Botanical details


order: Myrtales

family: Lythraceae

genus: Punica

species: Punica granatum

attributes: decidous, small tree, up to five meters in height

origin: modern day Iran, northern Turkey up to Pakistan

habitat: western and central Asia, Mediterranean, planted in USA, Chile, Southafrica, Australia, Argentinia and Brasil


in the Bible


... a land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey ...

Deuteronomy 8,8


The fourth book of Moses reports that Moses sends out scouts to explore Canaan (Num 13,1-14,45). Upon their return to the people in the desert, they bring back grapes and pomegranates.

The pomegranate (Hebrew rimmôn) is one of the seven typical crops of Palestine, the others being weed (Nr. 33), barley, wine (Nr. 6), olive tree (Nr. 9), fig tree (Nr. 1) and date palm (Nr. 2). The Hebrew word Rimmon can also be used as toponym (Jos 15,32; 1Chr 4,32) and personal name (2Sam 4,2).

The pomegranate was cultivated as early as 1450 BC in the gardens of Thutmosis II in Egypt, who imported them after a military campaign. It can be interpreted as a symbol for the tree of life.

It is also mentioned in the Song of Songs. It was considered a symbol of fertility and used as aphrodisiac. Owing to this it could be found in the decoration of the temple in Jerusalem. The first book of kings mentions 200 pomegranates made of bronze as capitals (1 Kings 7,17.20) and according to the second book of Moses the clothes of the highpriest were adorned with pomegranates (Ex 28,33-34).


mentions: several

other text passages (selected):

Exodus 39,24-26

Numbers 13,23f

Numbers 20,5

Numbers 33,19

Judges 20,45.47

Joel 1,12

Haggai 2,19



Riede, Peter: Granatapfel / Granatbaum, in: Das wissenschaftliche Bibellexikon im Internet (Okt. 2017), URL: (abgerufen 01.05.2023).

Modern King James Version.

© Pixabay
photography of a blooming pomegranate tree
© Botanischer Garten, Uni Münster
page from a 1534 Dietenberg Bible
Dietenberg Bible (1534)
© Bibelmuseum Münster
depiction from a Dietenberg Bible from 1534
Dietenberg Bible (1534)
© Bibelmuseum Münster
depiction of a pomegranate from the Kreuterbuch
pomegranate in Kreuterbuch, 1582
© Bibelmuseum Münster