A vine is a climbing plant that produces grapes also known as the grape vine, it is also commonly used in addressing any climbing or trailing woody stemmed plant related to the grape vine.
A vine is a plant whose stems require support and to get this, it either climbs up a tree or other structure, or it sprawls over the ground.
Vines can climb with tendrils or with other grasping appendages or by coiling their stem. The vine tree is a very popular plant, most useful for its fruit which is used in making wine.
It can be found all over the world especially in hilly terrains, which is an important characteristic of most vine growing areas such as France, Italy, California and Palestine although there are other types of vines which may not necessarily produce grapes.
It has been cultivated extensively in the area of present day Palestine from the earliest historic times even before the Israelites took possession and it is one of their most important products.
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Vine Tree Symbolism
The vine has come a long way in symbolic history as it has been used to symbolize various things; from temporal blessing to strength, determination, endurance, survival, and progress among others over time. It gives, symbolizes and teaches us several lessons which can be applied to our daily lives.
For example, The ability of the vines to move into and grow in the most unlikely places signifies the determination, will and drive of the plant to survive against all odds.
Their tendrils that can cling and hold fast to anything is symbolic to clinging to an ideal, belief or way of life in order to ensure security.
The vine symbolism also reminds us of making connections and branching out in addition to general expansion in new directions or embracing new ideas.
Vine Tree Religious Meaning
The Vine Tree has different meanings in different societies, although some of these meanings are usually similar. For example, in Celtic lore, the druids believed so much in the vines as its growth pattern symbolized regeneration, continuation, opportunity, connection, expansion, fertility and bounty to them.
This became reflected in the repetition of its drawings on their tapestries, writings, knot work and carvings. Also, the fruit of the vine produces wine which is spiritually symbolic of joy.
To the Sumerians, the vine was used as their symbol for life, this was in recognition of the regenerative characteristic of the vine.
In ancient mythology, the god of vintage was Bacchus ( Roman) and Dionysius (Greek), thus a grape vine and the drinking of wine is considered as libation to the god.
Biblical Meaning of Vine Tree
Symbolic of big harvest and bounty
In early Christianity, the vine was considered sacred, as fruit bearing vines are symbolic of big harvest and bounty.
This belief stemmed from the vine fruits brought by the Hebrew spies from Canaan that were so big, they had to be carried by two men on a pole on their return from the expedition to seek out the land that was promised to them by God. It was on Israel’s coins between the old and New Testament period.
In the Old Testament, it signified the chosen people i.e. Israel as they were constantly referred to as the vine that God brought out of Egypt and planted with His right hand in the Promised Land.
The vine also represents Israel’s fruitfulness in doing God’s work on earth and their special privilege with God.
A New Meaning
However, with the coming of Christ, the vine had a new meaning as Jesus Christ referred to himself as the true vine and his disciples as the branches in the book of John.
This signifies the fact that just like how the branches of the vine cannot support themselves or survive alone but must have special support and careful pruning, the disciples and latter Christians also cannot survive alone but with the support of the church and God who is the vinedresser to carefully prune and tend them in order to be fruitful branches that bear the best fruit.
This is because an unfruitful branch can only be used as fuel but as fruitful branches, they can live useful and joyful lives by following in Christ’s steps, continuing in his love and keeping His commandments.
Unlike the Israel that was unfaithful and incurred the judgment of God, Christ is faithful and was able to fulfill the destiny of doing God’s work on earth to which Israel was called and this is why he refers to himself as the true vine.
The church can be a part of that destiny only as branches in the vine as they are unable to fulfill the destiny without Christ. The Vine tree also signifies spiritual good in the bible as exemplified by Jesus’s references to it in his parables.
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