For many centuries the Promised Land had not produced wine. Then began the regathering of the exiles and the renewal of wine-making. Now, over a century later Israel is yielding world-renowned wines.
The Hebrew scriptures contain over 200 references to grapes, grapevines and wine. The New Testament contains over 50. Why so many?
The Israeli summer is hot, dry and long – from Passover until Sukkot, half a year. Literally 6 months with nary a drop of rain from the sky! This begins to explain why that most luscious of biblical summer fruits, the grape, got prominently mentioned. The grapes ripen at the peak of summer in abundance. It’s hard to believe the dry mountaintops have enough moisture to fill each one to bursting with tasty juice. It’s a kind of miracle. I can understand why those 12 Israelites sent to spy out the Land would be so impressed by huge grape clusters. I can understand why the traditional Jewish blessing over the wine says, “Blessed are you O Lord our God who creates the fruit of the vine.”