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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Wine

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Τirosh is the most general term for "vintage fruit," put in connection with "corn and oil," necessaries (dagan , yitshar , rather more generally the produce of the field and the orchard) and ordinary articles of diet in Palestine. It occurs 38 times, namely, six times by itself, eleven times with dagan , twice with yitshar , nineteen times with both dagan and yitshar . Besides, it is seven times with "firstfruits," ten times with "tithes" or "offerings" of fruits and grain; very rarely with terms expressing the process of preparing fruits or vegetable produce. Υayin is the proper term for "wine." In Micah 6:15, "thou shalt tread ... sweet wine (tirowsh , vintage fruit), but shalt not drink wine," the vintage fruit, that which is trodden, is distinguished from the manufactured "wine" which it yields.

Τirowh is never combined with shemen "oil"; nor yitshar , "orchard produce," with "wine" the manufactured article. In Deuteronomy 11:14, "gather in thy grain, wine" (tirosh ), it is described as a solid thing, eaten in Deuteronomy 12:7; compare 2 Chronicles 31:5-6. In Isaiah 65:8 "the tirowsh (vintage) is found in the cluster"; Isaiah 62:8-9, "the stranger shall not drink thy tirowsh , but they that have gathered it ... and brought it together (verbs hardly applicable to a liquid) shall drink it." Proverbs 3:10, "presses ... burst out with tirowsh "; and Joel 2:24, "fats shall overflow with tirowsh (vintage fruit) and yitshar ."

Deuteronomy 14:22-26, "tithe of tirowsh ," not merely of wine but of the vintage fruit. Scripture denounces the abuse of yayin , "wine." Hosea 4:11, "whoredom, wine, and tirowsh take away the heart": the tirowsh is denounced not as evil in itself, but as associated with whoredom to which wine and grape cakes were stimulants; compare Hosea 3:1, "love pressed cakes of dried grapes" (not "flagons of wine"): Ezekiel 16:49. Υayin , from a root "boil up," is the extract from the grape, whether simple grape juice unfermented, or intoxicating wine; related to the Greek oinos , Latin vinum . Vinum , vitis , are thought related to Sanskrit we , "weave," viere . Chamar is the Chaldee equivalent to Hebrew yayin , the generic term for grape liquor.

It literally, means "to foam" (Deuteronomy 32:14, "the blood of the grape, even wine," not "pure"): Ezra 6:9; Ezra 7:22; Daniel 5:1; Isaiah 27:2. 'asis , from a root to "tread," the grape juice newly expressed (Song of Solomon 8:2); "sweet wine" (Isaiah 49:26; Amos 9:13); "new wine" (Joel 1:5; Joel 3:18). Μesek ; Psalms 75:8, translated"the wine is fermenting ('foaming with wine,' Hengstenberg), it is full of mixture," i.e. spiced wine, the more intoxicating, expressing the stupefying effect of God's judgments (Proverbs 9:2; Proverbs 23:30). Μezeg (Song of Solomon 8:2), "spiced ... mixed wine," not as KJV "liquor"; compare Revelation 14:10.

Shekar (sikera in Luke 1:15), "strong wine," "strong drink," (Numbers 28:7; Psalms 69:12 drinkers of shekar ,") including palm wine, pomegranate wine, apple wine, honey wine; our "sugar" may be a cognate word to shekar , syrup. Sobe' , related to Latin sapa , "must boiled down" (Lees), rather from a root "soak" or "drink to excess." Isaiah 1:22, "thy sobe' is circumcised with water," i.e. diluted (implying that strength rather than sweetness characterized sobe' ); the prophet glances at their tendency to rely on the outward circumcision without the inward spirit, the true wine of the ordinance. The Latin sapa answers rather to Hebrew debash , Arabic dabs , grape juice boiled down to the consistency of honey (Genesis 43:11; Ezekiel 27:17).

Nahum 1:10, Hebrew "soaked" or "drunken as with their own wine." Hosea 4:13, chomets , "vinegar" or sour wine, such as the posca which the Roman soldiers drank, and such as was offered to Jesus on the cross (Psalms 69:22). Instead of "flagons," 'ashishah ought to be translated "grape cakes" (2 Samuel 6:19; Hosea 3:1, etc.). In Hosea 4:18 "their drink is sour," i.e. they are utterly degenerate (Isaiah 1:22); else, they are as licentious as drunkards who smell sour with wine. But Maurer,"(no sooner) is their drinking over (than) they commit whoredoms." The effects of yayin , "red eyes" (Genesis 49:12); producing "mockers" of God and man (Proverbs 20:1); causing error of judgment out of the way (Isaiah 28:7); but a restorative cordial where stimulants are needed (Proverbs 31:6).

