Also see definition of "Wine
" in Word Study
Windows Of Heaven
The common Hebrew word for wine is yayin, from a root meaning "to boil up," "to be in a ferment." Others derive it from a root meaning "to tread out," and hence the juice of the grape trodden out. The Greek word for wine is oinos_, and the Latin _vinun. But besides this common Hebrew word, there are several others which are thus rendered.
(1.) Ashishah (2 Sam. 6:19; 1 Chr. 16:3; Cant. 2:5; Hos. 3:1), which, however, rather denotes a solid cake of pressed grapes, or, as in the Revised Version, a cake of raisins.
(2.) 'Asis, "sweet wine," or "new wine," the product of the same year (Cant. 8:2; Isa. 49:26; Joel 1:5; 3:18; Amos 9:13), from a root meaning "to tread," hence juice trodden out or pressed out, thus referring to the method by which the juice is obtained. The power of intoxication is ascribed to it.
(3.) Hometz. See VINEGAR.
(4.) Hemer, Deut. 32:14 (rendered "blood of the grape") Isa. 27:2 ("red wine"), Ezra 6:9; 7:22; Dan. 5:1, 2, 4. This word conveys the idea of "foaming," as in the process of fermentation, or when poured out. It is derived from the root hamar, meaning "to boil up," and also "to be red," from the idea of boiling or becoming inflamed.
(5.) 'Enabh, a grape (Deut. 32:14). The last clause of this verse should be rendered as in the Revised Version, "and of the blood of the grape ['enabh] thou drankest wine [hemer]." In Hos. 3:1 the phrase in Authorized Version, "flagons of wine," is in the Revised Version correctly "cakes of raisins." (Comp. Gen. 49:11; Num. 6:3; Deut. 23:24, etc., where this Hebrew word is rendered in the plural "grapes.")
(6.) Mesekh, properly a mixture of wine and water with spices that increase its stimulating properties (Isa. 5:22). Ps. 75:8, "The wine [yayin] is red; it is full of mixture [mesekh];" Prov. 23:30, "mixed wine;" Isa. 65:11, "drink offering" (R.V., "mingled wine").
(7.) Tirosh, properly "must," translated "wine" (Deut. 28:51); "new wine" (Prov. 3:10); "sweet wine" (Micah 6:15; R.V., "vintage"). This Hebrew word has been traced to a root meaning "to take possession of" and hence it is supposed that tirosh is so designated because in intoxicating it takes possession of the brain. Among the blessings promised to Esau (Gen. 27:28) mention is made of "plenty of corn and tirosh." Palestine is called "a land of corn and tirosh" (Deut. 33:28; comp. Isa. 36:17). See also Deut. 28:51; 2 Chr. 32:28; Joel 2:19; Hos. 4:11, ("wine [yayin] and new wine [tirosh] take away the heart").
(8.) Sobhe (root meaning "to drink to excess," "to suck up," "absorb"), found only in Isa. 1:22, Hos. 4:18 ("their drink;" Gesen. and marg. of R.V., "their carouse"), and Nah. 1:10 ("drunken as drunkards;" lit., "soaked according to their drink;" R.V., "drenched, as it were, in their drink", i.e., according to their sobhe).
(9.) Shekar, "strong drink," any intoxicating liquor; from a root meaning "to drink deeply," "to be drunken", a generic term applied to all fermented liquors, however obtained. Num. 28:7, "strong wine" (R.V., "strong drink"). It is sometimes distinguished from wine, c.g., Lev. 10:9, "Do not drink wine [yayin] nor strong drink [shekar];" Num. 6:3; Judg. 13:4, 7; Isa. 28:7 (in all these places rendered "strong drink"). Translated "strong drink" also in Isa. 5:11; 24:9; 29:9; 56:12; Prov. 20:1; 31:6; Micah 2:11.
(10.) Yekebh (Deut. 16:13, but in R.V. correctly "wine-press"), a vat into which the new wine flowed from the press. Joel 2:24, "their vats;" 3:13, "the fats;" Prov. 3:10, "Thy presses shall burst out with new wine [tirosh];" Hag. 2:16; Jer. 48:33, "wine-presses;" 2 Kings 6:27; Job. 24:11.
