Genesis 49:11

Genesis 49:11

Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto
the choice vine
Which may be understood either of the tribe of Judah, and signify that vines should grow in such plenty, and so large and strong, that a man might fasten his ass to one of them, and if it ate and destroyed it, it would give no great concern, since the country abounded with them; or they would be so full of clusters that a man might load an ass from one of them. Some parts of the tribe of Judah were famous for vines, especially Engedi; hence we read of the vineyards of Engedi, ( Song of Solomon 1:14 ) or else of Shiloh the Messiah, which some interpret literally of him, when the prophecy in ( Zechariah 9:9 ) was fulfilled, as is recorded in ( Matthew 21:2 Matthew 21:5 ) ( Mark 11:4 ) but others better, figuratively, of Christ's causing the Gentiles, comparable to an ass's colt, for their impurity, ignorance of, and sluggishness in spiritual things, to cleave to him the true vine, ( John 15:1 ) in the exercise of faith, hope, and love, or to join themselves to his church and people, sometimes compared to a vine or vineyard, ( Isaiah 5:1 Isaiah 5:2 ) ( Isaiah 27:2 Isaiah 27:3 ) and he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of
grapes:
an hyperbolical expression, setting forth the great abundance of wine in this tribe, of which there was such plenty, that if they would, they might have used it instead of water to wash their clothes in, but not that they did do so, only might if they would; and may denote the great quantity of spiritual blessings flowing from the love of God, which come by Christ; and of his word and ordinances, which are comparable to wine and milk, and are a feast of fat things, of wine on the lees, well refined, ( Isaiah 26:6 ) ( 55:1 ) and may be applied to Christ, to the garment of his human nature, which, through his sufferings and death, was like a vesture dipped in blood, and he became red in his apparel, ( Isaiah 63:1 ) ( Revelation 19:16 ) or to his church and people, which cleave to him as a garment, and whose garments are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, ( Revelation 1:5 ) ( 7:14 ) these words are interpreted of the Messiah in the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, and are applied to him and his times in the Talmud F25, and in other Jewish writings F26: so wine is called the blood of the grape by the son of Sirach in the Apocrypha:

``The principal things for the whole use of man's life are water, fire, iron, and salt, flour of wheat, honey, milk, and the blood of the grape, and oil, and clothing.'' (Sirach 39:26)
``He stretched out his hand to the cup, and poured of the blood of the grape, he poured out at the foot of the altar a sweetsmelling savour unto the most high King of all.'' (Sirach 50:15)

FOOTNOTES:

F25 T. Bab. Berac. fol. 57. 1.
F26 Zohar in Gen. fol. 127. 3. & 128. 2, 3.
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