In areas of the world, where pure, uncontaminated water is hard to come by, brewed tea, ale, or wine, are often used as alternatives. In countries such as the Holy Land, where vines grow readily, wine became a central part of the family meal and it is not surprising therefore that grapes, vines and wine are frequently referred in the Bible.

The first reference to a vineyard and wine is seen in Genesis 9:10 when Noah became drunk and fell asleep when with his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Many other references to wine occur:

  • In happy times, wine is seen to “gladden the heart of men” (Psalm 104:15)
  • Caution is given in Proverbs 20:1 – “wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler and whoever is led astray by it is not wise”.
  • At the Last Supper (Matthew 26:27-29), Jesus asks the disciples to “drink from it (this cup) all of you for this is my blood”
  • Israel is compared to a vineyard in Isaiah 5:1-10

v In John 15:1, Jesus uses the vine to as an analogy to his work on earth.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”