Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Vine, Vineyard

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VINE, VINEYARD (ἀμπελών).—Vine-culture was one of the oldest industries in Palestine. This is attested by the presence of rock-hewn wine-presses and traces of ancient vine terraces where all is wilderness to-day. Work in the vineyard furnished occupation to many (Matthew 20:1 ff; Matthew 21:28). Landowners planted vineyards, and let them to husbandmen (Matthew 21:33 ff. etc.). The vineyard requires much care and attention. It is surrounded by a dry-stone wall, a bank of thorns, or fence of prickly pear. If it be on a slope, the terraces must be kept in good repair, lest the soil be washed away by winter rains. The ground is well worked with the hoe, and thoroughly cleansed of alien roots. Pruning is done in Dec. or Jan.; the blossom is out in April and May; the vintage is general in Sept. [Note: Septuagint.] , but somewhat earlier in the Jordan Valley. The ‘tower’ (Matthew 21:33 etc.) is the shelter for the watchman who guards the crop against injury from man and beast.

The familiar form of the vine, with its abundant and luxuriant branches, would lend itself all the more readily to the allegorical use of Jesus, inasmuch as ‘in the OT, and partially in Jewish thought, the vine was the symbol of Israel, not in their national, but in their Church capacity’ (Edersheim, LT [Note: T Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah [Edersheim].] ii. 520; cf. John 15). See next article.

The fig and the vine are often closely associated (Luke 13:6). The mod. Arab, karm stands for both vineyard and fig-orchard. From the Mishna we gather that 200 years after Christ vine-culture was still a flourishing industry in Palestine. With the coming of the Arabs, vineyards almost entirely disappeared. During the last cent. the industry has in some measure revived under the influence of the German and Jewish colonists in Palestine, and the French in the Lebanon. Both E. and W. of Jordan the vine is now largely cultivated. The grapes of Eshcol are in high repute.

W. Ewing.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Vine, Vineyard'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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