The Gemara in Yoma (21b, 39b) says the following:
אָמַר רַב זוּטְרָא בַּר טוֹבִיָּה: לָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ יַעַר, דִּכְתִיב: ״בֵּית יַעַר הַלְּבָנוֹן״, לוֹמַר לָךְ: מָה יַעַר מְלַבְלֵב — אַף בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ מְלַבְלֵב. דְּאָמַר רַב הוֹשַׁעְיָא: בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁבָּנָה שְׁלֹמֹה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, נָטַע בּוֹ כׇּל מִינֵי מְגָדִים שֶׁל זָהָב, וְהָיוּ מוֹצִיאִין פֵּירוֹת בִּזְמַנֵּיהֶן. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁהָרוּחַ מְנַשֶּׁבֶת בָּהֶן הָיוּ נוֹשְׁרִין פֵּירוֹתֵיהֶן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״יִרְעַשׁ כַּלְּבָנוֹן פִּרְיוֹ״, וּמֵהֶן הָיְתָה פַּרְנָסָה לַכְּהוּנָּה.
וְכֵיוָן שֶׁנִּכְנְסוּ גּוֹיִם לַהֵיכָל יָבְשׁוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״וּפֶרַח לְבָנוֹן אוּמְלָל״. וְעָתִיד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְהַחְזִירָהּ לָנוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״פָּרוֹחַ תִּפְרַח וְתָגֵל אַף גִּילַת וְרַנֵּן כְּבוֹד הַלְּבָנוֹן נִתַּן לָהּ״.
Rav Zutra bar Toviya said: Why is the Temple called: Forest, as it is written: “The house of the forest of Lebanon” (Melachim I 10:17)? To tell you: Just as a forest blooms, so too the Temple blooms. As Rav Hoshaya said: When Solomon built the Temple, he planted in it all kinds of sweet fruit trees made of gold, and miraculously these brought forth fruit in their season. And when the wind blew upon them, their fruit would fall off, as it is stated: “May his fruits rustle like Lebanon” (Tehillim 72:16). And through selling these golden fruits to the public, there was a source of income for the priesthood.
But once the gentile nations entered the Sanctuary the golden trees withered, as it states “The flower of Lebanon withers” (Nachum 1:4). And in the future hour of redemption, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will restore them to us as it is stated: “It will blossom and will rejoice, even with joy and song, the glory of Lebanon will be given to it” (Yeshayahu 35:2).
This is not the only place where Chazal mention golden fruit bearing trees in the First Beis Hamikdash. The Yerushalmi and Medrash Rabba also mention it, but with a few differences. It comes in when discussing the different kinds of gold, one of which is Parvayim gold (mentioned in Divrey Hayamim II 3:6 as being used to plate the walls of the Heichal).
This is what the Yerushalmi (Yoma 4:4) says:
זָהָב פַּרְוַיִים: רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ אָמַר אָדוֹם, דּוֹמֶה לְדָמוֹ שֶׁלְפָּר. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים, זָהָב שֶׁהוּא עוֹשֶׂה פֵירוֹת....אָמַר רִבִּי אָחָא בַר יִצְחָק, בַּשָּׁנָה שֶׁבָּנָה שְׁלֹמֹה אֶת בֶּית הַמִּקָדָּשׁ צָר כָּל־מִינֵי אִילָנוֹת לְתוֹכוֹ, וּבַשָּׁעָה שֶׁהָיוּ אֵילּוּ שֶׁבַּחוּץ [עוֹשִׂין פֵּירוֹת] הָיוּ אֵילּוּ שֶׁבִּפְנִים עוֹשִׂין פֵּירוֹת, הָדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב פָּרֹ֨חַ תִּפְרַ֜ח וְתָגֵ֗ל אַ֚ף גִּילַ֣ת וְרַנֵּ֔ן וגו׳. אֵימָתַי יָֽבְשׁוּ, אָמַר רִבִּי יִצְחָק חִינְנָא בַּר יִצְחָק, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהֶעֱמִיד מְנַשֶּׁה צֶלֶם בַּהֵיכָל יָֽבְשׁוּ, דִּכְתִיב וּפֶ֥רַח לְבָנ֖וֹן אוּמְלָל׃
Parvayim gold: Rebbi Shimon ben Lakish said, it is red like the blood of a bull [par], but some say, gold which produces fruits.... Rebbi Acha bar Yitzchak said, at the time when Shlomo built the Temple, he drew all kinds of trees in it and at the time when those outside where bearing fruit, those inside where bearing fruit. That is what is written, blooming the blossom and jubilate, also enjoying and singing, (Yeshayah 35:2). When did they dry up? Rebbi Yitzchak Chinena bar Yitzchak said, when Menashe put up at statue in the Temple they dried up, as it is written, The flower of Lebanon withers (Nachum 1:4).
