Jesus and the Cherry Tree

Usually at this time of year I put up a Christmas post in which I feature the folk Christmas tune called “The Cherry Tree Carol” and I point out its relationship to  the beautiful story of the birth of Jesus in the Quran. Items 1 and 2 below are taken from my original Cherry Tree Carol post from 2009.  Sting’s rendition of the song is just plain gorgeous. It will change your mood. Please take a few moments and give it a listen.

1. The Cherry Tree Carol is a haunting story of the mystery and beauty of Christmas derived from one of the apocryphal Gospels, that of Psuedo- Matthew, which is also know as The Infancy Gospel of Matthew.

In this now popular Christmas carol, Joseph and Mary are walking near or through an orchard of cherry trees. She asks Joseph to pick some cherries for her because she is with child and would appreciate a helping hand. Joseph, as husbands tend to do when they discover their wives are pregnant and they know they are not the father, gets angry and tells her to just let the guy who got her pregnant get the cherries for her. No doubt dejected and feeling rejected, Mary knows not what to do.

But then a voice cries out from within his mother’s womb.  It’s the voice of Jesus who commands the cherry trees bow down so that his mother may have something to eat. The trees do what any tree would do if ordered by Jesus, they bow down and Mary exclaims to the effect of  “Hey Joseph, look, I can get all the cherries I want, nyah nyah.” Joseph then realizes that there’s more going on than he at first realized.

Now in the Psuedo-Gospel of Matthew, Chapter Twenty, the story as one might expect, is a bit different, but the similarities are clear. In this version, thought to be the inspiration for The Cherry Tree Carol, Mary, Joseph and a very infant Jesus are in the desert in Egypt and are exhausted from the heat. They come across a date palm tree where they rest. Mary asks Joseph for some dates, but they are pretty high up in the tree and he whines about it saying that instead she should be concerned because of the lack of water and their thirst.  The baby Jesus orders the date palm to lower it’s branches and his Mother is able to eat.  Now the date palm, being humble and worshipful, did not rise back up after she had eaten, but rather it awaited Jesus’ command. Jesus tells it to rise, says it will have its place in paradise, and then he makes one more request of it – something interesting in light of the Quranic version of this story that I will discuss below. He asks it to provide water through one of its hidden roots and it does so – providing clear, cool and sparkling water for the three of them and their animals.

2. Many features of the Cherry Tree Carol and the story from which it is derived are found in the Quranic version of the story in Surah 19, verses 16-34. In this version Joseph is noticeably absent, an absence which highlights the miraculous nature of Jesus’  birth.  The angel Gabriel appears to Mary, who has gone away from her people for some sort of religious purpose,  in fully human form and tells her she will give birth to a son. She is astonished by this and asks how on earth that could be possible since she has never been touched by a man. Gabriel tells her that this is easy for God and that her son will be sent as a mercy to mankind.

So she is now with child and is driven to a date palm tree during the pains of childbirth, pains so severe she wishes she had never been born.  But then a voice cries out – said by commentators to be that of Gabriel though in my own view it could even be that of Jesus – who tells her that all is well and that water has been provided for her beneath her feet. He then tells her to shake the date-palm and that fresh and ripe dates will come pouring down. He tells her to eat and drink and “cool thine eye.” Lastly the voice commands her that if she comes across any man to say that she has vowed to speak to no one that day.

The next thing we see is Mary carrying her new baby back to her people who challenge her morality, as she had no doubt expected and feared. But keeping to her command, she said nothing to them and merely pointed to her baby. The crowd mocked her telling her that they could not possibly converse with a new born.  At this point, the baby Jesus performs his own version of “enough is enough” as he addresses the crowd in no uncertain terms telling them, among other things, that God has made him a prophet and that he is to be blessed wherever he is. He also tells them that he has been commanded to be faithful to his mother, something he clearly intends to do. No doubt the audience was dumb struck. . .

The new-born Jesus then closes:  “And peace be upon me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I am raised up alive.”

3. The video below is the entire Surah of Mary recited in Arabic by Shaykh Idris Akbar. The story of Mary and her baby begins at exactly 2:59 into the video and runs to about 8:06. So if you want to hear the Quranic story of the birth of Jesus recited in Arabic by a great reciter,  enjoy. The video includes the Arabic script so readers of this page who are studying Arabic can follow along.

