Manners & Customs: Watchtower
The watchtower and watchman's booth in ancient Biblical times
Biblical Description of a Vineyard
Care of Vineyards
THE DESCRIPTION OF A VINEYARD BY ISAIAH AND BY JESUS IN ISAIAH'S PARABLE of the Vineyard, and in CHRIST's Parable of the Wicked Husbandman, taken together, we get an accurate picture of an Oriental vineyard. Isaiah wrote: "My well beloved had a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein" (Isaiah 5:1, 2). JESUS spoke thus: "There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen" (Matthew 21:33). These two accounts list eight interesting facts that are true of many vineyards in Bible lands. They are often located on a hillside, they usually have a hedge or fence around them, the soil is cultivated by hoeing or spading, large stones are gathered out of the ground, choice vines are planted, a watch-tower is built, a winepress is constructed, and sometimes vineyards are rented. These points suggest the main features that need to be noticed in a study of the Oriental vineyard. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
The Watchman's Booth or Tower
The construction of a booth or tower. For centuries Palestinian vineyards have had watchmen, whose duty it has been to be on the lookout for marauders of any kind. Sometimes a simple booth is constructed for him, on a high spot where he can view the entire vineyard. This is made of branches and boughs of trees, and provides a shelter from the rays of the sun. This place becomes the home for the watchman for the summer months of the year. In the winter months this booth is deserted. Isaiah said: "The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage [booth] in a vineyard" (Isaiah 1:8). Often a more durable abode is made for the watchman, especially if his family is to live with him for the summer. Isaiah's Song of the Vineyard mentions the building of a tower "in the midst" of the vineyard (Isaiah 5:2). JESUS' Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen speaks of the building of a tower in the vineyard (Matthew 21:33).
Also when CHRIST told of the man who did not count the cost of building a tower, it was doubtless a vineyard-tower to which he was referring (Luke 14:28-30). These towers were of varying height, all the way from ten feet to an occasional forty feet. These towers were not the same as the ones connected with the city walls. Nor are they the same as the more modern towers now in use by the Jews returning to the land of their fathers, who use them as a protection for their agricultural colonies. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
Watchman in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
woch'-man (tsopheh, shomer, metsappeh, notser): Used to
designate a sentinel on the city walls (2 Sam 18:25; 2 Ki
9:18; Ps 127:1; Isa 62:6) or on the hilltops (Jer 31:6). Song
3:3; 5:7 introduces another class, "the watchmen that go about
the city," and thus, it would seem, points to some system of
municipal police. The distinction in meaning between the
various words is clear, tsopheh having the idea of "outlooker"
and notser that of "careful watcher" (being applied even to
besiegers from outside: Jer 4:16, "watchers"), while shomer
also embraces the idea of "defending" or "guarding." In Isa
21:6 metsappeh is to be taken generally in the sense of
"watch." In Sirach 37:14 skopos, means simply "looker."
Watchman Scripture - 2 Kings 9:17
And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he
spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a
company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet
them, and let him say, [Is it] peace?
Watchman Scripture - 2 Kings 9:18
So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus
saith the king, [Is it] peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou
to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told,
saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again.
Watchman Scripture - 2 Samuel 18:27
And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost
is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king
said, He [is] a good man, and cometh with good tidings.
Watchman Scripture - Ezekiel 33:2
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto
them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the
land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their
Watchman Scripture - Ezekiel 33:6
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the
trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and
take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his
iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
Watchman Scripture - Ezekiel 33:7
So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the
house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my
mouth, and warn them from me.
Watchman Scripture - Isaiah 21:12
The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if
ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.
Watchman Scripture - Psalms 127:1
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that
build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh
[but] in vain.
Watchtower Scripture - Isaiah 21:5
Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise,
ye princes, [and] anoint the shield.
Watchtower Scripture - Isaiah 21:8
And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the
watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole
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