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October 29    Scripture

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Manners & Customs : Vineyards

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]

Caring for the Vineyard Parable of the sluggard. A good indication of the care required in growing a vineyard may be derived by looking at this parable as given in the book of Proverbs. "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down" (Proverbs 24:30, 31). The sluggard failed to keep his vineyard-wall in repair, and he failed to keep his growing vines free of thorns and weeds. These two activities are absolutely necessary. As in the case of raising a crop of grain, the native farmer does not usually fertilize the ground of his vineyard. Liming of the ground is dependent upon the many small and soft limestones so often present in Israel. Some of the lime in the stones is dissolved with each rainstorm, and mixing with the soil helps it in the growth of the grapes. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Dibs 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]

God's Winepress of Judgment The winepress as a figure of divine judgment. Isaiah describes the nations as being put in GOD's winepress where He treads upon them until His garments are sprinkled with their lifeblood (Isaiah 63:3-6). There is a graphic picture of the destruction of the army of Antichrist in the Book of Revelation. The coming Redeemer is described as being "clothed with a vesture dipped in blood," and He is said to tread "the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Revelation 19:13,15). [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]

Hedges and Ditches A hedge or wall usually built around a vineyard. An Eastern vineyard is usually surrounded with a ditch, and the earth from the digging of it is thrown along the inner side of the ditch, and upon this a fence of posts, branches, and twigs is built with thorn-branches on top. Oftentimes a wall of either stones or sun-dried mud takes the place of the fence. This serves as protection from foxes, jackals, or other animals, as well as from any thieves. In the parable of JESUS, the owner of the vineyard "hedged it round about" (Matthew 21:33). The Psalmist recounted what would happen to a vineyard whose hedges were broken down: "Why hast thou then broken down the hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it" (Psalm 80:12, 13). The lover in the Song of Solomon speaks of "the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines" (Song of Solomon 2:15). [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]

Planting Grapevines PLANTING OF THE GRAPEVINES The vineyard of Isaiah's song was planted, "with the choicest vine" (Isaiah 5:2). Although the slips are usually planted Closer together, they are sometimes set about twelve feet apart in order to give plenty of space for the branches to run. As a rule the young vine is trimmed back and does not bear grapes until following the third year. The grape becomes out in April and May and gives out a delicate sweetness. Solomon's Song says: "The vines with the tender grape give a good smell" (Song of Solomon 2:13). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Preparing the Soil The soil prepared for planting. The ground for hillside vineyards is not usually ploughed on account of its rocky character. Rather is the more arduous method of hoeing or spading by hand used. Isaiah pictures the process of cultivation the soil in the words, "and he fenced [digged] it" (Isaiah 5:2). If the farmer in charge of the vineyard does not have a small vineyard, he will probably need to have some workmen to help him, as was the case of the householder in CHRIST's Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-3), and in such a case it is to the marketplace that he will go to secure his workers. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Pruning the Grapevines Pruning of the grapevines. Before the arrival of springtime, the keeper of the vineyard prunes off every superficial branch, every branch that is sickly or feeble, so that the sap may flow into the healthy ones that will bear fruit. The branch that is located nearest the trunk or root usually bears the most grapes. JESUS indicates his familiarity with the pruning of the grapevines, in his famous allegory of the vine and the branches: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman [cultivator] Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth [prunes] it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you" (John 15:1-3). In this example, it is the Word that does the pruning. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Removing Boulders Large stones gathered out of the land. After putting a hedge or wall around the vineyard, the next task is to gather out stones. Isaiah's parable says: "And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof" (Isaiah 5:2). It is not the small stones that are taken out, because their presence is important to aid in the retaining of moisture in the vineyard's soil. Rather the large boulders must be removed that would be a hindrance to the growing vines. Much of Israel's land has had these rocks present, and they must be laboriously moved in preparation for a crop of grapes. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Renting Vineyards THE RENTING OF A VINEYARD Vineyards that are large are often rented out to one or more families. When this is done, the peasant who rents the vineyard agrees to give half or more of the products of the grapes. When harvest-time comes, the owner will send his servant to secure his share of the grapes, raisins, wine, or dibs. This illustrates CHRIST's Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen, for JESUS in telling his parables was making use of familiar practices among the people. "There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard . . . and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: and when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it" (Matthew 21:33, 34). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Seasonal Figs The fig tree a sign of the season. The fig tree shows sign of foliage later than some of the other fruit trees of Israel. The unfolding of the fig leaves and the deepening of their color is thought of as a sign that summertime is at hand. JESUS made reference to this idea: "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh" (Matthew 24:32; Mark 13:28). The lover in the Song of Solomon indicated that winter was past and summer was at hand because "The fig tree putteth forth her green figs" (Song of Solomon 2:11-13). CHRIST and the fig tree. In order to understand why CHRIST cursed the fig tree one day, it is necessary to know the custom of the fig tree's growth of leaves and fruit. The normal habit of the fig trees is that fruit begins to form on the tree as soon as leaves appear. Leaves and fruit also disappear together. But it was said of this fig tree which JESUS and his disciples saw on the Mount of Olives, "for the time of figs was not yet" (Mark 11:13). Actually this was no excuse for this fig tree, because if it was not the time for figs, it was also not the time for leaves to appear. By a show of leaves, it was like many people, pretending to have fruit which was not there. It was like the Pharisees who professed to be very religious, but whose lives were fruitless. Therefore CHRIST cursed this tree as an object lesson to all not to be hypocritical. JESUS also gave us the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree. "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down" (Luke 13:6-9). Here was a fig tree that failed for three years to bear fruit, when its owner had a right to expect a crop. The gardener suggested patience with the tree, and proposed additional cultivation and fertilization for it, giving it another chance to bear figs. It will be noted that this fig tree had been planted in the midst of a vineyard. This is often done in Israel. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Sowing Seed How and when the seed is sown. The farmer usually carries his seed to his field in a large sack on the back of his donkey. and then the leather bag which he carries under his arm is replenished with seed from the sack.13 As a rule, the seed is scattered broadcast on the ground, and then it is covered over by the ploughing. Often the sower walks along, scattering his seed, and then one of his family, or a servant if he has one, follows directly with the plough. The Biblical word "to sow" as used in the Pentateuch (Genesis 26:12; Leviticus 25:3, etc.), means "to scatter seed." [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Terraces with Stone Walls PREPARATION FOR A VINEYARD Terraces necessary for many vineyards. This has to do with those located on the hillsides. A series of low stone walls above each other, are constructed along the side of the hill, to keep the soil in place, and at the right level for growing grapes. Remains of old terraces in various places indicate that this custom has been practiced for many centuries. [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]

