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LIFE > Life in the World > Drinkers of Wine > Nation of Israel > Poor and Strangers


When they harvested the fields, the people were commanded not to “gather every grape of your vineyard” but to “leave them for the poor and the stranger” (Lev. 19:10). Also in Deuteronomy is the following: “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow” (24:21).

Ruth is an example of one who was able to take care of herself and her mother-in-law because of this provision for the needy, a provision that included the grain, the oil, and the grapes. The grapes could be eaten, dried into raisins, or made into wine.

This Divine provision also provides the background for statements in the prophets: “If grape gatherers came to you, would they not leave gleanings?” (Jer. 49:9); and “If grape gatherers came to you, would they not leave gleanings?” (Obad. 5).

The point of this brief topic is that the product of the vineyard was so desirable that God even made provision for the poor and strangers; He intended for them to have the grape and its wine. Here is God insuring that all the people have wine—how amazing!

When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard
you may eat your fill of grapes at your pleasure,
but you shall not put any in your container.
Deuteronomy 23:24

Return to: Wine and the Nation of Israel; Next Article: Preaching of the Prophets

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