When you hear “wathkur filkitaab Maryam” you will know you are at the start of the right section.

4. The story of Jesus in the Quran may well have saved the lives of about 80 to 100 of the first Muslims living in Mecca with Muhammad. They had to flee Mecca to Abyssinia because of religious persecution and they sought refuge from the Christian ruler there. The Meccans tried to bribe the ruler into forcing them to return to Mecca, but this ruler actually behaved like a Christian ruler should and granted the Muslims asylum. (No doubt he’d never stand a chance of becoming the president of the US today, but I digress.) As part of the discussion and debate between the pagan Meccans who had come to Abysinnia to bribe the  ruler on the one hand, and the Muslims seeking protection on the other, the Muslims recited the story about Jesus to which I have linked above. After hearing it, the Christian ruler was so moved that he granted his protection to them. Things sure have changed.

A frequent commentator on this blog, Perry, mentioned the film on Muhammad’s life called “The Message” produced by the late Mustafa Akkad.  Akkad did two versions of the film, one in Arabic and one in English – filming them at the same time and using different actors. Below is the English version of the story of the King of Abyssinia. Very nicely done. Thanks to Perry for bringing this movie back to my mind.

5. I also love Judy Collins’ rendition of the Cherry Tree Carol.

6. “No US administration has done more in support of Israel’s security than ours. None. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. It is a fact,” Obama told a cheering crowd.

“To back up his position, Obama cited American cooperation with Israel on developing the Iron Dome anti-rocket system, efforts to clear out the besieged Israeli embassy in Cairo in September, and actions to counter attempts to delegitimize Israel in international forums like the United Nations.

“Shoring up his hard line on Iran, Obama reiterated that no options were off the table inpreventing the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and touted his administration’s imposition of “the most comprehensive, the hardest-hitting sanctions the Iranian regime has ever faced. We haven’t just talked about it, we’ve done it.”

7. Israel goes entire week without killing a Palestinian in Gaza, but finally gets its fix.

8. Somebody help me here, just why is it that we are supposed to kill these people? Abe? Alan? Newt? Michelle? Mitt? Herman? Barack? Please remind me, I just can’t seem to remember.

Merry Christmas folks.

12 responses to “Jesus and the Cherry Tree

  1. skulz fontaine

    There is also the story of “baby Jesus” recorded in an apocryphal ‘Gospel According 2 Cambridge the Coptic Homeboy’ were it is recorded that a very young Jesus went messianically pissy on the Blackwater bozos that were working for Herod. See cause Herod was fixing to cack about a boat load of young Israelis and Jesus wasn’t about to crawl idly by as Herod went all genocidal on his homies. So “baby Jesus” rose up in righteous indignation and turned the Blackwater creepers into garden slugs and saved the Israeli day. It’s later recalled in the apocryphal ‘Gospel According 2’ that baby Jesus said and we’ll quote here, “free Gaza!”
    Yup, it’s apocryphally true.

  2. Incredible and heartbreaking information, dear MaT, every post is sooo welcome and I heart you. yes, we were all friends before the Jews stepped into the soup with their jack boots and hatred of everything human.

    gracias por su corazon, e tu palabras de verdad.

  3. The Apocryphal JC was much more fun than the authorised version:

  4. Ah the Appocryphal Gospel of the Infant Jesus, where he is able to make live creatures out of clay, will someone to death, debate at the highest level with the foremost minds as a youth.

    In the tradition gnostic “birth stories”, one account has Jesus visited by shepherds and the other has him visited by kings bearing the most expensive gifts avalable – what’s it to be “humbe” or “powerful” or “both ways”? Yet most readers don’t consider the fact that Emperor Constantine had all existing references destroyed [and possibly rewritten] so as not to contradict the Roman view at the the time on “the way things are”. It was likely that Christianity was superimposed over the Sol Invictus cult or sun worship (December 25th marked the start of longer days). Mohamud certainly [at least in large part] drew from Romanised sources.

