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Yew Tree Symbolism in the Bible

Yew Tree Symbolism in the Bible

Yew trees are ancient and mystical trees that have been around since the Jurassic period. 

They’re the wise old sages of the forest, the Gandalfs of the greenery, the Yodas of the yard. 

From their significance in ancient Celtic culture to their role in Christian symbolism, we’ve got everything you need to know about yew trees. So put on your gardening gloves and get ready to root around in the world of yews! 

Yew Trees symbolize: everlasting life, resilience, and renewal.

Yew Tree Symbolism in the Bible

The yew tree is one of the oldest tree species on earth, and it has been used in various religious and spiritual contexts throughout history. In the Bible, the yew tree is primarily associated with the concept of everlasting life, as well as other symbolic meanings.

Yew Tree in the center court of Skipton Castle, England.
Yew Tree in the center court of Skipton Castle, England
rustyruth1959, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Everlasting Life

The yew tree is believed to have an extraordinary lifespan, and it is considered a symbol of eternal life. This is why it is often planted in churchyards and cemeteries as a representation of the afterlife. The association between the yew tree and everlasting life can be traced back to the ancient Celts, who believed that the yew tree was a gateway to the Otherworld.

In Christianity, the yew tree represents the resurrection of Christ and the promise of eternal life for believers. This symbolism is evident in many Christian artworks, where the yew tree is often depicted as a symbol of the cross and the hope of resurrection. (1)

Strength and Resilience

The yew tree is known for its resilience and durability, and this symbolism is also evident in the Bible. The prophet Isaiah, for instance, refers to the yew tree as a symbol of strength and endurance:

“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:3)

This verse highlights the enduring qualities of the yew tree and how it can be used to represent the steadfastness of the faithful. (1)

Renewal and Regeneration

In addition to symbolizing eternal life and strength, the yew tree also represents renewal and regeneration. This is because the yew tree can regrow even after it has been cut down or damaged. In the Bible, this symbolism is associated with the idea of spiritual renewal and transformation.

For example, the book of Revelation describes the tree of life, which is a symbol of spiritual renewal and regeneration:

“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)

This passage highlights the spiritual significance of the tree of life and its association with the yew tree’s regenerative qualities. (2)

What Tree is Associated with Jesus?

The Bible mentions six trees which are fig, dogwood olive, palm, Green Bay, and oak. The dogwood trees provided wood that was used to build the cross on which Jesus was crucified. This is the reason why this tree is considered both cursed and blessed at the same time

Ancient yew tree, 1,600-year-old yew tree in the churchyard of St. Mary & St. Peter, Wilmington, England.
Ancient yew tree, 1,600-year-old yew tree in the churchyard of St. Mary & St. Peter, Wilmington, England.
Flickr Image by WordRidden (CC BY 2.0)

Meaning Behind Yew Tree Dreams

Dreaming of a yew tree can be a sign of impending illness and disappointment. If a young girl dreams of sitting under a yew tree, she may experience fear and worry about her future and her lover’s faithfulness. If you see your lover standing by a yew tree, it may foretell their misfortune or illness. 

Lastly, visiting a dead and barren yew tree in a dream could indicate a sad death in the family. The loss of a loved one may be difficult to bear, and material possessions may not provide any solace. (3)


Yew trees have been an integral part of the Christian faith for centuries, and their symbolism is still evident in modern times. These trees have been mentioned in the Bible and are associated with everlasting life, resilience, and renewal. Thanks for reading!