A fruit that, when ripe, is of a maroon color, shaped like an apple, with a rosette or crown extending around the bottom. Within the hard rind it is crowded with small capsules full of juice, each containing a small pink or red seed.
The pomegranate tree (Punica granatum), also denoted by the Hebrew word rim·mohnʹ, grows throughout the Middle East. It seldom passes 4.5 m (15 ft) in height. The spreading branches are numerous and have dark-green leaves that are shaped like the head of a lance and that produce blossoms with coral-red to scarlet flowers.—PICTURE, Vol. 1, p. 742.
Pomegranate juice makes a refreshing drink (Ca 8:2), a syrup called grenadine is produced from the seeds, and the blossoms are used in the preparation of an astringent medicine used as a remedy for dysentery. The Shulammite maiden’s veiled temples were compared to “a segment of pomegranate” and her skin to “a paradise of pomegranates.”—Ca 4:3, 13; 6:7.
By means of Moses, Jehovah promised the nation of Israel that He would bring them into a land of wheat, barley, vines, figs, pomegranates, olives, and honey. (De 8:7-9) Prior to this the spies who went into the land had returned with grapes, figs, and pomegranates. (Nu 13:2, 23) The Israelites had known the pomegranate in Egypt, as their complaint at Numbers 20:5 indicates.
The sleeveless coat of High Priest Aaron’s garments had on its hem a series of pomegranates made of blue thread, reddish-purple wool, and scarlet material twisted together and alternating with golden bells. (Ex 28:33, 34; 39:24-26) Later, when the temple was constructed, the capitals of the two copper pillars in front of the porch of the house were decorated with chains of pomegranate figures.—1Ki 7:18, 20, 42; 2Ki 25:17; 2Ch 3:16; 4:13; Jer 52:22, 23.
The pomegranate was extensively cultivated in Bible times, and the place-names of Rimmon, En-rimmon, and Gath-rimmon doubtless were derived from the abundance of these trees in their area. (Jos 15:32; 19:45; Ne 11:29) The pomegranate tree was much prized and thus is often associated with other important fruit producers such as the vine and the fig tree.—Ca 7:12, 13; Joe 1:12; Hag 2:19.