I live in Salinas, California where the "John Steinbeck Center" is located.
In the vicinity of city, there are many vineyards and wineries, from which his wife, Carol Steinbeck might have had an idea for the title of John’s famous novel, “The Grapes of Wrath” published in 1939. For it he won the annual National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for novels and it was cited prominently when he won the Nobel Prize in 1962.
The title is a reference to lyrics from “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, by Julia Ward Howe:
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on”.
These lyrics refer, in turn, to the Biblical passage Revelation 14:19–20, an apocalyptic appeal to divine justice and deliverance from oppression in the final judgment.
“And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”
We read in, Joel 3:13;
“Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow--so great is their wickedness!”
The enemies of Christ and His church are not destroyed until by their sin they are ripe for destruction, and then He will spare them no longer.
The wine-press is the wrath of God, some terrible calamity i.e. shedding the blood of the enemies of God and Christ.
The patience of God towards sinners is the greatest miracle in the world, but, though lasting, it will not be everlasting and ripeness in sin is a sure proof of Divine judgment at hand.
O people on earth do not store up for you, the Wrath of God!
Repent and return to Christ!
He is merciful and trustworthy and He will accept you when you come to Him as you are. Amen.