Manners & Customs: Fruits
Fruits in Ancient Bible Times
Apple in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
ap'-l ap'-l tre, (tappuach): A fruit tree and fruit
mentioned chiefly in Cant, concerning the true nature of
which there has been much dispute.
Song 2:3 says: "As the apple-tree among the trees of the
wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his
shadow with great delight"; Song 8:5: "Under the apple-tree
I awakened thee: there thy mother was in travail with thee,
there was she in travail that brought thee forth." Of the
fruit it is said, Song 2:3: "His fruit was sweet to my
taste"; Song 2:5: "Stay ye me with raisins, refresh me with
apples"; Song 7:8: "the smell of thy breath (Hebrew "nose")
In all the above references the true apple, Pyrus malus,
suits the conditions satisfactorily. The apple tree affords
good shade, the fruit is sweet, the perfume is a very
special favorite with the people of the East. Sick persons
in Israel delight to hold an apple in their hands, simply
for the smell. (Compare Arabian Nights, "Prince Hassan and
the Paribanou.") Further the Arabic for apple tuffah is
without doubt identical with the Hebrew tappuach. The apple
was well known, too, in ancient times; it was, for example,
extensively cultivated by the Romans.
The one serious objection is that apples do not easily reach
perfection in Israel; the climate is too dry and hot;
farther north in the Lebanon they flourish. At the same time
it is possible to exaggerate this objection, for with
careful grafting and cultivation exceedingly good apples may
be produced in the mountain regions. Apple trees there need
special care and renewal of the grafts, but there is no
impossibility that at the time of the writing of Canticles
skilled gardeners should have been able to produce sweet and
perfumed apples in Israel. Small but very sweet and fragrant
apples are now grown at Gaza. Good apples are now plentiful
in the market at Jerusalem, but they are chiefly
importations from the North.
On account of the above difficulty three other fruits have
been suggested by various writers. Two doubtless have been
brought forward with a view to Prov 25:11: "A word fitly
spoken is like apples of gold in network of silver," but the
reference would certainly seem to be to some silver filigree
work ornamented with gold modeled to look like fruit rather
than to any actual fruit. The citron and the apricot
(Tristram) have both been suggested as the true tappuach.
The former, which is a native of Persia, does not appear to
have been introduced into Israel until well into the
Christian era and the apricot, though an attractive
substitute for the apple and today one of the most beautiful
and productive of fruit trees, can hardly have been
established in Israel at the time of the scriptural
references. It is a native of China and is said to have
first begun to find its way westward at the time of
Alexander the Great.
The third of the fruits is the quince, Cydonia vulgaris
(Natural Order Rosaceae), and this had more serious claims.
It flourishes in Israel and has been long indigenous there.
Indeed it is probable that even if tappuach was a name for
apple, it originally included also the closely allied
quince. The greatest difficulty is its harsh and bitter
taste. Further the Mishna distinguishes the tappuach from
the quince, which is called parish, and from the crab apple
or chazor (Kohler in Jewish Encyclopedia, II, 23). The
quince along with the apple was sacred to Aphrodite, the
goddess of love.
On the whole there does not appear to be any sufficient
reason for rejecting the translation of the King James
Version and the Revised Version (British and American); the
Biblical references suit it; the identity of the Hebrew and
Arabic words favor it and there is no insuperable objection
on scientific grounds.
The word tappuach appears in two place names, BETH-TAPPUAH
and TAPPUAH (which see).
Grapesyrup or "dibs." The Arabs take the juice of grapes, and boil it until it is as thick as molasses. They call this "dibs," and they are very fond of eating it with bread, or they thin it with water and drink it. This grapehoney was in use in Bible times. It was probably this that Jacob sent to Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 43:11), and which was purchased by the Tyrians from the land of Israel (Ezekiel 27:17). Three hundred pounds of grapes will make one hundred pounds of dibs. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Figs. This fruit was often used in Old Testament times, especially dried figs. Abigail took two hundred cakes of figs to David (I Samuel 25:18). A cake of figs was given the Egyptian to revive him (I Samuel 30:12), and cakes of figs were brought to David at Hebron, at a time of great rejoicing (I Chronicles 12:40). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Fruits in Easton's Bible Dictionary
a word as used in Scripture denoting produce in general,
vegetable or animal. The Hebrews divided the fruits
of the land
into three classes:,
(1.) The fruit of the field, "corn-fruit" (Heb.
kinds of grain and pulse.
(2.) The fruit of the vine, "vintage-fruit" (Heb.
grapes, whether moist or dried.
(3.) "Orchard-fruits" (Heb. yitshar), as dates,
Injunctions concerning offerings and tithes were
these Hebrew terms alone (Num. 18:12; Deut. 14:23).
"fruit" is also used of children or offspring (Gen.
7:13; Luke 1:42; Ps. 21:10; 132:11); also of the
beasts (Deut. 28:51; Isa. 14:29).
It is used metaphorically in a variety of forms (Ps.
Prov. 1:31; 11:30; 31:16; Isa. 3:10; 10:12; Matt.
26:29; Heb. 13:15; Rom. 7:4, 5; 15:28).
The fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23; Eph. 5:9;
18) are those gracious dispositions and habits which
produces in those in whom he dwells and works.
Fruits in Naves Topical Bible
See under the respective headings of various fruit-
See RIGHTEOUSNESS, FRUITS OF
See SIN, FRUITS OF
Fruits Scripture - 2 Kings 19:29
And this [shall be] a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year
such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that
which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and
reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof.
