Let’s talk about the vine in the Bible. In this article, we will walk in the orchards and forests of the Bible. And especially, we look at a tree that attracts our attention very well. This is, of course, the vine. What are the biblical vocabulary of the word ” vine ” and its synonyms? What are the remarkable vineyards in the Bible? What does the Bible teach us about creating and maintaining a vineyard? What about the vine/vineyard often used as a symbol in the Bible? In a word, what does the Bible say about the vine? These are some of the questions that will be the subject of our essay titled: The Vine in the Bible.
The Biblical Vocabulary of the Vine
The vine is designated in the Bible by the Hebrew gèfèn (54 times) and the Greek ampélos; the cultivated vineyard, by the Hebrew kèreni (87 times) and the Greek ampélôn. Our stem or stock terms appear to correspond to Hebrew zmôrâh (Isaiah 17: 10) and soûr (Jeremiah 2:21); that of sarment, sârîghv (Genesis 40 : 10,12, Joel 1 : 7), and that of grape, echkôl (Deuteronomy 32 : 32, Isaiah 65 : 8, Micah 7 : 1), name which became proper name , Escol , near Hebron (Numbers 11:23 and following).
The name of the grape is énâb (Genesis 49: 11, Leviticus 25: 5, Numbers 13: 20 23, Nehemiah 13: 15, Hosea 3: 1, Hosea 9: 10, Amos 9: 13); wild grapes, beouchim (Isaiah 5: 2,4). The leaf, âlèh, is mentioned only in Isaiah 34: 4, Jeremiah 8:13.
The sôréq (Genesis 49: 11, Isaiah 5: 2, Jeremiah 2: 21), which gave its name to the valley of Sorek, was a superior cru, which was to have red grapes: its name derives a root designating this color; it is now called Morocco serki.
The ” vine of Sodom,” with ” poisonous grapes ” (Deuteronomy 32: 32), is probably only a pejorative expression; if it were necessary to see a certain plant, it would probably be the colocynth …
The designation kèrem (vineyard) implies a certain idea of nobility that appears clearly in the name of Carmel, sometimes translated as a common name (Karmel = vine of God), synonymous with garden or orchard (Isaiah 32: 15), and which designates as a proper name the mountain range famous for its vineyards, between Asser and Issachar. From kèrem, kôrém (winemaker) was shot.
Harvester is said to be bâtsar, hence the bôtser – picker. The one who treads in the bowl is the dôrek-anâbim (crusher of bunches). The Bible has preserved the cry of his work. (Hédâd, Isaiah 16: 9, Jeremiah 48: 33, Reuss, hourrah !) *** [TopChrétien source] ***
The Remarkable Vines in the Bible
Among those who have possessed vines in the Bible, we note that it is just after the flood that the first mention is made of vine possession: the vine of Noah. It is said, “Noah began to cultivate the land and planted vines. (Genesis 9: 20) He does not have the vineyard of Noah.
• the Vineyards of Canaan
We note the vineyards of Canaan (Numbers 13: 23-24, Deuteronomy 8: 8). During the espionage of the people of Israel from the Promised Land, they arrived at Eschol where they cut a vine branch with a bunch of grapes. At that time, the territory of Canaan was recognized as a place “paradise” where it flows milk and honey. And the vines were like precious trees making the wealth of this territory.
• the Vineyard of Naboth
Read 1 Kings 21: 1-16, you will discover a story about a stolen vine. This vine belonged to Naboth and was coveted by King Ahab. Let’s take a closer look at this story of the stolen vine.
The Naboth vine incident shows how the Old Testament writers wrote the story with skill. In fact, this usurpation was a minor incident in Ahab’s reign. Yet the book of 1 King devotes more space to him than to the entire history of the reign of certain kings. It’s Proof that the king abused power and disobeyed God’s covenant. Every Israelite had the right to own a portion of the Promised Land – even a king was not allowed to violate that right. In fact, selling the land was a violation of the law of God given by Moses (Leviticus 25: 23-31). The greed of Ahab and the perfidy of Jezebel (his wife) led to the murder and ultimately the decline of the kingdom.
• the Vineyards in the Parables of Jesus
In the Bible, Jesus also used the parables in the parable. For example, we find them in “the parable of the workers in the vineyard” (Matthew 20: 1-15) – “the parable of the two sons” (Matthew 21: 28-31) – “the parable of the winemakers” (Matthew 21: 33-40).
But now, speaking of the vine in the Bible, let us turn our attention to the Creation and Maintenance of the vine in the Bible.
Creation and Maintaining of a Vine
• Creation of a Vineyard in the Bible
When creating a vine, one can notice that among the Israelites, each vine had walls of protection (Numbers 22: 24, Proverbs 24: 30-31). A vineyard also had a tower for guards and a wine press (Isaiah 5: 1-2, Matthew 21:33).
