XXIX. The Three Trees to which Israel is Compared in the Scripture These three trees are particularly fit symbols of Israel, for in Palestine the “Vine,” the “Fig‐tree,” and the “Olive,” stand for the fruitfulness of the land. And the “Vine” and “Fig‐tree” prefigure the Millennial days when every man shall sit under his own “Vine” and “Fig‐tree.” Micah 4:3-4. When Jacob (Israel) was about to die he summoned his sons, and prophesied their future. Of Judah he said that his portion of Canaan should be so full of vineyards that asses should be tethered to the vines, and that the juice should be so plentiful that they would wash their clothes in it as in water. Gen 49:9-12. THE VINE is a symbol of Israel’s Spiritual privileges.
THE FIG‐TREE is a symbol of Israel’s National privileges. THE OLIVE TREE is a symbol of Israel’s Religious privileges.
In Psalm 80:8-11, we read—
“Thou hast brought a ‘VINE’ out of Egypt: Thou hast cast out the heathen (the Canaanites), and planted it. Thou preparedst 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 goodly cedars. She sent out her boughs unto the sea (Mediterranean), and her branches unto the river (Euphrates).” In these words the Psalmist graphically pictures the taking of Israel from the uncongenial soil of Egypt, and the planting of them in the land of Canaan. It was the Almighty with His “outstretched arm” that did it, for without His Divine help they never could have escaped from the Land of Pharaoh. He was the “Divine Husbandman” who transplanted them. And it was all of grace, for the moral and spiritual condition of Israel in Egypt was that of a degenerate vine. And it was the Almighty who cast out the heathen nations of Canaan in order to “clear the ground” for their transplanting, for it was a land of “walled cities” and “giants.” Num 13:26-33. Once the “Vine” was transplanted it began to grow and spread over the land, until in the words of the Psalm it sent out its boughs unto the Mediterranean Sea, and its branches unto the Euphrates river, as in the reign of King Solomon. Deu 11:24. This is to be completely fulfilled during the Millennium. The prophet Isaiah beautifully describes this “Vineyard.” “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 (Canaan) 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.” Isa 5:1-2. No nation was ever more greatly favored than Israel, and God could truthfully say—“What could have been done more for my ‘Vineyard,’ that I have not done in it?” Isa 5:4. Great therefore was the disappointment of God when he looked for Israel to bring forth grapes proportionate with her advantages, but found them to be “WILD GRAPES.” The Prophet Jeremiah records God’s complaint of Israel’s failure in these words—“I had planted thee a ‘NOBLE VINE,’ wholly a right seed how then art thou turned into the DEGENERATE PLANT OF A STRANGE VINE unto me?” Jer 2:21. What was God to do to His Vineyard for its miscarriage? Note the punishment: “And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my Vineyard: I will TAKE AWAY THE HEDGE THEREOF, and it (the Vine) shall be eaten up; and BREAK DOWN THE WALL THEREOF, and it (the Vineyard) 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.” And now, that there may be no mistake as to what is meant by the “Vineyard” and the “Vine,” God adds—“For the ‘Vineyard’ of the Lord of Hosts is the ‘HOUSE OF ISRAEL,’ and the men of Judah (Jews) His ‘PLEASANT PLANT’ (Vine).” Isa 5:5-7. How faithfully this punishment has been meted out to Israel is seen when we consider the physical...
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