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one of the most important products of Israel
The first mention of it is in the history of Noah (Gen. 9:20). It is afterwards frequently noticed both in the Old and New Testaments, and in the ruins of terraced vineyards there are evidences that it was extensively cultivated by the Jews. It was cultivated in the Promised Land before the Israelites took possession of it. The men sent out by Moses brought with them from the Valley of Eshcol a cluster of grapes so large that “they bare it between two upon a staff” (Num. 13:23). The vineyards of En-gedi (Song of Songs 1:14), Heshbon, Sibmah, Jazer, Elealeh (Isa. 16:8-10; Jer. 48:32, 34), and Helbon (Ezek. 27:18), as well as of Eshcol, were celebrated.
The Church is compared to a vine (Ps. 80:8), and Christ says of himself, “I am the vine” (John 15:1). In one of his parables also (Matt. 21:33) our Lord compares his Church to a vineyard which “a certain householder planted, and hedged round about,” etc.
Hos. 10:1 is rendered in the Revised Version, “Israel is a luxuriant vine, which putteth forth his fruit,” instead of “Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself,” of the Authorized Version.