Vine in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Noah appears as its first cultivator (Genesis 9:20-21); he probably preserved the knowledge of its cultivation from the antediluvian world. Pharaoh's dream (Genesis 40:9-11, see Speaker's Commentary) implies its prevalence in Egypt; this is confirmed by the oldest Egyptian monuments. So also Psalm 78:47. Osiris the Egyptian god is represented as first introducing the vine. Wine in Egypt was the beverage of the rich people; beer was the drink of the poor people. The very early monuments represent the process of fermenting wine. The spies bore a branch with one cluster of grapes between two on a staff from the brook Eshcol. Bunches are found in Israel of ten pounds weight (Reland Palest., 351). Kitto (Phys. Hist. Palest., p. 330) says a bunch from a Syrian vine was sent as a present from the Duke of Portland to the Marquis of Rockingham, weighing 19 pounds, and was carried on a staff by four, two bearing it in rotation. Sibmah, Heshbon, and Elealeh (Isaiah 16:8-10; Jeremiah 48:31) and Engedi (Song of Solomon 1:14) were famous for their vines. Judah with its hills and tablelands was especially suited for vine cultivation; "binding his foal unto the vine and his ass' colt unto the choice vine he washed his garments in wine and his clothes in the blood of grapes, his eyes shall be red with wine" (Genesis 49:11-12). Both Isaiah (Isaiah 5) and the Lord Jesus make a vineyard with fence and tower, the stones being gathered out, the image of Judah (Matthew 21:33). Israel is the vine brought out of Egypt, and planted by Jehovah in the land of promise (Psalm 80:8; compare Isaiah 27:2-3). The "gathering out of the stones" answers to God's dislodging the original inhabitants before Israel, and the "fencing" to God's protection of Israel from surrounding enemies. "The choicest vine" (sowreq, still in Morocco called serki, the grapes have scarcely perceptible stones; Judges 16:4 mentions a town called from this choice vine Sorek) is the line of holy patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, etc. The square "tower" was to watch against depredations, and for the owner's use; the "fence" to keep out wild boars, foxes, jackals, etc. (Psalm 80:13; Song of Solomon 2:15). The "fence" may represent the law, the "stones" gathered out Jerome thinks are the idols; the "tower" the temple "in the midst" of Judaea; the "winepress," generally hewn...

