This post in my series on the mythology of wine covers the symbolism of wine, grapevines, and vineyards in relation to Christ.
Israel and Jesus as Grapevines
In an earlier post, I mentioned that in the Hebrew Bible Israel is often portrayed as a vineyard, with Yahweh being the vintner (e.g., Ps 80:14-15; Is 5:1-7). If the Israelites failed to obey the Law, the vineyard would degenerate and yield poor grapes (e.g., Jer 2:21; also Is 5:2). Prophets blamed Israel’s and Judah’s domination by Assyria and then Babylon to the people’s failure to obey the Law. When Judah fell to the Babylonians, the Jewish elite was exiled, the last Davidic king was dethroned and died in exile, and Judah ceased to exist. The “vineyard” was no more. After the exile, Jews lived in their former territory, now named the Persian (and subsequently Hellenistic Seleucid and then Roman) province of…
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