The Produce Of The Vineyard In The East -- By: Henry Homes
BSac 5:18 (May 1848) p. 283
The Produce Of The Vineyard In The East
In a country where wine, as in America, is known as a great promoter of the crime of drunkenness, and where the vintage is supposed to be gathered chiefly for the purpose of making wine, it is difficult for the mind to do justice to the common language of Scripture which extols the vine and its products as one of the staffs of life. The fruits of the vine, designated by ten different words in the Bible, that are translated wine in our version, are in more than thirty different passages, associated with the tithes and offerings, or with corn and oil, as emblems of temporal blessings. Along with the field of grain is mentioned the vineyard; along with the harvest is mentioned the vintage; along with corn and oil, wine is almost always combined as the third representative of the three chief blessings of the year. We will quote but two of the many passages of this kind. “And he will love thee and bless thee and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine (tirosh) and
BSac 5:18 (May 1848) p. 284
thine oil, etc.” Deut. 7:13. “For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine (tirosh) and the oil unto the chambers.” Neh. 10:39.
Additional honor is bestowed upon the vine, by the number of illustrations of the most precious truths that are drawn from it. The church and its members are most beautifully pictured as being united to Christ as the branch is united to the vine; Christ’s servants are described as laborers in his vineyard; the church is the planted vine brought out of Egypt, the vine watered and protected by God; and Christ encourages his disciples with the promise of drinking with them the fruit of the vine new in his Father’s kingdom. Nothing in the material world is so often employed in the Scriptures, as a symbol to convey spiritual truths, as the vine and its fruit.
Now when we recall to mind, that wine is supposed to be the chief thing obtained from the vine, and that as a fermented liquor it contains a certain percentage of alcohol, and that there is no substance now called wine by any one that is not intoxicating, it must introduce confusion into the minds of many, to understand how the vine is worthy to be exalted in the word of God into such a conspicuous place for our admiration. Enlightened reason approves of all the denunciations of intemperance found in the Bible, and also of its approbation of abstinence from intoxicating drinks, and therefore the mind asks that the propriety and consistency should be shown, of maki...
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