(11.) Shemarim (only in plural), "lees" or "dregs" of wine. In Isa. 25:6 it is rendered "wines on the lees", i.e., wine that has been kept on the lees, and therefore old wine.
(12.) Mesek, "a mixture," mixed or spiced wine, not diluted with water, but mixed with drugs and spices to increase its strength, or, as some think, mingled with the lees by being shaken (Ps. 75:8; Prov. 23:30).
In Acts 2:13 the word gleukos, rendered "new wine," denotes properly "sweet wine." It must have been intoxicating.
In addition to wine the Hebrews also made use of what they called debash, which was obtained by boiling down must to one-half or one-third of its original bulk. In Gen. 43:11 this word is rendered "honey." It was a kind of syrup, and is called by the Arabs at the present day dibs. This word occurs in the phrase "a land flowing with milk and honey" (debash), Ex. 3:8, 17; 13:5; 33:3; Lev. 20:24; Num. 13: 27. (See HONEY.)
Our Lord miraculously supplied wine at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11). The Rechabites were forbidden the use of wine (Jer. 35). The Nazarites also were to abstain from its use during the period of their vow (Num. 6:1-4); and those who were dedicated as Nazarites from their birth were perpetually to abstain from it (Judg. 13:4, 5; Luke 1:15; 7:33). The priests, too, were forbidden the use of wine and strong drink when engaged in their sacred functions (Lev. 10:1, 9-11). "Wine is little used now in the East, from the fact that Mohammedans are not allowed to taste it, and very few of other creeds touch it. When it is drunk, water is generally mixed with it, and this was the custom in the days of Christ also. The people indeed are everywhere very sober in hot climates; a drunken person, in fact, is never seen", (Geikie's Life of Christ). The sin of drunkenness, however, must have been not uncommon in the olden times, for it is mentioned either metaphorically or literally more than seventy times in the Bible.
A drink-offering of wine was presented with the daily sacrifice (Ex. 29:40, 41), and also with the offering of the first-fruits (Lev. 23:13), and with various other sacrifices (Num. 15:5, 7, 10). Wine was used at the celebration of the Passover. And when the Lord's Supper was instituted, the wine and the unleavened bread then on the paschal table were by our Lord set apart as memorials of his body and blood.
Several emphatic warnings are given in the New Testament against excess in the use of wine (Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13; Eph. 5:18; 1 Tim. 3:8; Titus 1:7).
(Mark 12:1). The original word (hypolenion) so rendered occurs only here in the New Testament. It properly denotes the trough or lake (lacus), as it was called by the Romans, into which the juice of the grapes ran from the trough above it. It is here used, however, of the whole apparatus. In the parallel passage in Matt. 21:33 the Greek word lenos is used. This properly denotes the upper one of the two vats. (See WINE-PRESS Ã‚Â»3818.)
Made from grapes, Gen. 40:11
; Isa. 25:6
; Jer. 40:10
; from pomegranates, Song 8:2
Kept in jars, Jer. 13:12
; in skins, Josh. 9:4
; Job 32:19
; Matt. 9:17
; Luke 5:37
; in bottles, Josh. 9:4
; Job 32:19
; Jer. 13:12
; Matt. 9:17
; Luke 5:37
Cellars for, 1 Chr. 27:27
New, Hag. 1:11
Old, Luke 5:39
Medicinal use of, Prov. 31:6
; recommended by Paul to Timothy, 1 Tim. 5:23
Used at meals, Matt. 26:27-29
; Mark 14:23
Made by Jesus at the marriage feast in Cana, John 2:9
Ceremonial use of, Matt. 26:27-29
; Luke 22:17-20
Forbidden to priests while on duty, Lev. 10:9
; Ezek. 44:21
; to Nazirites, Num. 6:2
; See: Nazirite
Abstinence from, of Daniel, Dan. 1:5
; of courtiers of Ahasuerus, Esth. 1:8
; of Timothy, 1 Tim. 5:23
Samson's mother forbidden to drink, Judg. 13:4
Forbidden to kings, Prov. 31:4
