Uprooting Our Atads

In Judges 9, Jotham tells a fable about an olive tree, fig tree, grape vine, and thornbush. At first read, it appears incredibly mundane. That is, until you recognize that a better translation for “thornbush” is “atad tree.” The atad is an impressive tree from a distance. But upon closer inspection, it is a devastating tree because its roots suck all of the nutrients from the other trees around it. It is a tree that serves itself at the expense of others. Only when we recognize how we do the same will we more fully understand how we can serve and give life to those around us.

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