Almonds were special and given as a gift of respect to Joseph (then the ruler of Egypt) by his father and his brothers:
“And their father Israel said to them, ‘If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your utensils, and carry down a present to the man, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds‘”
The root of the word ‘almond,’ ’sha•ked,’ is identical to the verb ‘sha•kad,’ which means “to be diligent,” “to strive,” “steadfast.”
God is using this play on words in a vision of the prophet Jeremiah:
“Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a rod of an almond tree.’ Then said the Lord to me, ‘You have seen well; for I will hasten my word to perform it’
There isn’t, of course, any connection between almond and hastening God’s promise other than being a play on words, and there is no way on earth to understand this verse in its full meaning as shown here without knowing some Hebrew. It is just another proof that Hebrew is essential to fully understand the Word. This is true for the New Testament as well!
You may find it interesting that the very same root, ‘sha•kad,’ that God was using to stress His diligence in keeping His word, appears 26 times in the New Testament with the same exact meaning. For example:
“They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer”
Another great example is found in the following verse (note that the English translation may vary from verse to verse, but the Hebrew root is always ‘shaked,’ which makes it so much easier to understand):
“to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory, honor, and incorruptibility, eternal life”
This is an example where the lack of precision in translation takes you somewhat away from the full meaning. Diligence is an active verb and patience in well-doing, as used here, is passive, even though they both indicate persistence. Here is one more example of using passive language to convey the active verb, ‘sha•ked’:
“Watch! Stand firm in the faith! Be courageous! Be strong!”
Here, too, the call is to work hard on the ways of faith and not just to ‘watch,’ as it is translated. It’s a pity to see so many inaccurate translations when all that needed here is to know only one Hebrew verb properly!