Denied to the Israelites in the wilderness, that they might know that the Lord was their God, Deut. 29:6
Offered with sacrifices, Ex. 29:40
; Lev. 23:13
; Num. 15:5
Given by Melchizedek to Abraham, Gen. 14:18
Fermented, Lev. 10:9
; Num. 6:3
; Deut. 14:26
; Prov. 23:31
; Mark 2:22
Refined, Isa. 25:6
; Jer. 48:11
Of staggering, Psa. 60:3
Inflames the eyes, Gen. 49:12
Commerce in, Rev. 18:13
Banquets of, Esth. 5:6
Given to Jesus at the crucifixion, Matt. 27:48
; Mark 15:23
; Luke 23:36
; John 19:29
Intoxication from the use of, Psa. 104:15
; Prov. 4:17
Instances of Intoxication from
Noah, Gen. 9:21
; Lot, Gen. 19:32
; Joseph and his brethren, Gen. 43:34
; Nabal, 1 Sam. 25:36
; Amnon, 2 Sam. 13:28
; Ahasuerus, Esth. 1:10
; kings of Israel, Hos. 7:5
; falsely charged against the disciples, Acts 2:13
Of the divine judgments, Psa. 60:3
; Jer. 51:7
Of the joy of wisdom, Prov. 9:2
Of the joys of religion, Isa. 25:6
; Joel 2:19
Of abominations, Rev. 14:8
Of the blood of Jesus, Matt. 26:28
; Mark 14:23
; Luke 22:20
; John 6:53-56
Unclassified Scriptures Relating to
; Deut. 33:28
; 2 Kin. 18:32
; 2 Chr. 32:28
; Neh. 10:39
; Psa. 4:7
; Psa. 104:14
; Prov. 31:6
; Eccl. 2:3
; Isa. 56:12
; Hos. 2:8
; Hos. 7:14
; Joel 1:5
; Joel 2:24
; Joel 3:3
; Amos 6:6
; Hab. 2:5
; Hag. 1:11
; Zech. 9:17
; Zech. 10:7
; 1 Tim. 5:23
See: Vine; Vineyard
Admonitions Against the Use of
; Num. 6:3
; Judg. 13:4
; Prov. 20:1
; Prov. 21:17
; Prov. 23:29-32
; Prov. 31:4
; Isa. 5:11
; Isa. 24:9
; Isa. 28:1
; Jer. 23:9
; Jer. 35:2-10
; Ezek. 44:21
; Hos. 4:11
; Luke 1:15
; Rom. 14:21
; Eph. 5:18
; Tit. 2:3
See: Abstinence; Alcohol; Drunkeess
The manufacture of wine is carried back in the Bible to the age of Noah, (Genesis 9:20,21
) to whom the discovery of the process is apparently, though not explicitly, attributed. The natural history and culture of the vine are described under a separate head. [VINE
] The only other plant whose fruit is noticed as having been converted into wine was the pomegranate. (Solomon 8:2
) In Palestine the vintage takes place in September, and is celebrated with great rejoicing. The ripe fruit was gathered in baskets, (Jeremiah 6:9
) as represented in Egyptian paintings, and was carried to the wine-press. It was then placed in the upper one of the two vats or receptacles of which the winepress was formed, and was subjected to the process of "treading," which has prevailed in all ages in Oriental and south European countries. (Nehemiah 13:15
; Job 24:11
; Isaiah 18:10
; Jeremiah 25:30
; Amos 9:13
; Revelation 19:15
) A certain amount of juice exuded front the ripe fruit from its own pressure before treading commenced. This appears to have been kept separate from the rest of the juice, and to have formed the "sweet wine" noticed in (Acts 2:13
) [See below] The "treading" was effected by one or more men, according to the size of the vat. They encouraged one another by shouts. (Isaiah 16:9,10
; Jeremiah 25:30
) Their legs and garments were dyed red with the juice. (Genesis 40:11
; Isaiah 63:2,3
) The expressed juice escaped by an aperture into the lower vat, or was at once collected in vessels. A hand-press was occasionally used in Egypt, but we have no notice of such an instrument in the Bible. As to the subsequent treatment of the wine we have but little information. Sometimes it was preserved in its unfermented state and drunk as must, but more generally it was bottled off after fermentation and if it were designed to be kept for some time a certain amount of lees was added to give it body. (Isaiah 25:6
) The wine consequently required to be "refined" or strained previous to being brought to table. (Isaiah 25:6
) To wine, is attributed the "darkly-flashing eye," (Genesis 40:12
) Authorized Version "red," the unbridled tongue, (Proverbs 20:1
; Isaiah 28:7
) the excitement of the spirit, (Proverbs 31:6
