Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Early Wine

This is a rough draft of the first section of my final paper for Med class.

Definition of wine in the Bible: Wine in the Bible is broadly used and can be uncertain as to whether it is alcohol or grape juice. Two terms are used in the Hebrew Bible.

Yayin: Yay-in, referred to as wine/fermented grape juice.

Tirosh: Tee-roshe, also spelled tiyrowsh, referred to as wine/unfermented grape juice.

The first use of wine in the Bible comes in Genesis 9:20-21 20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. 21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. The Hebrew version says that he drank yayin and was drunk. Therefor Noah planted his vineyard waited for the grapes to grow and then squeezed them into grape juice and waited for it to ferment, thus creating an alcoholic drink. The effect of the wine was that Noah fell asleep. Wine has melatonin in it which is a hormone that can cause drowsiness and sleep.

Sometimes wine is used only for the purpose of putting someone to sleep. Genesis 19:32-35 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.34 It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, “Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.” 35 Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

Wine has its places of good use too in the book of Genesis. Genesis 14:18 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. The High priests were ordained to us wine; therefor it isn’t a bad thing all the time. Like in the case of Isaac, Genesis 27:25 He said, “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, so that my soul may bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Isaac is dying and the wine along with the good food makes what time he has left a bit easier. Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart.

The vow of the Nazirite is interesting in its approach to the wine situation. Numbers 6:3-4 he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. 4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin. Here they are not allowed to drink either yayin or tirosh. Vinegar is also a fermented substance. It is in many wines and Sherries. In the Bible vinegar is referred to as an alcoholic drink. Matthew 27:48 48And immediately one of them running and getting a sponge, having filled [it] with vinegar and fixed [it] on a reed, gave him to drink.

In Christ alone,
Josh Martin
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