrounded by a serpent biting its tail or ouroboros, it is certain that the almond tree was used to represent the two trees in the Garden of Eden story. The forbidden fruit may well have been the almond which in its bitter form was used as a medicinal agent even though it contained hydrocyanic acid which can be lethal. So, the bitter almond was both a healing agent and promoted life, but was also lethal because of the hydrocyanic acid. This might explain why the tree was dubbed the tree of knowledge of the good (healing/life-good magic) and evil (death-evil magic or necromancy). This symbolism can also be found in the viper. who symbolized both life and death and guarded the tree of knowledge. These two trees appear on the face of the Galilean Migdal Synagogue Stone.
The Galilean Migdal Synagogue Stone displays depictions of the tree of life, the tree of knowledge, the flower of life surrounded by Yhwh as an ouroboros and a menorah with two vats of olive oil. (Yhwh’s biblical icon was the nehustan or copper serpent mounted on a pole. This image was kept in the temple where is was worshiped according to 2 Kings 18:4. Ezekiel 8:10-12, further states that images of reptiles were depicted on the temple walls, so it would be consistent with biblical portrayals of Yhwh as a serpent that the Migdal Synagogue Stone continued with the tradition of portraying Yhwh as a serpent.)
Here is a picture of the Migdal Synagogue Stone:
Notice the flower of life or six petaled almond flower and then notice the menorah on the front of the stone. Here is the biblical description of the menorah:
“31Make a lampstand of pure gold. Hammer out its base and shaft, and make its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms of one piece with them. 32Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand—three on one side and three on the other. 33Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. 34And on the lampstand are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. 35One bud shall be under the first pair of branches extending from the lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair—six branches in all. 36The buds and branches shall be all of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
37Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. 38Its wick trimmers and trays are to be of pure gold. 39A talent of pure gold is to be used for the lampstand and all these accessories. 40See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
In other words, the menorah is the flowering tree of life or an almond tree in full blossom. The menorah represents the creation of the universe in six days with the center branch representing the sabbath. On the other hand, the almond tree is also symbolic of the coming of end times according to Ecclesiastes 12:5, Jeremiah 1:11,12 when Yhwh’s doom will engulf the unfaithful Jews.
In conclusion, the flower of life is the almond flower with six petals. A stylized almond flower appears on the menorah which is a stylized tree of life or almond tree that represents both the beginning and end of creation. The ouroboros surrounding the flower of life represents Yhwh as the guardian of the creation. The six days of creation are represented by the 6 petals on this stylized almond flower as well as the six side branches of the menorah.