The Midrash Rabba (Shir Hashirim Rabba 3:10) is similar, saying the following:
זְהַב פַּרְוָיִם, רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ אָמַר אָדֹם דּוֹמֶה לְדַם הַפָּר, וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה פֵּרוֹת, שֶׁכְּשֶׁבָּנָה שְׁלֹמֹה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ צָר בּוֹ כָּל מִינֵי אִילָנוֹת, וּבְשָׁעָה שֶׁאִילָנוֹת שֶׁבַּשָֹּׂדֶה עוֹשִׂים פֵּרוֹת אֵלּוּ שֶׁבַּבַּיִת עוֹשִׂים פֵּרוֹת וְהָיוּ מַשִּׁירִים פֵּרוֹתָם וּמְלַקְּטִין אוֹתָם וּמַנִּיחִים אוֹתָם לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת, וּבְשָׁעָה שֶׁהֶעֱמִיד מְנַשֶּׁה צֶלֶם בַּהֵיכָל יָבְשׁוּ כָּל אוֹתָם הָאִילָנוֹת, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (נחום א, ד): וּפֶרַח לְבָנוֹן אֻמְלָל, אֲבָל לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא חוֹזֵר אוֹתָם, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (ישעיה לה, ב): פָּרֹחַ תִּפְרַח וְתָגֵל אַף גִּילַת וְרַנֵּן.
Parvayim gold, Reish Lakish said: It is red like the blood of a bull [par], and some say that it produces fruits. When Shlomo built the Temple, he drew in it all sorts of trees. When the trees in the field would produce fruit, those [gold trees] in the Temple would produce fruit. The fruit would fall, and they would gather them and set them aside for Temple maintenance. When Menashe placed an idol in the Sanctuary, all those trees dried up. That is what is written: “The flower of Lebanon withers” (Nachum 1:4). However, in the future, the Holy One blessed be He will restore them. That is what is written: “It will blossom and will rejoice, even with joy and song” (Yeshayah 35:2).
(It should be noted as a side point, that The Gemara Bavli Yoma 44b-45a also explains the different types of gold, but it only brings the first explanation, that it is called Parvayim because of its color.)
The Midrash Tanchumah also talks about miraculous fruit growing in the First Beis Hamikdash, but it describes them as growing from the wood in the wall. It says the following (Tanchumah Terumah 11):
אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי: כְּשֶׁהִכְנִיס שְׁלֹמֹה אֶת הָאָרוֹן לְבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, הִרְטִיבוּ כָּל הָעֵצִים וְהָאֲרָזִים שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁם וְעָשׂוּ פֵּרוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: שְׁתוּלִים בְּבֵית ה' בְּחַצְרוֹת אֱלֹהֵינוּ יַפְרִיחוּ (תהלים צב, יד). וְהָיוּ הוֹלְכִין וְעוֹשִׂין פֵּרוֹת, וּמֵהֶם הָיְתָה פַּרְנָסָה גְּדוֹלָה לְפִרְחֵי כְּהֻנָּה, עַד שֶׁעָמַד מְנַשֶּׁה וְהִכְנִיס אֶת הַצֶּלֶם בְּבֵית קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים, וְנִסְתַּלְּקָה הַשְּׁכִינָה, וְיָבְשׁוּ הַפֵּרוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וּפֶרַח לְבָנוֹן אֻמְלָל (נחום א, ד)
R. Levi said: When Shlomo brought the ark into the Temple, all the trees and cedars there came to life and bore fruit, as it is said: Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God (Tehillim 92:14). They brought forth fruit and supplied a large share of the provisions for the young priests. But when Menashe brought an idol into the Temple, the Shechinah departed from it and the fruit withered, as is said: The flower of Lebanon withers (Nachum. 1:4).
