In Rom. 11: 17–24 Paul explains that Gentiles have been grafted on to the people of God by using the image of an olive tree. Gentiles are like a new shoot with new life and vigour and, as in arboriculture then and now, the new gave a splendid richness to the failing ‘natural’ tree, which stood for Israel. Paul is warning the Gentiles that they still depend on the tree of Israel for fullness of life.