by Jamie Lash
Our biblical plants are happy this morning, as they bask in the summer sunshine – especially our GRAPEVINE. There are more than seventy references to the “fruitful vine” and grapes in the Holy Scriptures. The men who were sent to spy out the Land promised by God to His People Israel, returned bearing a large cluster of luscious grapes: “Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. ” (Num. 13:23)
One day, after reading Psalm 128:3, “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house…”(KJV), we decided to plant a grape vine by the side of our home. It was not easy to locate a suitable plant in South Florida, since most varieties of grapes can not grow in our tropical climate. However, we did locate a white grape vine at a Rare Fruit and Vegetable sale – and it is flourishing – but not like the grapes in Israel!
Grape vines in Israel throughout history have been prized as sources of grapes, grape juice, raisins and wine. Grapes, vineyards, and their products account for more passages about plants in the Bible than any other plant. Since grapes were first mentioned in the story of Noah in Genesis, he is often credited with the distinction of being the one to introduce grapes into cultivation. Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered the remains of many winepresses throughout the land, revealing the frequent practice of crushing grapes thousands of years ago. We have personally seen many of these, including the winepress at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem.
The grapevine in Scripture is a symbol of both Israel and Israel’s Messiah: “You have brought a vine (the Jewish People) out of Egypt…”(Ps.80:8) Yeshua associated the grapevine with Himself before His death on the tree: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” (John 15:1) He also used the fruit of the vine to represent His sacrifice for sin, when he said to His disciples, ”For this is My blood of the newcovenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” (Matt.26:28-29)