The Biblical Winepress

June 28, 2011

One of our readers asked about either artwork or archaeological dig of a winepress in order to help visualize the situation described in the account of Gideon: “The LORD’s angelic messenger came and sat down under the oak tree in Ophrah owned by Joash the Abiezrite. He arrived while Joash’s son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress so he could hide it from the Midianites” (Judges 6:11, NET).

At Neot Kedumim there is a good example of a biblical winepress.

A Winepress at Neot Kedumim. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Neot Kedumim, the Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel, is located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This unique recreation of the physical setting of the Bible in all its depth and detail allows visitors to see life as it was lived by our ancestors 3,000 years ago. More than a “garden” showing various plants, Neot Kedumim embodies the panorama and power of the landscapes which shaped the values of the Bible and provided the rich vocabulary for expressing those values. (

There is also a winepress at Tel Qasile, which dates back to Roman times. Here is a diagram:

Diagram for winepress at Tel Qasile. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Here is a photo of the winepress:

Winepress at Tel Qasile. Dates back to Roman times. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Though this would be much later than the period of the Judges it is still helpful for illustration purposes.

Click on images for larger view.

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