Seed, Spade and Sword: The Bible In Context

Helping to illuminate biblical context and background

Here's a question for all you out here! If the grapes are seedless does that mean that they are male grapes? I'd be interested in hearing any comments or logic on this topic! :)

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Comment by Rachel Cochenour on January 17, 2013 at 7:02pm
Thanks Dr. B!
Comment by Dr. Ed Bez on January 17, 2013 at 3:59pm

Seedless oranges and seedless grapes are the result of cultivation of naturally occurring seedless plants. The navel orange is descended from a seedless orange tree found on a plantation in Brazil in the nineteenth century. This tree was a mutation, that is, something in its genetic material had spontaneously changed, resulting in this unique plant. Orange growers propagated new trees from the original navel, so that all the navel oranges available in markets today are descended from that Brazilian tree. The common supermarket green seedless grapes are descended from a European seedless grape strain that probably originated between the *Black and Caucasus Seas. Grape growers spread this variety all over the world, and the same species exists under many different names. It has been grown in the United States since at least 1872 under the name Thompson. Other seedless grape varieties, even red and black varieties, are also descended from the Thompson. The Thompson has a genetic abnormality that causes the seeds to arrest development. Though the flower is pollinated and the ovum fertilized, the seeds stop growing after a few weeks. So, the grape is not entirely seedless; rather, the seeds are aborted, and exist as tiny specks inside the fruit. Commercial growers treat the plants with a growth hormone called gibberillin, which is normally secreted by developing seeds. The flowers are dipped or sprayed with the hormone so that the grapes grow big and juicy despite the arrested seeds.

*These regions are a part of the so-called 'Lands of the Bible' i.e., certain biblical events took place in or near these regions. Modern research is even indicating that the Black Sea may be the residual body after the Great Deluge.

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