– theistic evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky
A corollary might be, “Nothing in religion makes sense except in the light of history!” Religions evolve and develop over time, just like organisms.
What does it mean to “take” the species? It's unclear. Luckily, they are mentioned again in the days of Ezra (Neh. Ch. 8):
Note that by this time (~450 BCE) the exiled Israelites had forgotten what was written in the Bible or how to keep Sukkot. They appear to have interpreted the Bible’s command to “take” the four species as
“take them… and use them to build a Sukkah!”
To this day, all Jews build their Sukkah using plant materials.
However, the tradition of the “four species” has evolved again since then. By the Rabbinic era, a different interpretation had taken root:
“take them… and bundle them!”
It’s not clear how this tradition of bundling and shaking the four species during prayers arose, but it seems to have happened during the second
Some people may not like tracing the history of religious traditions, but for me it’s the only way to understand and appreciate them! I’m a scientist, and religions are like living organisms - they can only be understood in the context of their evolutionary history.