Pruning in the Bible: 1 Important but Challenging Topic

ArynFaith, Christian Nonfiction22 Comments

Have you ever wondered about those verses on pruning in the Bible? I have. I’ve heard messages explaining it. Trying to help us understand. What does prune mean in the Bible? They make me curious. Because I have not spent any time in a vineyard, what I know is only through reading about it.   According to several dictionaries, the answer is to:

  • cut,
  • shape,
  • smooth,
  • trim,
  • to cleanse or purify

  Sounds painful. I mean who really wants to be cut and trimmed? But the benefits sound very good! Shaping and smoothing, cleansing and purification are all good things!  

Please note that I received an advance copy of the Free Before I Go e-mail Bible study. All thoughts are my own.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.

Grapevine: pruning in the Bible, why it's so important

The Importance of Pruning in The Bible

Here are a few of the important places I see the principles of Pruning in the Bible. (my untrained observations)

  1. The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). God cut up the languages and trimmed man’s pride and arrogance back, encouraging the shape of a diverse people that filled the earth, instead of bunching up in one spot.
  2. Moses had a couple of pruning sessions. At the Burning Bush (Exodus 3) his fears got addressed, and later, when he started taking credit (Numbers 20), his presumption earned him another round.
  3. King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4). He was warned, but continued in arrogance and pride, and temporarily lost his mind and his kingdom. The day he acknowledged God, he was restored.
  4. Saul of Tarsus had to be pruned to become the Paul who spread the Gospel across great distances and wrote so many helpful letters.
  5. Hezekiah, David, Jonah…

  Just looking at these few examples of pruning in the Bible is enough to make me fear God, and trust Him more. He does not leave them in the pain of pruning indefinitely. He is there, and pulls them (and us) through to the other side, the harvest can be so fruitful!

Pruning in The Bible (Biblical Fiction)

Tessa Afshar has a great explanation in Harvest of Rubies. If you love historical fiction, you should read this book. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn through fiction. An old groundskeeper teaches a couple of practical lessons that easily teach the benefits and examples of spiritual Pruning. Not exactly pruning in the Bible, but well worth reading!!! 

What Does Prune Mean in the Bible? (Jesus, Before I Go)

Even better, a great way to learn about pruning in the Bible is with Sarah Koontz’ new free study, Before I Go. As Sarah teaches on Jesus final instructions to us before his crucifixion, one major topic is pruning.

Check out this quote from the study:  

Pruning cleans away dead, dying, and diseased material. Pruning removes unnecessary branches, reducing weight on heavy limbs. And Pruning reduces the size of the plant, to help maintain its structural integrity.  

He does this to maximize our fruit production. Branches produce fruit to nourish others, not to satisfy themselves. The more fruit we are able to produce, the more people we can bless with our spiritual bounty.

Examples of Spiritual Pruning

OK, Wow! I’m seeing examples of spiritual pruning all over now.   I don’t know about you, but I can sure use some reduced weight on heavy limbs!

  1. Over-extended schedules (little margin)
  2. My own expectations
  3. Other people’s expectations…

I carry diseased memories of hurts and offenses, and I could definitely benefit from increasing my structural integrity!   Pointing out the purpose of bearing fruit is that it benefits others, well, that should be obvious, but in many circles that idea is shocking!  

We aren’t supposed to be learning and growing to reach some imaginary mark of spiritual maturity for ourselves, or to earn favor with God.   Pruning in the Bible is all about health, growth, and having a harvest worth sharing!

Faith, hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love. We are to love one another, so all of our learning, growing, pruning, etc should be used to love and benefit each other. Pruning in the Bible does just that, and so it shouldn’t scare us the way it does sometimes.

Unforgettable Pruning Bible Study

If you take a look through the daily titles, you can easily see the benefits of pruning Bible study has in general, and especially this one: 

Jesus hand reaching out: Before I Go study topics

  Any Bible study that can work in the movie Miss Congeniality, then turn around and give you the Greek meaning of words used in a particular verse (2 different original words translated into English as 1 word) helping you understand the verse better, is going to be unforgettable!   The daily Action Point and Discussion Question will not always be easy, but are designed to make these truths stick.  If we can learn to abide as branches and obey as friends,we will find the strength to stand firm in Christ no matter what comes.  