Vine in Smiths Bible Dictionary the well-known valuable plant (vitis vinifera) very frequently referred to in the Old and New Testaments, and cultivated from the earliest times. The first mention of this plant occurs in Ge 9:20,21 That it was abundantly cultivated in Egypt is evident from the frequent representations on the monuments, as well as from the scriptural allusions. Ge 40:9-11; Ps 78:47 The vines of Israel were celebrated both for luxuriant growth and for the immense clusters of grapes which they produced, which were sometimes carried on a staff between two men, as in the case of the spies, Nu 13:23 and as has been done in some instances in modern times. Special mention is made in the Bible of the vines of Eshcol, Nu 13:24; 32:9 of Sibmah, Heshbon and Elealeh Isa 16:8,9,10; Jer 48:32 and of Engedi. So 1:14 From the abundance and excellence of the vines, it may readily be understood how frequently this plant is the subject of metaphor in the Holy Scriptures. To dwell under the vine and tree is an emblem of domestic happiness and peace, 1Ki 4:25; Ps 128:3; Mic 4:4 the rebellious people of Israel are compared to "wild grapes," "an empty vine," "the degenerate plant of a strange vine," etc. Isa 6:2,4; Jer 2:21; Ho 10:1 It is a vine which our Lord selects to show the spiritual union which subsists between himself and his members. Joh 15:1-6 The ancient Hebrews probably allowed the vine to go trailing on the ground or upon supports. This latter mode of cultivation appears to be alluded to by Ezekiel. Eze 19:11,12 The vintage, which formerly was a season of general festivity, began in September. The towns were deserted; the people lived among the vineyards in the lodges and tents. Comp. Jud 8:27; Isa 16:10; Jer 25:30 The grapes were gathered with shouts of joy by the "grape gatherers," Jer 25:30 and put into baskets. See Jer 6:9 They were then carried on the head and shoulders, or slung upon a yoke, to the "wine-press." Those intended for eating were perhaps put into flat open baskets of wickerwork, as was the custom in Egypt. In Israel, at present, the finest grapes, says Dr. Robinson, are dried as raisins, and the juice of the remainder, after having been trodden and pressed, "is boiled down to a sirup, which, under the name of dibs, is much used by all classes, wherever vineyards are found, as a condiment with their food." The vineyard, which was generally on a hill, Isa 5:1; Jer 31:5; Am 9:13 was surrounded by a wall or hedge in order to keep out the wild boars, Ps 80:13 jackals and foxes. Nu 22:24; Ne 4:3; So 2:15; Eze 13:4,5; Mt 21:33 Within the vineyard was one or more towers of stone in which the vine-dressers lived. Isa 1:8; 5:2; Mt 21:33 The vat, which was dug, Mt 21:33 or hewn out of the rocky soil, and the press, were part of the vineyard furniture. Isa 5:2

