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Holman Bible Dictionary
Virgin soil or else soil which has not recently been planted (Jeremiah 4:3
; Hosea 10:12
). The central thrust of the prophetic message is clear: the nation Israel, “Jacob”, is to return to Yahweh by “cultivating” the covenant values of righteousness and steadfast love. The precise significance of the fallow ground is unclear. Perhaps the unplowed earth represents Israel's failure to do what was needed to keep the covenant. Or perhaps the virgin soil represents a new relationship with God. Here the call is for Israel to abandon the worn out fields of unrighteousness (symbolized by thorns) and to move on to the new, fertile (Proverbs 13:23
) ground of covenant living.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Fallow Ground'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/f/fallow-ground.html. 1991.