As we can see, each of these sources talk about miraculous fruit growing in the Beis Hamikdash, but each one has different details.
The first difference is where these fruit grew from. The Gemara Bavli says that Shlomo planted sweet fruit of gold, which implies that he made actual trees from gold. The Yerushalmi and Midrash Rabba, however, say that Shlomo drew trees, which is implying that it was not separate trees, but pictures of trees on the walls, as mentioned in the Passuk (Melachim I 6:29) that Shlomo carved palm trees and floral designs on the walls of the Heichal. This is further shown by the fact that the Yerushalmi and Midrash are talking about parvayim gold, which was used for plating the walls of the Heichal. The Midrash Tanchumah, on the other hand, does not talk about gold trees at all, but says that the wood in the walls became alive and bore fruit.
Another difference is what these fruit were used for. The Bavli and Tanchumah say that the Kohanim would sell these fruits and get an income (or big income) from it (as the gold fruit are valuable, even if they are not edible, and the fruit growing from wood is definitely edible), while the Midrash Rabba says that it was used for Bedek Habayis, the upkeep of the Beis Hamikdash.
A third Difference is when did this miracle stop. Both Midrashim as well as the Yerushalmi say it stopped when Menasheh set up an idol in the Heichal. [The Mefarshim on the Midrash Rabba note that the Passuk that describes the drying up was said by Nachum, who lived in the times of Menasheh.] The Gemara Bavli, however, says it continued until the goyim came in and destroyed the Beis Hamikdash, a while after Menashe's times.
A final difference is who described the miracle in each source. The Gemara Bavli quotes it in the name of Rebbi Oshayah, the Yerushalmi in the name of Rebbi Acha Bar Yitzchak (that it existed) and Rebbi Yitzchak Chinena bar Yitzchak (that it stopped by Menasheh), and the Tanchumah in the name of Rebbi Levi.
Differences in the descriptions of the miraculous fruit
What seems to come out from all of this that the different sources are not discussing the same miracle, but three separate ones.
The first miracle is described by the Bavli by Rebbi Oshayah. Shlomo Hamelech planted golden trees in the Beis Hamikdash, and their fruit was used to support the Kohanim. These trees did not stop when Menashe put up an idol in the Heichal, possibly because they were not inside the Heichal, but in the Ulam and the Azarah, and since this has a lesser level of holiness than the Heichal, it was not such a big desecration and did not cause the miracle to stop. However, when the Goyim came in to the Beis Hamidkash, the trees stopped giving off fruit.
The second miracle is described in the Midrash Rabba, and in the Yerushalmi by Rebbi Acha bar Yitzchak and Rebbi Yitzchak Chinena bar Yitzchak. This was that the images of trees on the golden plating of the Heichal gave off fruit. These fruit were sold, and the money given to Bedek Habayis. When Menashe set up his idol in the Heichal, in this holy place, near these golden walls, this miracle stopped.
The third miracle is described by Rebbi Levi in the Midrash Tanchumah, that the wood in the Heichal walls gave fruit, which was used to support the Kohanim. This miracle also stopped when Menashe brought the idol in, as it also happened in the actual Heichal.
I have added a new video of the Lishkos on the northern side of the first Beis Hamikdash..
My name is Mendel Lewis.
Hashem said to Yechezkel, "Its reading in the Torah is as great as its building. Go and say it to them, and they will occupy themselves to read the form of it in the Torah. And in reward for its reading, that they occupy themselves to read about it, I count it for them as if they were occupied with the building of it. (Tanchuma tzav 14)