; Isaiah 5:11
; Zechariah 9:15
) the enchained affections of its votaries, (Hosea 4:11
) the perverted judgment, (Proverbs 31:5
; Isaiah 28:7
) the indecent exposure, (Habakkuk 2:15,16
) and the sickness resulting from the heat (chemah
, Authorized Version "bottles") of wine. (Hosea 7:5
) The allusions to the effects of tirosh
are confined to a single passage, but this a most decisive one, viz. (Hosea 4:11
) "Whoredom and wine (yayin
) and new wine (tirosh
) take away the heart," where tirosh
appears as the climax of engrossing influences, in immediate connection with yayin
. It has been disputed whether the Hebrew wine was fermented; but the impression produced on the mind by a general review of the above notices is that the Hebrew words indicating wine refer to fermented, intoxicating wine. The notices of fermentation are not very decisive. A certain amount of fermentation is implied in the distension of the leather bottles when new wine was placed in them, and which was liable to burst old bottles. It is very likely that new wine was preserved in the state of must by placing it in jars or bottles and then burying it in the earth. The mingling that we read of in conjunction with wine may have been designed either to increase or to diminish the strength of the wine, according as spices or water formed the ingredient that was added. The notices chiefly favor the former view; for mingled liquor was prepared for high festivals, (Proverbs 9:2,5
) and occasions of excess. (Proverbs 23:30
; Isaiah 5:22
) At the same time strength was not the sole object sought; the wine "mingled with myrrh," given to Jesus, was designed to deaden pain, (Mark 15:23
) and the spiced pomegranate wine prepared by the bride, (Solomon 8:2
) may well have been of a mild character. In the New Testament the character of the "sweet wine," noticed in (Acts 2:13
) calls for some little remark. It could not be new wine in the proper sense of the term, inasmuch as about eight months must have elapsed between the vintage and the feast of Pentecost. The explanations of the ancient lexicographers rather lead us to infer that its luscious qualities were due, not to its being recently made, but to its being produced from the very purest juice of the grape. There can be little doubt that the wines of palestine varied in quality, and were named after the localities in which they were made. The only wines of which we have special notice belonged to Syria these were the wine of Helbon (Ezekiel 27:18
) and the wine of Lebanon, famed for its aroma. (Hosea 14:7
) With regard to the uses of wine in private life there is little to remark. It was produced on occasions of ordinary hospitality, (Genesis 14:18
) and at festivals, such as marriages. (John 2:3
) Under the Mosaic law wine formed the usual drink offering that accompanied the daily sacrifice, (Exodus 29:40
) the presentation of the first-fruits, (Leviticus 23:13
) and other offerings. (Numbers 15:5
) Tithe was to be paid of wine, as of other products. The priest was also to receive first-fruits of wine, as of other articles. (18:4
) comp. (Exodus 22:29
) The use of wine at the paschal feast was not enjoined by the law, but had become an established custom, at all events in the post-Babylonian period. The wine was mixed with warm water on these occasions. Hence in the early Christian Church it was usual to mix the sacramental wine with water. (The simple wines of antiquity were incomparably less deadly than the stupefying and ardent beverages of our western nations. The wines of antiquity were more like sirups; many of them were not intoxicant; many more intoxicant in a small degree; and all of them, as a rule, taken only when largely diluted with water. They contained, even undiluted, but 4 or 5 percent of alcohol.--Cannon Farrar.)
