The Bible on Tree Preservation & Environmentalism

Deuteronomy 20:19, Do not destroy its trees. In its commentary on this passage, A Torah Commentary For Our Times states, “While the commandment deals specifically with cutting down trees during a siege, Jewish interpreters extend it to cover all forms of wasteful destruction under the principle of bal tashchit, or ‘do not destroy’ … [all w]asteful destruction is condemned. ‘Anyone who deliberately breaks dishes, tears clothing, wrecks a building, clogs up a fountain, or wastes food violates the law of bal tashchit’” (various rabbinical sources are cite vol. 3, p. 143). What did YHVH commission Adam to do? (See Gen 2:15.) The word dress literally means “to serve, work, dress, labor”in the sense of a servant or steward. The word keep means “to observe, guard, watch over, or preserve.”

Do you view yourself as a steward with a divine mandate to help preserve, watch over, and guard all that YHVH has given you responsibility over including your body, your marriage, your children, your gifts and talents, your car, your job, your home and yard and everything in your life? Do you view doing this as a good witness to those around you, as leaving a legacy for future generations, and as glorifying your Father in heaven?

Genesis 2:15, Took…put. Took is the Hebrew word laqach meaning “to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away.” Put is the Hebrew word yanach meaning “to rest, settle down and remain, to repose, have rest, be quiet, to cause to rest, give rest to, make quiet, to cause to rest, cause to alight, set down, to lay or set down, deposit, let lie, place.” The implication here is that Elohim created man somewhere else and then brought him to and settled him in the Garden of Eden where he settled down in quiet rest.” Perhaps Elohim briefly allowed the first man to experience life outside the garden first before “planting” them therein, so that they would better appreciate the beauty, rest and peacefulness of the garden. In this way, Adam, the first father, head and priest of his family would have some personal experience out the garden and be able to accurately communicate to both his wife and children that life was better in the garden than outside the garden, thus encouraging them to stay obedient to YHVH and to walk in his ways, so that they could continue to enjoy the privileges thereof.

Tend/dress and keep it. Tend is the Hebrew word avad meaning “to work or serve.” Being a gardener was Adam’s occupation. Yeshua was the second Adam. After Yeshua’s resurrection, interestingly, he was mistaken as the gardener (John 20:15). See Gen 2:8—YHVH planted a garden.

The Torah teaches sustainable living and stewardship of the earth. The terms sustainability or sustainable living along with green, eco-friendly, etc. are currently fad concepts that are bandied about by those seeking to be politically correct—whatever that is supposed to mean. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, defines sustainability as follows: 

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time, a necessary precondition for the well-being of humans and other organisms.

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Behind the Veil, Washed in the Water in Nature’s Cathedral…

Last Sabbath, my son Jared and I took a short hike in a nearby state park to commune with YHVH Elohim, our Heavenly Father, in his creation. We’ll let the following photos speak for themselves about the glory of Elohim’s wondrous creation only a little over an hour from our doorstep here in Oregon.

How many times was Yeshua actually in a church building on Shabbat? When he was, what was he doing there? Just asking…Something to ponder.

Please enjoy!

A cathedral of old growth fir trees.

Jared gazing in awe at a giant Douglas fir tree.
Natan is dwarfed by this massive seven foot in diameter at breast height fir tree.
This was the first of several waterfalls we encountered on our short hike.
The trail goes behind this waterfalls—behind the veil!
Tell me you haven’t seen a more beautiful sight than this!
Behind the waterfalls’ veil, kissed by the mist, almost like being in the holy of holies and being washed by the water of the Word…
Though Elohim promised to never flood the world again, he never promised not to flood us with the water of his word! I’m thirsty for more…baptize me!
What more can be said? Nothing!
Here’s another one to inspire you…
All of these falls are within a couple of miles of each other. How is it possible that so much beauty can be fit into such a small area? With man this is impossible, but with YHVH Elohim all things are possible!
Just gotta get some more trees in this photo gallery. This is because in the business world, I call myself the Treevangelist. I’m passionate about trees (both the physical and spiritual ones) and I preach the good news of planting and caring for trees, AND the good news of the gospel message about the Tree of Life—Yeshua the Messiah. That’s why my “tent making” business is called the Good News Tree Service, Inc. of Wilsonville, Oregon, USA. For fun, check me out my website at and my tree blog at