    As Jesus had an elder brother James, Mary could not have possibly been a virgin at his birth unless James had also been “immaculately conceived”. The wife of prophet Zachariah (whose name escapes me) was allegedly barren when she conceived John [The Baptist]. As Jesus was baptised by John (the ultimate form of annointment) – recognised Priest-King [of the Jews] (hence his imprisonment and subsequent beheading by Herod), many scholars argue his “virgin birth” was simply a matter of oneupmanship. Jesus’ baptism was part of the rite of Messiahship. It is also worthy to note that the Esscenes were described as “angels”. So was Joseph an Esscene – perhaps a Nazorite Esscene?

    The critical issue that has blighted humanity until now is a reliance on fantasy and an avoidance of the truth. I have just listened to a Noam Chomsky lecture where he talks about certain current prominent intellectuels endorsing the US position that they invade and murder who they like as this is an acceptable self preservation strategy. Those who protest in any measure must also be against their self preservation and therefore should also be put to death if necessary. In effect this has been reflected in the legislational change in Israel which has ricocheted in [large] part off the back of the remaining 1st world constitutions into their legislation with versions of the Patriot Act and so on.

    Sadly for my research Mohamed was no better or worse. His treatment of pagans who rejected Islam was tyranical. When I debate the subject with muslim friends and ask them about the values and traditions of the “pagans” he “improved”, all is quiet. Fortunately many Christians, Jews and Muslims can see through the insidious dogma promoting “jihad for self preservation”. This is what will change the world – not more fighting talk.

    Said in the spirit of Christmas.

  5. Nothing special about Jesus, the Gospels were all edited 400 years later to the liking of those early church fathers and who not. Jesus was born as a twin by Mariamne and Tiberius a Roman emperor / soldier. Those miracles are all but fantasy and fraud.

  6. ozzie thinker, you mention so many disparaging remarks against the prophet mohammed pbuh without highlighting 1 point of contention!

    please explain what was his treatment of pagans especially in light of the chapter of the koran called kaffirun”unbelievers” where it is expressly mentioned that to them they way and to us ours!

    there is no joseph in islam concerning jesus and his mother, he is a fabrication like many others of the roman catholic church!

    you christians should be aware that Mary mother of jesus was with zakariya in the temple all her young life, she was well known as a beautiful and virtuous woman , pious and faithful to the creator Allah. did those jewish rabbi,s not know when she was pregnant “by gods command” did she carry the baby for 9 months?

    or was it as islamic teaching states a matter of a few days before jesus was born?

    was the jewish rabbi,s blind they did not see her pregnant for 9 months while she was in the temple??

    it was they lack of faith and understanding even after knowing her as a pious woman that they did not accept this gods miracle for them to believe in him!

    when she brought jesus back to her people. the first ever miracle he ever did was to prove his mothers innocence and to declare that he was a prophet sent by Allah!

    would any of you believe if any of your daughters came to you saying daddy i heard voices in my head and now i am pregnant???

    jesus pbuh was a mighty prophet of god in whom we believe and who has told you all most clearly” THIS IS LIFE ETERNAL THAT THEY KNOW THEE, THE ONLY TRUE GOD AND JESUS WHOM YOU HAVE SENT”

    the relationship between sender and sent is very clear!

    we use this formula when we say as muslims”THERE IS NO ALLAH BUT ALLAH AND MOHAMMED IS HIS MESSENGER”

    in his time jesus pbuh was the way to god like all other prophets in they respective times, and today the only way to Allah is to believe in and listen to his final messenger Mohammed pbuh!

    this is also very clear to do in the bible and the koran besides other previous revelations! choice is yours.

  7. I find religion boring!Mind numbing!I do love the Pagan’s though.They were so powerful,healthy and colorful.But the Apachrapha Gospels and the Christmas Carolare delightfuland displays the richness of Muslim Culture.So much better than the hate of Bolshevick Jews who detest Christ,whether he be real,or imagined.Thankyou!

  8. Nice post Mantiq, thank you for it.

    You didn’t mention that Surah 19 1:15 describes how the miracle birth of John (the “Baptist”) was announced to Mary’s uncle Zechariah by Gabriel and how it also says that John would be “blessed the day he is born and the day he dies and the day he is raised again”. The birth’s of John and Jesus (Peace Be Upon Them) were ANSWERS TO PRAYERS…the prayers of Mary and her Uncle (May God Bless Them).