WINE; WINE PRESS [ISBE]
WINE; WINE PRESS
- win, win'-pres:
(1) (~yayin), apparently from a non-Tsere root allied to Greek oinos, Latin vinum, etc. This is the usual word for "wine" and is found 141 times in Massoretic Text. (2) chemer, perhaps "foaming" (Dt 32:14 and Massoretic Text Isa 27:2 (but see the English Revised Version margin)); Aramaic chamar (Ezr 6:9; 7:22; Dan 5:1,2,4,23). (3) tirosh. Properly this is the fresh grape juice (called also mishreh, Nu 6:3), even when still in the grape (Isa 65:8). But unfermented grape juice is a very difficult thing to keep without the aid of modern antiseptic precautions, and its preservation in the warm and not over-cleanly conditions of ancient Palestine was impossible. Consequently, tirosh came to mean wine that was not fully aged (although with full intoxicating properties (Jdg 9:13; Hos 4:11; compare Acts 11:13)) or wine when considered specifically as the product of grapes (Dt 12:17; 18:4, etc.). The Septuagint always (except Isa 65:8; Hos 4:11) translates by oinos and the Targums by chamar. the King James Version has "wine" 26 times, "new wine" 11 times, "sweet wine" in Mic 6:15; the Revised Version (British and American) "vintage" in Nu 18:12; Mic 6:15 (with the same change in Neh 10:37,39 the Revised Version margin; Isa 62:8 the English Revised Version margin). Otherwise the English Revised Version has left the King James Version unchanged, while the American Standard Revised Version uses "new wine" throughout. (4) Two apparently poetic words are `acic (the Revised Version (British and American) "sweet wine," Isa 49:26; Am 9:13; Joel 1:5; 3:18, "juice"; Song 8:2), and cobhe' ("wine," Isa 1:22; "drink," Hos 4:18 (margin "carouse"); Nah 1:10). (5) For spiced wine three words occur: mecekh, Ps 75:8 (English Versions of the Bible "mixture"); mimcakh, Prov 23:30 ("mixed wine"); Isa 65:11 (the Revised Version (British and American) "mingled wine"); mezegh, Song 7:2 (the Revised Version (British and American) "mingled wine"); compare also yayin hareqach, Song 8:2 ("spiced wine"). (6) mamethaqqim, literally, "sweet," Neh 8:10.
(7) shekhar (22 times), translated "strong drink" in English Versions of the Bible. Shekhar appears to mean "intoxicating drink" of any sort and in Nu 28:7 is certainly simply "wine" (compare also its use in parallelism to "wine" in Isa 5:11,22, etc.). In certain passages (Lev 10:9; Nu 6:3; 1 Sam 1:15, etc.), however, it is distinguished from "wine," and the meaning is not quite certain. But it would seem to mean "drink not made from grapes." Of such only pomegranate wine is named in the Bible (Song 8:2), but a variety of such preparations (made from apples, quinces, dates, barley, etc.) were known to the ancients and must have been used in Palestine also. The translation "strong drink" is unfortunate, for it suggests "distilled liquor," "brandy," which is hardly in point.
See DRINK, STRONG.
(8) In the Apocrypha and New Testament "wine" represents oinos, with certain compounds, except in Acts 2:13, where the Greek is gleukos, "sweet," English Versions of the Bible "new wine."
See also BLOOD; DRINK; FLAGON; FRUIT; HONEY.
2. Wine Press:
(1) Properly speaking, the actual wine press was called gath (Jdg 6:11, etc.), and the receiving vat ("fat") yeqebh (Nu 18:27, etc.), but the names were interchangeable to some degree (Isa 16:10; Job 24:11; compare Isa 5:2, the Revised Version (British and American) text and margin) and either could be used for the whole apparatus (see GATH and compare Jdg 7:25; Zec 14:10). In Isa 63:3 the Hebrew has purah, "wine trough" a word found also in Hag 2:16 where it seems to be a gloss (so, apparently, the American Standard Revised Version).
(2) In the Apocrypha (Sirach 33:16) and in the New Testament 21:33; Rev 14:19,20 (twice); 19:15) "winepress" is lenos; in Mk 12:1 hupolenion, by which only the receiving vat seems to be meant (the Revised Version (British and American) a pit for a winepress").