Judges 9:13, "wine ... cheereth God and man"; the vine represents here the nobler families who promote the nation's prosperity in a way pleasing to God and man (Psalms 103:15). God is well pleased with the sacrificial oblations of wine (Leviticus 15:5; Leviticus 15:7; Leviticus 15:10) offered in faith. Externally applied to wounds (Luke 10:34). 1 Timothy 5:23, "use a little wine for thy stomach's sake." Bringing woe to followers of strong drink, which inflames them from early to late day (Isaiah 5:12; Acts 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:7). Noisy shouting (Zechariah 9:15; Zechariah 10:7), rejoicing, taking away the understanding (Hosea 4:11). Causing indecent exposure of the person, as Noah (Genesis 9:22; Habakkuk 2:15-16). Therefore "woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him."

Producing sickness (Hosea 7:5), "princes made him sick with bottles (else owing to the heat) of wine." Scripture condemns the abuse, not the use, of wine. In condemnatory passages no hint is given of there being an unfermented wine to which the condemnation does not apply. The bursting of the leather bottles (Matthew 9:17) implies fermentation of the wine; so also Job 32:19. The wine was drawn off probably before fermentation was complete. In Proverbs 23:31 "when it giveth its eye (i.e. sparkle, Hebrew) in the cup," the reference is to the gas bubble in fermentation. The "sweet wine" (Acts 2:13; Acts 2:15) was evidently intoxicating; not "new wine," for eight months had elapsed since the previous vintage; its sweet quality was due to its being made of the purest grape juice. In Genesis 40:11 the pressing of the grape juice into Pharaoh's cup is no proof that fermented wine was unknown then in Egypt; nay, the monuments represent the fermenting process in the earliest times.

Plutarch's statement (Isid. 6) only means that before Psammeticus the priests restricted themselves to the quantity of wine prescribed by their sacerdotal office (Diod. i. 70). Jonadab's prohibition of wine to the Rechabites was in order to keep them as nomads from a settled life such as vine cultivation needed (Jeremiah 35). The wine at the drink offering of the daily sacrifice (Exodus 29:40), the firstfruits (Leviticus 23:13), and other offerings (Numbers 15:5), implies that its use is lawful. The prohibition of wine to officiating priests (Leviticus 10:9) was to guard against such excess as probably caused Nadab to offer the strange fire (Ezekiel 44:21). The Nazarites' Vow against wine was voluntary (Numbers 6:3); it justifies voluntary total abstinence, but does not enjoin it. Wine was used at the Passover. The third cup was called because of the grace "the cup of blessing" (1 Corinthians 10:16), "the fruit of the vine" (Matthew 26:29).

Moderation in wine is made a requisite in candidates for the ministry (1 Timothy 3:3; 1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 2:3). The vintage was in September and was celebrated with great joy (Isaiah 16:9-10; Jeremiah 48:33). The ripe fruit was gathered in baskets, and was carried to the winepress, consisting of an upper (Hebrew gath , Greek leenos ) and lower vat (yekeb , Greek hupolenion ); the juice flowed from the fruit placed in the upper to the lower. The two vats were usually hewn in the solid rock, the upper broad and shallow, the lower smaller and deeper. The first drops ("the tear," dema , margin Exodus 22:29) were consecrated as firstfruits to Jehovah. Wine long settled formed lees at the bottom, which needed straining (Isaiah 25:6). The wine of Helbon near Damascus was especially prized (Ezekiel 27:18), and that of Lebanon for its bouquet (Numbers 14:7).

Jesus' miracle (John 2) justifies the use; still love justifies abstinence for the sake of taking away any stumbling-block from a brother; Romans 14:21, "it is good neither to drink wine ... whereby thy brother stumbleth." W. Hepworth Dixon (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, May 1878, p. 67) shows that Kefr Kana, not; Kana el Jelil, answers to the Cana of Galilee (so called to distinguish it from the better known Cana of Judaea, John 2), the scene of our Lord's first miracle at the marriage. It is five miles from Nazareth in a N.E. direction, on the main road to Tiberias. Khirbet Kana (Cana) is not on the road from Nazareth to Capernaum; one coming up from Capernaum to Nazareth and Cana as in the Gospel could not have come near Khirbet Kana, which is on the road from Sepphoris to Ptolemais (Acre), not on the road from Sepphoris to Tiberius. (See CANA.)

Jesus came up from Capernaum and the lake district to Cana (John 2:2; John 2:12), then went "down" to Capernaum (so John 3:46; John 3:49). Cana evidently stood near the ledge of the hill country over the lake. Moreover at Kefr Kana there are remains of old edifices, but at Khirbet Kana nothing older than later Saracenic times. "Wild grapes" (Isaiah 5:2, beuwshim , from baash "to putrefy") express offensive putrefaction answering to the Jews' corruption; so Jerome. Not, as Rosenmuller; the aconite or nightshade, or as Hasselquist, "the wolf grape."


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Wine'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/w/wine.html. 1949.

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