What do sycamore and cedar trees have to do with biblical prophecy, the tragic events of 9/11 and the imminent future of the United States?
The roots of a sycamore tree at Ground Zero felled on Sept. 11, 2001, have been preserved as a memorial to the event in New York City. A local messianic rabbi believes it’s a visible fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy about God’s current judgment on America.
Everything, according to a new book which says an obscure text from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah is an urgent wake-up call for all Americans in light of what happened on that fateful day in 2001.
“The Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn, a messianic rabbi from the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, N.J., deciphers stunning connections between what some may think is a cryptic biblical prophecy to the news events happening right now, in our current time.
The key verse in question is Isaiah 9:10, which states: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” (King James Version)
These words were first uttered by leaders in ancient Israel and in response to a limited strike by Assyria on the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali – an attack the prophet makes clear is actually part of a limited judgment by God against apostasy. It wasn’t meant to destroy the nation, but to awaken it, according to most commentaries.
Historically speaking, the northern kingdom of Israel did not repent of its rebellion against God’s commandments, and were eventually conquered and deported from their property by the ancient Assyrians. Eventually, the southern kingdom of Judah was also overcome by the Babylonians after the Jews refused to repent as well.
But in “The Harbinger,” Cahn shows uncanny similarities between what’s stated in Isaiah 9:10 to the 21st century events of 9/11 and the years afterward, suggesting America is currently under a time of focused judgment by Almighty God.
Cahn claims the part of the prophecy noting “The bricks are fallen down” refers directly to the crumbling of the World Trade Center in New York City, with the verse connoting on an attitude of defiance, a desire to rebuild with stronger materials instead of acknowledging the hand of God and moving toward national repentance.
The verse mentions sycamore and cedar trees, and it’s here that things start to get eerie with the terrorist attack involving planes that smashed into the Twin Towers, leading to their eventual crumbling.
“After the cloud of dust began to clear, police officers, rescue workers and onlookers gazed at the little plot of land at the edge of Ground Zero,” Cahn writes in “The Harbinger.”
“There in the middle of the ash and debris that covered the ground was a fallen tree. It would soon become a symbol of 9/11 and of Ground Zero. And it was a symbol … but one much more ancient than anyone there could have realized, and one carrying a message no one could have fathomed.”
“The tree at Ground Zero that was struck down on September 11 was a sycamore tree.”
Cahn notes that in Old Testament times, the Assyrians who attacked the ancient Israelites intended to cut down the sycamore trees belonging to God’s people. But the intention was not present with the hijackers of 2001.
“The terrorists had no idea of Isaiah 9:10, no idea of the Harbingers, no idea of the sycamore tree growing at the corner of Ground Zero, and no idea that their attack would cause it to fall or that its fall was connected to an ancient prophecy. They had no idea … but it still happened.”
The uprooted sycamore tree from Ground Zero was replaced by the “Tree of Hope,” a conifer tree which Rabbi Jonathan Cahn says fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 9:10.
“The most natural thing to have done would have been to replace one sycamore with another,” Cahn writes. “But the prophecy required that the fallen sycamore be replaced with a tree of an entirely different nature. So the tree that replaced the sycamore of Ground Zero was likewise not a sycamore. According to the prophecy, the sycamore must be replaced by the biblical erez. So it must be replaced by a conifer tree.”
And that’s what took place in 2003, as a conifer tree, the “Tree of Hope” as it was called, was planted in the spot where the sycamore was slammed on 9/11.
“Think about it,” says Cahn. “Who could have put it all together? The tower fell because of the terrorists. It happened to fall exactly as it did in order to strike down that one particular tree. The tree just happened to be a sycamore, which just happened to be growing at the corner of Ground Zero.
“The tree that would replace it just happened to be given as a gift from outsiders who had nothing to do with anything else, but who just happened to feel led to give it. Their gift just happened to be the fulfillment of the biblical Erez Tree, which just happened to be the same tree spoken of in the ancient vow – the tree that must replace the Sycamore.
“They just happened to lower it into the same soil in that the fallen Sycamore had once stood – exactly as in the Hebrew of the ancient vow. And the man who led the ceremony around the tree just happened to bring it all together without knowing that he was bringing anything together. No one knew what they were doing. It wasn’t a matter of intent. It was a manifestation of the Harbingers.”
“The parallels are truly stunning,” says Joseph Farah, founder of WND, who is producing a video documentary about Cahn’s findings. “They are too numerous and too powerful to relate in news story form. In fact, they are overwhelming in their number and their exactitude. I am persuaded God is trying to tell America something and Rabbi Cahn has found the key to unlocking the message.”
As WND previously reported, two major American political figures actually voiced the Isaiah 9:10 prophecy in public in the immediate wake of the 9/11 onslaught.
“In the aftermath of the attack, the nation was stunned,” said Cahn, “Everyone was trying to make sense of what had happened – this unprecedented attack on America. The very next day, September 12, then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle presented America’s response to the world. And what did he say?”
Daschle said: “America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity – united and strong. Nothing … nothing can replace the losses of those who have suffered. I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this.”
He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10:
“Daschle has no idea what he is doing here,” explains Cahn. “He thinks he’s offering comforting words to a grief-stricken people, but he is actually embracing the spiritually defiant and arrogant words of the children of Israel, proclaiming the ancient and ominous vow of the leaders of that nation. He doesn’t realize it, but he is actually inviting more judgment on the nation.”
It might be of some significance that Daschle, one of the most powerful men in the nation when he spoke those words, later fell into disgrace – to the point where he couldn’t even serve in Barack Obama’s Cabinet.
That might have been the end of the story – if no other top leader in the nation uttered those strange and obscure words after 9/11. But that’s not the case.
On the third anniversary of the attack, Sept. 11, 2004, another powerful U.S. senator running for vice president that year and who would famously run for the presidency four years later, gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.
This time, John Edwards’ entire speech was built on a foundation of Isaiah 9:10: “Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord’s Word to get us through,” he said. He then read Isaiah 9:10. He went on to talk about how America was doing just that – rebuilding with hewn stone and planting cedars:
“Like Daschle, Edwards thinks he’s invoking inspirational and comforting words from the Bible, but he’s actually inviting judgment on America,” says Cahn. “He’s repeating the vow that provoked God to bring calamity on ancient Israel.”