The Vine & Fig Tree Vision:
An American Ideal?

Who has heard of Vine & Fig Tree in the last few days of the 20th century?

Not many, I would guess.

I'm not speaking of a small, would-be publishing corporation born around 1980 named "Vine & Fig Tree." I'm talking about the phrase from the prophet Micah, the idea of everyone owning property and enjoying the fruits of their labor without fear of theft or political oppression, of sitting peacefully under your "Vine & Fig Tree."

A few highly-educated scholars and historians might recognize the phrase, but you would draw a blank from the "man on the street." A few people living in New York might have a glimmer of recognition. The prophecy from Micah is carved on the United Nations Building. Needless to say, our idea of "Vine & Fig Tree" did not come from the U.N.

Nor did many Americans in the past get the "Vine & Fig Tree" idea from the United Nations. And the interesting thing is, many Americans once had the "Vine & Fig Tree" idea. This page is a growing collection of references to a by-gone ideal.

The Puritans and Micah's Holy Mountain
From Al Toke's Democracy in America.
(OK, OK: "Alexis Charles Henri Maurice Clérel de Tocqueville." Sheesh!)
England's Conquest of Canada
From George Bancroft's History of the United States
The Bramble vs. the Fig Tree
Thomas Paine's critique of the king in Common Sense
Letters of Delegates to Congress:
Volume 8 September 19, 1777 - January 31, 1778
Cornelius Harnett to William Wilkinson
[Library of Congress - search in your browser window for "vine" or "fig"]
The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, vol. 1,
[Library of Congress]
What will be the Result of your Freedom and Independence?
You will sit under your own Vine, and under your own Fig-tree, none being permitted to make you afraid. All political Power will be derived from you; and will be exercised only by such Persons, during such Terms in such Manner and for such Purposes as you shall appoint. Those who shall be entrusted with the Management of public Affairs, will be the Servants, and not the Masters of the States. Laws made by yourselves, or by your Representatives, will be the Rule of your Conduct. In those Laws Virtue will find Protection, and Vice will meet with her proper Punishment. Your Property will be secure; and Justice will be regularly and impartially dispensed
Journals of the Continental Congress -- THURSDAY, MAY 29, 1777 [Library of Congress]
Journals of the Continental Congress -- FRIDAY, MAY 8, 1778 [Library of Congress]
George Washington's Vine & Fig Tree Longings.
A collection of references.
Slavery vs.Vine & Fig Tree
James Madison's hopes
A Slave is Baptized (off site)
Musings of the baptizer from Annals of the Poor. Containing The Dairyman's Daughter, (with considerable additions) The Negro Servant, and The young Cottager. By the Reverend Legh Richmond, A.M. Rector of Turvey, Bedforshire; and Chaplain of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent and Strathern, 1815 (See page 154.)
Anti-Federalist No. 85 (off site)
Concluding Remarks- Evils Under Confederation Exaggerated;
Constitution Must Be Drastically Revised Before Adoption
Shall Liberty or Empire be Sought- - Patrick Henry (off site)
From a speech made on June 5, 1788, in the Virginia Convention,
called to ratify the Constitution of the United States.
Tench Coxe, Dealer in Arms
He believed the only way to achieve the "Vine & Fig Tree" ideal was "Arm yourselves. To arms, to arms, and you may then sit down contented, each man under his own vine and his own fig-tree and have no one to make him afraid." But Micah and Isaiah both agreed: we must beat our swords into plowshares. "The light of Christianity ... ought to be . . . imparted to the whole race of mankind," as Madison put it.
The Polish De Tocqueville
Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz findsVine & Fig Tree in his American travels.
The Scotch De Tocqueville
Finds plenty of land, little aristocracy, and every man under his Vine & Fig Tree.
The French Opposition to Communist Dictatorship
With all his talk about Vine & Fig Tree, French writer Pierre Joseph Proudhon alienates Marx.
Abraham Lincoln's Overthrow of America's Vine & Fig Tree Vision
Lincoln was an archist (Mark 10:42-45).
Lyndon Baines Johnson?
At least his speechwriter knew about Micah's vision.
Jimmy Carter: The Truth is Out There
Can a Democrat be a Christian?
Ronald Reagan Hijacks Micah
Can a Republican be a Christian?
Micah vs. The United Nations
George Bush speaks of "Vine & Fig Tree" more than Reagan and Carter

Remarkably, references to Micah's vision seem to be on the increase. The references to "Vine & Fig Tree" and "Swords into Plowshares" in the 20th century vastly exceed the number of references in the 19th, even though the 20th is incomparably more violent and warlike. It has become almost trendy for politicians to speak of "Swords into Plowshares." Many of these references are to Isaiah's parallel prophecy, so we have not catalogued them.

If you run across any references to the "Vine & Fig Tree" idea in your reading, please forward as complete a bibliographic reference as possible to VFT

The Ten Commandments in American History

Predestination in American History

Consider Vine & Fig Tree's ridiculous proposals for bringing about Micah's vision.

envel2.gif (2588 bytes) Write to: Vine & Fig Tree
12314 Palm Dr. #107
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

Home Page