a word as used in Scripture denoting produce in general, whether vegetable or animal. The Hebrews divided the fruits of the land into three classes:,
(1.) The fruit of the field, "corn-fruit" (Heb dagan); all kinds of grain and pulse.
(2.) The fruit of the vine, "vintage-fruit" (Heb tirosh); grapes, whether moist or dried.
(3.) "Orchard-fruits" (Heb yitshar), as dates, figs, citrons, etc.
Injunctions concerning offerings and tithes were expressed by these Hebrew terms alone (Nu 18:12; De 14:23). This word "fruit" is also used of children or offspring (Ge 30:2; De 7:13; Lu 1:42; Ps 21:10; 132:11); also of the progeny of beasts (De 28:51; Isa 14:29).
FRUIT, the product of the earth, as trees, plants, &c. "Blessed shall be the fruit of thy ground and cattle." The fruit of the body signifies children: "Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body." By fruit is sometimes meant reward: "They shall eat of the fruit of their own ways," Pr 1:31; they shall receive the reward of their bad conduct, and punishment answerable to their sins. The fruit of the lips is the sacrifice of praise or thanksgiving, Heb 13:15. The fruit of the righteous, that is, the counsel, example, instruction, and reproof of the righteous, is a tree of life, is a means of much good, both temporal and eternal; and that not only to himself, but to others also, Pr 11:30. Solomon says, in Pr 12:14, "A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth;" that is, he shall receive abundant blessings from God as the reward of that good he has done, by his pious and profitable discourses. "Fruits meet for repentance," Mt 3:8, is such a conduct as befits the profession of penitence.
2. The fruits of the Spirit are those gracious habits which the Holy Spirit of God produces in those in whom he dwelleth and worketh, with those acts which flow from them, as naturally as the tree produces its fruit. The Apostle enumerates these fruits in Ga 5:22-23. The same Apostle, in Eph 5:9, comprehends the fruits of the sanctifying Spirit in these three things; namely, goodness, righteousness, and truth. The fruits of righteousness are such good works and holy actions as spring from a gracious frame of heart: "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness," Php 1:11. Fruit is taken for a charitable contribution, which is the fruit or effect of faith and love: "When I have sealed unto them this fruit," Ro 15:28; when I have safely delivered this contribution. When fruit is spoken of good men, then it is to be understood of the fruits or works of holiness and righteousness; but when of evil men, then are meant the fruits of sin, immorality, and wickedness. This is our Saviour's doctrine, Mt 7:16-18.
3. Uncircumcised fruit, or impure, of which there is mention in Le 19:23, is the fruit for the first three years of a tree newly planted; it was reputed unclean, and no one was permitted to eat of it in all that time. In the fourth year it was offered to the Lord; after which it was common, and generally eaten. Various reasons are assigned for this precept. As
(1.) Because the first-fruits were to be offered to God, who required the best: but in this time the fruit was not come to perfection.
(2.) It was serviceable to the trees themselves, which grew the better and faster; being early stripped of those fruits which otherwise would have derived to themselves, and drawn away, much of the strength from the root and tree.
(3.) It tended to the advantage of men, both because the fruit was then waterish, undigestible, and unwholesome; and because hereby men were taught to bridle their appetites, a lesson of great use and absolute necessity in a godly life.