Other Bible Studies You May Like


  • Understand Who Jesus Christ Is
  • Receive the Free Gift of Salvation
  • Invite others to Accept Jesus’ Invitation
  • Study and Apply God’s Word to your Life
  • Pray With Absolute Confidence

When we get to know who Jesus Christ really is—understand why He came to earth and humbled himself to the point of death upon the cross—we are completely transformed.

As you go through this three-week study, you will notice every day is titled with an action verb. They are actions you can do right now! And every single one of them is a reaction to what Jesus Christ has done for you.

Jesus, Before I Go is available ‘on demand’ as a free email bible study. 

Don’t Take My Word For It

Here are a couple of other great reviews of the Before I Go Study:

  1. Glenda Blogz
  2. One Word Faith

Author Bio

Sarah Koontz invites Christians of all ages to explore the beauty of God’s design through her writing at She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Before I Go is Sarah’s fifth free online Bible study, and she hopes to write many more in the years to come.

Sarah lives on 13-acres in South Dakota with her husband, two daughters and a rowdy flock of chickens. She revels in their simple, uncluttered life.

You can also find Sarah on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Read Sarah’s full bio here.

Christian Blogging Link-ups

You can usually find me at these Christian bloggers Link-ups.

Are You Ready?

I know it’s a lot to take in, but I’m hoping pruning in the Bible isn’t quite as scary, and maybe a little more hopeful than it was before! Please check out this amazing Pruning Bible Study, and be ready for fun and faith-building.

Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!

22 Comments on “Pruning in the Bible: 1 Important but Challenging Topic”

  1. I never thought about pruning in terms of cutting heavy branches away. That paints such s great visual in my mind. I definitely have some self-imposed burdens I could cut back and allow God greater access with the master shears!

    1. Isn’t it beautiful!? And when we understand what the original audience did, things become a little clearer and richer! Even something like pruning in the Bible is so much more!

  2. Great blog. I never thought about “pruning” being like purifying, but now I see that it is. Thank you!!

    1. You’re very welcome! Studying pruning in the Bible is fascinating, and when we take it personally, it is quite meaningful!

  3. Great post. We pruned several of our peach trees last year. They looked horrible when we finished but we had more peaches than we could eat once harvest time came around. Pruning is often ugly but very effective. Thank you!

    1. Isn’t it awesome when you get to experience a biblical truth like that in person? You get so much new insight and then it clicks!

  4. I see pruning as a season – it’s part of the life cycle and therefore a part of being a christian. It maybe painful but it is for good. Thanks for sharing this, I have enjoyed your post.

    1. So true! Pruning isn’t a permanent state. And we have a say in the duration. We can let go willingly or fight every clip. I’m glad you enjoyed reading this, i hope you will sign up for the Bible Study!

  5. I always understood that pruning will result in future growth. I always think of a fruit tree or a rose bush. The end result is growth. I’m so thankful for that, even during a painful process. God is so good!

    1. Exactly. When you think analytically, you can understand the benefits of pruning in the Bible and in your own life. Hard to remember sometimes in the process though!

  6. “Just looking at these few examples of pruning in the Bible is enough to make me fear God, and trust Him more.” What you said here is such a paradox in this world, but so true!!

    1. Amen! Foolishness or wisdom? A paradox for sure. If you don’t have the right perspective, this seems totally bizarre! But Sarah’s study makes sense of a lot of this!

  7. I did a study on pruning a year or two ago and what always stuck with me was how it was necessary for bearing not only substantial fruit but also usable fruit! I really enjoyed these examples and your point of view!

    1. God sure uses Sarah’s studies! I’m looking forward to this summer and the study on Praying like David!

  8. I love these thoughts on pruning… thanks so much for sharing! Always a good reminder that we are works in progress in His loving care. Stopping by from #tuneinthursday

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