    In Surah 3 we are told how Mary and her uncle were often in the Temple (in Jerusalem I assume) in prayer…in fact Mary didn’t leave to eat and received Manna in the Temple chamber directly.

    Question IS…WHY were they praying and WHY did God decide to answer those prayers then?

    Answer: The “Jewish” (Jew Like Satanists) leadership running things in the Holy Land then were of the same “religion” as those running things there now…Babylonian Satanism. The Romans did NOT “invade” the Holy land…they were INVITED by the Jewish “leaders” as “partners” and the “partnership” (infection of Rome) was well under way. The result was a thoroughly corrupt “society” in which “everyone has their price” (you know…like NOW) which drove religious “Jews” (like Mary) into constant prayer for SOME solution…and God in His infinite humor announced the “good news” of “hey you’re going to have kids” (OK…NOT just “any” kids…).

    Jesus WAS born as the answer to a prayer. So what happened? At THAT point in time the “Jews”, especially their self-appointed “leadership” from Babylon, COULD have “called the whole thing off” and returned to their REAL “Covenant with God” which was / is to lead humanity TO God (not turn them into dumbed down Satanic zombie meat puppets). THAT was the message of Jesus…”Turn it around guys…do what you are bound by God to do…reject Satan…stop with the Pagan partnerships”. It’s been 2000 years…good thing God is patient. Bad news is people are still ignorant.

    Of course since “they” think they killed Jesus (and most believe that and many even stake their “salvation” on it) and “God” has let them get away with everything they have even to the point of now being able to fulfill their dream which just convinces them (and the majority of their programmed human population) there is no God that we are in for the ride of human history.

    Merry Christmas and Buckle Up

  9. Merry Christmas MT …and inshallah next year in Jerusalem and Haifa (not Wahbe, but the other..;) ) and Lidd and Ramleh and everywhere on the Holy Land of Palestine from the river to sea. God bless you and yours for all the hard work …and keep on ))

  10. History has spoken. Mohamud’s actions have not been beyond reproach. Instrinsic wisdom is the partial legacy. in my opinion Jesus would never have believed what he has become. The conscious “possibility” has overtaken any credible message Jesus issued.

    Humanity is good at pinning hopes on “saviours” or prophets, but the reality is society will only function when everyone agrees for that to be so. Yes World War Three is my business as it will effect me and that’s why I visit this place. Stern but humerous words are issued in attention to this and other important matters, and some not so important matters. Personally I don’t give two hoots for Jesus or Mohamud as they are not my business, but any words of wisdom that might have been issued in relation to aiding social harmony between human beings – well that’s a different matter. That’s my agenda and my reason for being.

  11. i care not for what you wish to believe or unbelieve mr ozzie thinker, where you come from ,most of you are generally perverts and agnostics as is evident by the treatment of the aboriginals by the western european perverted hordes which descended on them!

    If any of your kind wish to blame mohammed pbuh (prophet of islam)for anything then it might help you to remember that this man NEVER hit anyone,NEVER killed anyone,NEVER had any massacres done in his time as a ruler in his sojourn on earth, WHY?

    he used to say that he was sent as a mercy to mankind, not as a dictator or a tyrant!

    if any of your kind wish to provide proof of any atrocity by him against him , i challenge that person to a PUBLIC debate on a point by point basis with the media present on ANY subject of his life!

    whatever you read about jesus is against his teachings promoted by those devilish jews who perverted his faith in the form of saint paul (saul). you europeans have been f—-d sideways by these “brood of snakes” which jesus called them and still you do not recognise who,s f—–g you as a whole. out of the whole 27 books of the new testament only 1 page is stated to be the words of jesus pbuh!

    the rest is by unknown writers/ translators.

    the koran is the last testament to mankind,the jew had the old testament and the christian the new, believe in it or not is your choice!!

    I also challenge any one of you to provide 1 verse of the koran which is antihuman, is perverse, or silly making no sense whatever in the light of history and science which you can bring to the public debate !

  12. Hi Freeman,

    Great to have you back. Hope you are well my brother.

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