(כֶּרֶם, kerem, an orchard). In ancient Egypt the orchard and vineyard were not separated by any wall, and figs and other trees were planted within the same limits as the vines. But if not connected with it, the vineyard was close to the orchard, and their mode of training the vines on wooden rafters, supported by rows of columns, which divided the vineyard into numerous avenues, was both tasteful and convenient. The columns were frequently colored, but many were simple wooden pillars, supporting, with their forked summits, the poles that lay over them. Some vines were allowed to grow as standing bushes, and, being kept low, did not require any support; others were formed into a series of bowers; and from the form of the hieroglyphic signifying vineyard we may conclude that the most usual method of training them was in bowers, or in avenues formed by rafters and columns. But they do not appear to have attached them to other trees, as the Romans often did to the elm and poplar; and as the modern Italians do to the white mulberry, nor have the Egyptians of the present day adopted this European custom. When the vineyard was enclosed within its own wall of circuit, it frequently had a reservoir of water attached to it, as well as the building which contained the, wine-press; but the various modes of arranging the vineyard, as well as the other parts of the garden, depended, of course, on the taste of each individual, or the nature of the ground. Great care was taken to preserve the clusters from the intrusion of birds; and boys were constantly employed about the season of the vintage, to frighten them with a sling and the sound of the voice. When the grapes were gathered, the bunches were carefully put into deep wicker baskets, which men carried, either on their head or shoulders, or slung upon a yoke, to the wine-press; but when intended for eating, they were put, like other fruits, into flat open baskets, and generally covered with leaves of the palm, vine, or other trees. These flat baskets were of wicker-work, and similar to those of the present day used at Cairo for the same purpose, which are made of osiers or common twigs. After the vintage was over, they allowed the kids to browse upon the vines, which grew as standing bushes (comp. Hor. Sat. 2, 5, 43); and the season of the year when the grapes ripened in Egypt was the month Epiphi, our June or July. —Wilkinson, Anc. Egypt. 1, 41 sq. SEE VINE. Although the climate of Egypt, especially the annual overflow of the Nile, was not favorable to the culture of the grape, yet from the above monuments we infer that its cultivation was at one time popular in Egypt, though it could only have been grown with success in a few of the high-lying districts, or on artificially elevated beds; and when commerce enabled the Egyptians to import wine from other countries better and cheaper than they could manufacture it themselves, they had the good sense to abandon this unprofitable branch of industry and direct their attention to commodities for which nature afforded them greater facilities. SEE EGYPT. Indeed, every circumstance proves to us that the cultivation of the vine required great care and attention in Egypt. This care was particularly required to guard against the hoary night-shade, called by the Arabs aneb el-dib, or the wolf-vine, which is common in Egypt and Palestine, grows much in the vineyards, and is very pernicious to them. It greatly resembles a vine in its shrubby stalk. This may have been "the wild vine" whose fruit poisoned the pottage which Elisha miraculously cured (2Ki 4:39-41). It is to this also that Moses alludes in his prophetic description of the future degeneracy of the Israelites," For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps" (De 32:32-33). SEE VINE OF SODOM.

"Vineyards." topical outline.

Bible concordance for VINEYARD.

Definition of vine

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