1. The Vintage:
For the care of the vine, its distribution, different varieties, etc., see VINE. The ripening of the grapes took place as early as June in the Jordan valley, but on the coast not until August, while in the hills it was delayed until September. In whatever month, however, the coming of the vintage was the signal for the villagers to leave their homes in a body and to encamp in booths erected in the vineyards, so that the work might be carried on without interruption. See TABERNACLES, FEAST OF. It was the great holiday season of the year and the joy of the vintage was proverbial (Isa 16:10; Jer 25:30; 48:33; compare Jdg 9:27), and fragments of vintage songs seem to be preserved in Isa 27:2; 65:8. The grapes were gathered usually by cutting off the clusters (see SICKLE), and were carried to the press in baskets.
2. Wine Presses:
Many of the ancient wine presses remain to the present day. Ordinarily they consisted of two rectangular or circular excavations, hewn (Isa 5:2) in the solid rock to a depth of 2 or 3 feet. Where possible one was always higher than the other and they were connected by a pipe or channel. Their size, of course, varied greatly, but the upper vat was always wider and shallower than the lower and was the press proper, into which the grapes were thrown, to be crushed by the feet of the treaders (Isa 63:1-3, etc.). The juice flowed down through the pipe into the lower vat, from which it was removed into jars (Hag 2:16) or where it was allowed to remain during the first fermentation.
Many modifications of this form of the press are found. Where there was no rock close to the surface, the vats were dug in the earth and lined with stonework or cement, covered with pitch. Or the pressvat might be built up out of any material (wood was much used in Egypt), and from it the juice could be conducted into a sunken receptacle or into jars. Not infrequently a third (rarely a fourth) vat might be added between the other two, in which a partial settling and straining could take place. Wooden beams are often used either to finish the pressing or to perform the whole operation, and holes into which the ends of these beams fitted can still be seen. A square of wood attached to the beam bore down on the pile of grapes, while the free end of the beam was heavily weighted. In the simpler presses the final result was obtained by piling stones on the mass that remained after the treaders had finished their work.
It is a general principle of wine-making (compare that "the less the pressure the better the product"; therefore the liquid that flowed at the beginning of the process, especially that produced by the mere weight of the grapes themselves when piled in heaps, was carefully kept separate from that which was obtained only under heavy pressure. A still lower grade was made by adding water to the final refuse the mixture to ferment. Possibly this last concoction is sometimes meant by the word "vinegar" (chomets).
In the climate of Palestine fermentation begins almost immediately, frequently on the same day for juice pressed out in the morning, but never later than the next day. At first a slight foam appears on the surface of the liquid, and from that moment, according to Jewish tradition, it is liable to the wine-tithe (Ma`aseroth 1 7). The action rapidly becomes more violent, and while it is in progress the liquid must be kept in jars or in a vat, for it would burst even the newest and strongest of wine-skins (Job 32:19). Within about a week this violent fermentation subsides, and the wine is transferred to other jars or strong wine-skins (Mk 2:22 and parallel's), in which it undergoes the secondary fermentation. At the bottom of the receptacles collects the heavier matter or "lees" (shemarim, Ps 75:8 ("dregs"); Jer 48:11; Zeph 1:12 in Isa 25:6 the word is used for the wine as well), from which the "wines on the lees" gather strength and flavor.
At the end of 40 days it was regarded as properly "wine" and could be offered as a drink offering (`Edhuyyoth 6 1). The practice after this point seems to have varied, no doubt depending on the sort of wine that was being made. Certain kinds were left undisturbed to age "on their lees" and were thought to be all the better for so doing, but before they were used it was necessary to strain them very carefully. So Isa 25:6, `A feast of wine aged on the lees, thoroughly strained.' But usually leaving the wine in the fermentation vessels interfered with its improvement or caused it to degenerate. So at the end of 40 days it was drawn off into other jars (for storage, 1 Ch 27:27, etc.) or wine-skins (for transportation, Josh 9:4, etc.). So Jer 48:11: `Moab has been undisturbed from his youth, and he has rested on his lees and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel. .... Therefore his flavor remains unchanged (or "becomes insipid") and his scent is unimproved (or "lacks freshness")'; compare Zeph 1:12.