• the Maintaining of a Vineyard in the Bible
The maintenance of a vineyard in the Bible was to clean the field (Isaiah 5: 2) – to plant (Psalms 107: 37, Ecclesiastes 2: 4) – to cultivate (Deuteronomy 28:39, Isaiah 7:25) – to cut (Leviticus 25: 3, John 15: 2) – to harvest (Leviticus 19:10, Judges 9:27).
The importance of the vine in the Bible makes sense because it has legislation on the vine in the life of the Israelites.
Legislation of the Vine in the Bible
The laws of the vineyards testify to their importance in Israelite life.
• It was forbidden: to mix different plants in the same vineyard (Deuteronomy 22: 9) – to sow between the vines (Leviticus 19: 19) – to prematurely deplete the vine by harvesting before three years (Leviticus 19: 23).
• The vine growers were exempted from military service and also for those whose vineyard has not yet produced (Deuteronomy 20: 6, Jeremiah 52:16); the officer of Nebuchadnezzar observes this rule concerning the Jerusalemites (2 Kings 25:12).
• The vine had to rest during sabbatical and jubilee years (Exodus 23: 11, Leviticus 25: 3-4).
• Compensation for damage caused by animals in the vineyard (Exodus 22: 5).
• The obligation to leave the poor to graze after the harvest (Deuteronomy 24:21, Leviticus 19:10).
• Right for the traveler to eat grapes by the way (Deuteronomy 23: 24).
In our walk on the vine in the Bible, in the following lines, we will try to understand the meaning of the vine used as a symbol in the Bible.
The Symbol Vine in Biblical Literature
Its importance is also apparent from the sheer number of occasions it appears in the various books of the Bible.
• the Vine: Symbol of the Efforts
In the Bible, ” the idea of useless efforts ” is often expressed in this form: planting a vine and not eating the fruit (Deuteronomy 28: 30,39, Amos 5:11, Zephaniah 1:13 etc.) ; the opposite, positive formula is also found (Deuteronomy 6: 11, Amos 9: 14, Isaiah 37:30, Isaiah 65:21, etc.)
• the Vine and the Symbol of Fertility, Prosperity, and Security
The vine is in general, in biblical language, the symbol of fertility (Psalms 128: 3); it is one of the chief resources of the common people, with the fields (1 Samuel 8: 14, 1 Samuel 22: 16, Hosea 14: 7, Nehemiah 5: 3,5,11, Psalms 107: 37, etc.).
Eating from a vineyard is a sign of prosperity (2 Kings 18: 31, Psalm 107: 37-38, Isaiah 36:16).
Staying in a vineyard means a security (1 Kings 4: 25, Micah 4: 4).
• the Destruction of the Vineyard as a Sign of Disaster, Misfortune
Its destruction is a disaster, most often interpreted as a punishment of God (Hosea 2 :12, Isaiah 7 : 23, Isaiah 24 : 7, Isaiah 32: 10,12, Jeremiah 8 :13, Psalms 105:33 etc.) by the locusts’ instrument (Joel 1 : 5-7) or enemy armies (Jeremiah 5 :17, Habakkuk 3:16 etc.).
• the Vineyard and the Favor of God
The return of the favor of the Lord will be marked, among other things, by the reconstitution of flourishing vineyards: (Hosea 2:15, Joel 2:22, Haggai 2:19, Zechariah 8: 12, Malachi 3: 11, etc.). And as a sign of peace and security (Jeremiah 32: 13, Ezekiel 28: 26, etc.).
• the Vine in Spiritual Symbols
Often the vine is used as a symbol of the Israelite nation (Psalms 80: 8-11, Isaiah 5: 7, Jeremiah 2: 21, Hosea 10: 1). Sometimes, the vine in spiritual terms is a symbol for the disciples of Jesus (John 15: 1-6) or as a symbol of the kingdom of heaven, as is the case especially in the parables of Jesus (Matthew 20: 1 -15, Matthew 21: 28-33).
Conclusion on the Vine in the Bible
With the fig tree and the olive tree, the vine is the trilogy of Palestinian products by excellence, chosen as the type of trees with good fruit in the fable of trees in search of a king (Judges 9: 8).
The entire harvest was not intended for the manufacture of wine and similar drinks; the grapes were also eaten alive (Deuteronomy 23: 21). This text refers to grappling, which was allowed (Jeremiah 6: 9)
Fresh grapes were eaten, but also raisins (Numbers 6: 3); formerly as today, these were prepared in large quantities; for this purpose, the clusters were plunged into a solution of potash before drying; cakes were made of them (1 Samuel 25: 18, 1 Samuel 30: 12, 2 Samuel 16: 1, 1 Chronicle 12:40).