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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Bottle

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Of two kinds:

(1) Of skin or leather, used for carrying water, wine, and milk. A goatskin whole, the apertures at the feet and tail being bound up, and when filled tied at the neck. They are tanned with acacia bark and left hairy at the outside. The Gibeonites' bottles were rent, as they pretended, with their distant journey (Joshua 9:4; Joshua 9:13). New wines by fermenting would rend "old bottles" of skin (Matthew 9:17). It is therefore put in new goatskin bottles, and without a vent to work off the fermentation strains even them.

So Elihu, the young friend of Job, after the older ones had failed to comfort him, compares himself, filled with the spirit which inspired him so as to be full of words seeking for utterance, to new bottles of wine: "my belly is as wine which hath no vent, it is ready to burst like new bottles" (Job 32:19). Hung in the smoke to dry, the skin bottles become parched and shriveled; whence the psalmist (Psalms 119:83) says, "I am become like a bottle in the smoke." Skins for wine are still used in Spain, called borrachas.

(2) Bottles of glass or "potters'" earthenware, easily "dashed in pieces": a frequent image of sinners, God's creatures (Romans 9:21-23; 2 Timothy 2:20-21) dashed in pieces by God their Maker at His righteous pleasure when they do not answer His end, namely His glory (Jeremiah 13:12-14; Jeremiah 19:1-10; Psalms 2:9; Revelation 2:27). The Egyptian monuments illustrate the pottery and glass work of that country fifteen hundred years B.C.

The clouds pouring down water are figuratively "the bottles of heaven" (Job 38:37). "Who can stay (rather, incline, so as to empty out and pour) the bottles of heaven?" the rain filled clouds. "Put Thou my tears (as a precious treasure in Thy sight) into thy bottle" (the repository of precious objects, sealed up anciently), so as to reserve them for a manifold recompence of joy hereafter (Psalms 136:5; Isaiah 61:7)


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Bottle'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/b/bottle.html. 1949.

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