Jars were tightly sealed with caps covered with pitch. The very close sealing needed to preserve sparkling wines, however, was unknown to the Hebrews, and in consequence (and for other reasons) such wines were not used. Hence, in Ps 75:8, "The wine foameth," the allusion must be to very new wine whose fermentation had not yet subsided, if indeed, the translation is not wrong (the Revised Version margin "The wine is red"). The superiority of old wine to new was acknowledged by the Hebrews, in common with the rest of the world (Sirach 9:10; Lk 5:39), but in the wines of Palestine acetous fermentation, changing the wine into vinegar, was likely to occur at any time. Three years was about the longest time for which such wines could be kept, and "old wine" meant only wines that had been, stored for a year or more (Bab. Bath. 6 3).
See also CRAFTS, II, 19.
III. Use of Wine.
1. Mixed Wine:
In Old Testament times wine was drunk undiluted, and wine mixed with water was thought to be ruined (Isa 1:22). The "mixed" or "mingled wines" (see I, 1, (5), above) were prepared with aromatic herbs of various sorts and some of these compounds, used throughout the ancient world, were highly intoxicating (Isa 5:22). Wine mixed with myrrh was stupefying and an anesthetic (Mk 15:23). At a later period, however, the Greek use of diluted wines had attained such sway that the writer of 2 Maccabees speaks (15:39) of undiluted wine as "distasteful" (polemion). This dilution is so normal in the following centuries that the Mishna can take it for granted and, indeed, R. Eliezer even forbade saying the table-blessing over undiluted wine (Berakhoth 7 5). The proportion of water was large, only one-third or one-fourth of the total mixture being wine (Niddah 2 7; Pesachim 108b).
The wine of the Last Supper, accordingly, may be described in modern terms as a sweet, red, fermented wine, rather highly diluted. As it was no doubt the ordinary wine of commerce, there is no reason to suppose that it was particularly "pure."
Throughout the Old Testament, wine is regarded as a necessity of life and in no way as a mere luxury. It was a necessary part of even the simplest meal (Gen 14:18; Jdg 19:19; 1 Sam 16:20; Isa 55:1, etc.), was an indispensable provision for a fortress (2 Ch 11:11), and was drunk by all classes and all ages, even by the very young (Lam 2:12; Zec 9:17). "Wine" is bracketed with "grain" as a basic staple (Gen 27:28, etc.), and the failure of the winecrop or its destruction by foreigners was a terrible calamity (Dt 28:30,39; Isa 62:8; 65:21; Mic 6:15; Zeph 1:13, etc.). On the other hand, abundance of wine was a special token of God's blessing (Gen 27:28; Dt 7:13; Am 9:14, etc.), and extraordinary abundance would be a token of the Messianic age (Am 9:13; Joel 3:18; Zec 9:17). A moderate "gladdening of the heart" through wine was not looked upon as at all reprehensible (2 Sam 13:28; Est 1:10; Ps 104:15; Eccl 9:7; 10:19; Zec 9:15; 10:7), and while Jdg 9:13 represented a mere verbal remnant of a long-obsolete concept, yet the idea contained in the verse was not thought shocking. "Drink offerings," indeed, were of course a part of the prescribed ritual (Lev 23:13, etc.; see SACRIFICE), and a store of wine was kept in the temple (tabernacle) to insure their performance (1 Ch 9:29). Even in later and much more moderate times, Sirach writes the laudation of wine in 31:27, and the writer of 2 Maccabees (see above) objects as strongly to pure water as he does to pure wine. Christ adapted Himself to Jewish customs (Mt 11:19 parallel Lk 7:34; Lk 22:18), and exegetes usually suppose that the celebrated verse 1 Tim 5:23 is meant as a safeguard against ascetic (Gnostic?) dualism, as well as to give medical advice.
On the temporal conditioning of the Biblical customs, the uncompromising opposition of the Bible to excess, and the non-applicability of the ancient attitude to the totally different modern conditions, see DRUNKENNESS.
The figurative uses of wine are very numerous, but are for the most part fairly obvious. Those offering difficulty have been discussed in the course of the article. For wine in its commercial aspect see TRADE.
Burton Scott Easton
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