On my way home this evening I was listening to Luke 19 on my phone and decided that it was time to share a picture to illustrate the first few six verses.
He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.
Luke 19: 1-6 ESV
Testing has shown the the tree is over 2,000 years old, so would have been standing at the time of Zacchaeus. There is no firm evidence that this is the tree, but it is the right kind of tree and is in the general area 🙂 There is also another site in Jericho that claims it has the tree that Zacchaeus climbed.
The tree is a Sycamore Fig (Ficus sycomorus) and is very different from the Sycamore trees in the United States. This tree bears fruit, although I understand that it is not the best tasting fruit.
I find it hard to imagine Zacchaeus climbing into this tree, but I have seen other pictures of Sycamore Fig trees that have much lower branches and would make great climbing trees.