ISRAEL AND THE TRUE VINE

The Psalmist said the following cornering Israel.

Thou hast brought A VINE out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, AND PLANTED IT. Thou preparest room before it, AND DIDST CAUSE IT TO TAKE DEEP ROOT, and it filled the land. The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. She sent out her boughs unto the sea and her branches unto the river. Why hast thou then broken down her 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 80:8-13).

In Isaiah, we something very similar.

Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching HIS VINEYARD. My well-beloved hath 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: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and IT BROUGHT FORTH WILD GRAPES. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and MY VINEYARD.  What could have been done more to MY VINEYARD, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to MY VINEYARD: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but THERE SHALL COME UP BRIERS AND THORNS: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For THE VINEYARD OF THE LORD OF HOST IS THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AND THE MEN OF JUDAH HIS PLESANT PLANT: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness,  but behold a cry (Isaiah 5:1-7).

In Matthew 21 Jesus gives a parable about the vineyard.

Hear another parable: 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, and went into a far country: And when THE TIME OF FRUIT drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive THE FRUITS OF IT. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, THIS IS THE HEIR; come, let us kill him and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of THE VINEYARD, and slew him. When THE LORD OF THE VINEYARD cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out HIS VINEYARD unto OTHER HUSBANDMEN, which shall render him THE FRUITS in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, THE KINGDOM OF GOD shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth THE FRUITS THEREOF (Matthew 21:33-43).

This parable spoken by Jesus is consistent with the description of the vineyard given by both the Psalmist and Isaiah the prophet. If we would have continued reading in Psalm 80, we would have read the following.

Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and VISIT THIS VINE; And THE VINEYARD WHICH THY RIGHT-HAND HATH PLANTED, and THE BRANCH that thou madest strong for thyself. It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. LET THY HAND BE UPON THE MAN OF THEY RIGHT HAND, UPON THE SON OF MAN WHOM THOU MADEST STRONG FOR THYSELF. So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved (Psalm 80:14-19).

Who is this son of Man? It is Jesus, the true vine of Israel.

I AM THE TRUE VINE, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth, not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. ABIDE IN ME, and I IN YOU. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide IN THE VINE; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I AM THE VINE, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth MUCH FRUIT for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned (John 15:1-6).

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