By : Joseph Jacobs M. Seligsohn
The fruit of the grape-vine. The
general Hebrew term for ripe grapes
when not in clusters is
xl. 10-11), and of grapes in
(Num. xiii. 23). There are other
terms for different kinds of grapes
and for grapes in different stages
of development; as
for unripe or sour grapes (Isa.
for wild grapes (Isa. v. 2, 4);
for grapes that fall off when ripe
(Lev xix. 10);
for gleaned grapes (Judges viii. 2);
for dried grapes or raisins (I Sam.
xxv. 18; II Sam. xvi. 1). According
to R. Judah, and (Num. vi. 4)
respectively represent the skin and
the seed of the grape; but according
to R. Jose, whose interpretation has
been accepted by later commentators,
is the skin,
the seed (Naz. 34b). A word which
has given rise to discussion is
(Cant. ii. 13, 15; vii. 12).
According to Gesenius ("Th."), who
is followed by other commentators,
it means "grape-blossom," while Ibn
Janah and David kimhi thought it
meant the young grape which appears
immediately after the opening of the
blossom (see Rubens Duval in "R. E.
J." xiv. 277 et seq.). R. Jose,
prohibiting the "semadar" in the
first three years, likewise
considered it as a fruit ('Orlah i.
Grapes are referred to in the Bible
and Talmud in symbolical senses. As
grapes can not be found after
vintage, neither can the good and
upright man be discovered by
diligent searching in Israel (Micah
vii. 1, 2). "The fathers have eaten
sour grapes and the children's teeth
are set on edge" (Ezek. xviii. 2);
"When the vintagers come to thee
they will not leave even the
grape-gleanings" (Jer. xlix. 9,
Hebr.); that is, when the enemy
comes he will carry off everything.
A man who marries his daughter to a
scholar ("talmid hakam") is like one
who mingles vine grapes with vine
grapes, but he who marries his
daughter to an ignorant man ("'am
ha-arez") is like one who mingles
vine grapes with the berries of the
thorn-bush (Pes. 49a). According to
R. Aibu, the forbidden fruit which
Eve ate was that of the vine (Gen.
R. xix. 8).