Fruits Scripture - 2 Samuel 16:1
And when David was a little past the top [of the hill],
behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a
couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred [loaves] of
bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of
summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.
Fruits Scripture - 2 Samuel 9:10
Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till the
land for him, and thou shalt bring in [the fruits], that thy
master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth thy
master's son shall eat bread alway at my table. Now Ziba had
fifteen sons and twenty servants.
Fruits Scripture - Exodus 22:29
Thou shalt not delay [to offer] the first of thy ripe fruits,
and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give
Fruits Scripture - Leviticus 25:15
According to the number of years after the jubile thou shalt
buy of thy neighbour, [and] according unto the number of years
of the fruits he shall sell unto thee:
Fruits Scripture - Leviticus 25:16
According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the
price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou
shalt diminish the price of it: for [according] to the number
[of the years] of the fruits doth he sell unto thee.
Fruits Scripture - Leviticus 26:20
And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall
not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land
yield their fruits.
Fruits Scripture - Revelation 18:14
And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from
thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed
from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
Fruits Scripture - Revelation 22:2
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the
river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner
of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the
leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.
Fruits Scripture - Song of Solomon 4:16
Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my
garden, [that] the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved
come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins. During the months of September and October, the fresh ripe grapes are eaten along with bread as one of the principal foods. Canaan must have been a land of very fine grapes, for two of the spies brought back a great cluster of grapes on a branch carried on a staff between them, and secured from the Valley of Eshcol (Numbers 13:23). Raisins were widely used in the days when the Jews lived in Israel. Abigail gave David one hundred clusters of raisins (I Samuel 25:18). Raisins were brought to David at Hebron (I Chronicles 12:40) and again, when he was fleeing from Absalom, he received a quantity of them (II Samuel 16:1). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Grapes and Raisins
USE OF GRAPES AND MAKING OF GRAPE PRODUCTS
Fresh grapes and raisins. During the months of September and October; the fresh ripe grapes are eaten along with bread as one of the principal foods, in Bible lands. Then the grapes are dried in a level corner of the vineyard. While being dried they are turned over and sprinkled with olive oil to keep the skin moist. Then they are stored for winter use.
The Mosaic Law allowed the eating of grapes from a neighbor's vineyard, but none could be taken away in a vessel (Deuteronomy 23:24). Today, in the Arab villages of Israel, there is an unwritten law of hospitality that everyone passing by a vineyard may help himself, but nobody would think of imposing on this kindness by carrying off any grapes.
Raisins were widely used in the days when the ancient Hebrews lived in Israel. Abigail gave David one hundred clusters of raisins (I Samuel 25:18). Raisins were brought to David at Hebron (I Chronicles 12:40), and again, when he was fleeing from Absalom, he received a quantity of them (II Samuel 16:1).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Harvesting the Grapes
HARVESTING OF GRAPES
The vintage begins in the month of September in the Holy Land, and at this period, from ancient times, the inhabitants of many a village move out to the vineyards, where they live in tents or in
lodges. Concerning the men of Shechem, the Book of Judges says: "They went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards" (Judges 9:27).
Jeremiah tells us about the gathering of the grapes by means of baskets: "Turn back thine hand as a grape-gatherer into the baskets" (Jeremiah 6:9). Isaiah predicts judgment as being a time when "there shall be no singing" in the vineyards (Isaiah 16:10). Thus the gathering of the grapes into the baskets was done with great joy and much singing. Whole families entered into the happiness of this harvest time. This is true among Oriental grape farmers today.
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Lush Locations for Grapes
Sections where most of the grapes grow. The favorite places for vineyards in Bible lands are Southern Israel, especially in the vicinity of Hebron where there are many hillsides; and in Syria and the foothills of the Lebanon Mountains in the north. It has been reported that one variety of grape grown in the vicinity of Hebron sometimes develops fruit so that one bunch may weigh as much as twenty-four pounds. Two natives will carry such a bunch on a pole, which reminds us of the spies sent by Moses into Canaan.
"And they came unto the brook Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff" (Numbers 13:23).
[Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Olives and olive oil. Some use is made of the pickled berry of the olive, but the bulk of the fruit is used to make oil. In the Orient, olive oil usually takes the place of butter, and is largely used in cooking meals. A survey of several Scriptures will indicate how important a food olive oil was considered to be. The widow who fed Elijah said to him: "I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse" (I Kings 17:12). She had been depending largely on bread and oil for her food, but the supply of both was about gone. The miracle of Elijah was the multiplication of that supply, "And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah" (I Kings 17:16). The Meal Offering of the Mosaic law called for unleavened fine flour mingled with oil baked in a pan (Leviticus 2:5). And the prophet Ezekiel in reciting to Jerusalem all its past blessings from JEHOVAH said of her, "Thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil" (Ezekiel 16:13). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Pomegranates. There are several varieties of sweet and sour pomegranates in the land. The juice of the sour variety is used in the absence of lemons for the purposes of that fruit. The pomegranate was greatly esteemed as a fruit in early Bible times, for it was mentioned by Moses as one of the excellencies of the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 8:8). The Song of Solomon makes mention of the pomegranate fruit, trees, and spiced wine from its juice (Song of Solomon 4:13; 6:11; 7:12; 8:2). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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