Vine in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE vin: 1. Hebrew Words: (1) gephen, usually the cultivated grape vine. In Nu 6:4; Jdg 13:14 we have gephen ha-yayin, literally, "vine of wine," translated "grape vine" (Numbers) and "vine," margin "grape vine" (Jgs); 2 Ki 4:39, gephen sadheh English Versions of the Bible "wild vine"; Dt 32:32, gephen cedhom, "vine of Sodom." (2) soreq, in Isa 5:2, "choicest vine"; soreq, in Jer 2:21, "noble vine"; soreqah, in Gen 49:11, "choice vine"; compare SOREK, VALLEY OF (which see). The Hebrew is supposed to indicate dark grapes and, according to rabbinical tradition, they were unusually sweet and almost, if not quite, stoneless. (3) nazir, in Lev 25:5,11, "undressed vine," the King James Version "vine undressed," margin "separation." This may mean an unpruned vine and be a reference to the uncut locks of a Nazirite, but it is equally probable that nazir should be batsir, "vintage." For the blossom we have peraq (Isa 18:5), "blossom"; nitstsah, either the blossom or half-formed clusters of grapes (Gen 40:10; Isa 18:5); cemadhar, "sweet-scented blossom" (Song 2:13,15; 7:12). For grapes we have commonly: `enabh (a word common to all Semitic languages) (Gen 40:10; Dt 32:14; Isa 5:2, etc.); dam `anabhim, literally, "blood of grapes," i.e. wine (Gen 49:11); bocer, "the unripe grape" (Isa 18:5, "ripening grape," the King James Version "sour grape"; Job 15:33, "unripe grapes"; Jer 31:29 f; Ezek 18:2, "sour grapes"); be'ushim "wild grapes" (Isa 5:2,4; see GRAPES, WILD); 'eshkol, a "cluster" of ripe grapes (Gen 40:10; Song 7:8 f; Hab 3:17, etc.; compare ESHCOL (which see)); qartsannim, usually supposed to be the kernels of grapes (Nu 6:4). 2. Greek and Latin: In Greek we have ampelos, "vine" (Mt 26:29, etc.), staphule (Sirach 39:26, "blood of grapes"; Mt 7:16, "grapes," etc.), and botrus (Rev 14:18), "cluster of the vine." In the Latin of 2 Esdras vinea is "vine" in 5:23 ("vineyard" in 16:30,43); botrus (9:21) and racemus (16:30) are "cluster"; acinium (9:21) and uva (16:26) are "a grape." 3. Antiquity and Importance: Israel appears to have been a vine-growing country from the earliest historic times. The countless wine presses found in and around centers of early civilization witness to this. It is probable that the grape was largely cultivated as a source of sugar: the juice expressed in the "wine press" was reduced by boiling to a liquid of treacle-like consistency known as "grape honey," or in Hebrew debhash (Arabic, dibs). This is doubtless the "honey" of many Old Testament references, and before the days of cane sugar was the chief source of sugar. The whole Old Testament witnesses to how greatly Israel depended upon the vine and its products. Men rejoiced in wine also as one of God's best gifts (Jdg 9:13; Ps 104:15). But the Nazirite might eat nothing of the vine "from the kernels even to the husk" (Nu 6:4; Jdg 13:14). The land promised to the children of Israel was one of "vines and fig trees and pomegranates" (Dt 8:8); they inherited vineyards which they had not planted (Dt 6:11; Josh 24:13; Neh 9:25). Jacob's blessing on Judah had much reference...

Vineyard in Naves Topical Bible Huts (R. V., booths) in Isa 1:8 -Towers in Isa 5:2; Mt 21:33; Mr 12:1 -Winepress in Isa 5:2 -Pools in Ec 2:4,6 -Leased So 8:11,12; Isa 7:23; Mt 21:33-39 -Of kings 1Ch 27:26-28 -Neglected Pr 24:30,31 -Plain of the Jud 11:33 -Parables of Isa 5:1-7; 27:2,3; Jer 12:10; Mt 20:1-16; 21:28- 31,33-41; Lu 13:6-9

Vineyard Scripture - 1 Corinthians 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

Vineyard Scripture - 1 Kings 21:15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

Vineyard Scripture - 1 Kings 21:16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

Vineyard Scripture - Deuteronomy 23:24 When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put [any] in thy vessel.

Vineyard Scripture - Deuteronomy 28:30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.

Vineyard Scripture - Exodus 23:11 But the seventh [year] thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, [and] with thy oliveyard.

Vineyard Scripture - Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Vineyard Scripture - Leviticus 25:3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;

Vineyard Scripture - Leviticus 25:4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

Vineyard Scripture - Micah 1:6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, [and] as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.

Vineyards on Hills Hillsides often used. Although vineyards are to be found in various locations in Israel, it has been customary during past years for the hillsides to be utilized for the purpose, or the ground at the foot of a hill that slopes gently. Grapevines like a sandy or loose soil. They need plenty of sunshine and air by day, and dew by night, and their roots will penetrate deep crevices of rock to get nourishment. It was "in a very fruitful hill" that Isaiah's vineyard grew (Isaiah 5:1). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Winepress The Oriental winepress. The winepress of Isaiah's parable was constructed by hewing it out of rock (Isaiah 5:2). Those seen today are composed of two depressions hewn out of solid rock. The one is higher than the other one, and is also larger. The grapes are put into this one, and then trodden by the feet of men, women, and also children, usually whole families working together. The juice flows into the lower depression. Usually each vineyard of any size has its own winepress. This work of treading the grapes was customarily accompanied by shouts and songs of happiness. Jeremiah speaks of judgment in terms of the absence of this happiness. "And joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall be no shouting" (Jeremiah 48:33). [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]