Sacred Texts  Bible  Index 

Wine 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 (Sa2 6:19; Ch1 16:3; Sol 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 (Sol 8:2; Isa 49:26; Joe 1:5; Joe 3:18; Amo 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 , Deu 32:14 (rendered "blood of the grape") Isa 27:2 ("red wine"), Ezr 6:9; Ezr 7:22; Dan 5:1, Dan 5:2, Dan 5:4. 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 (Deu 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 [ hemcr ]." In Hos 3:1 the phrase in Authorized Version, "flagons of wine," is in the Revised Version correctly "cakes of raisins." (Compare Gen 49:11; Num 6:3; Deu 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). Psa 75:8, "The wine [ yayin ] is red; it is full of mixture [ mesekh ];" Pro 23:30, "mixed wine;" Isa 65:11, "drink offering" (R.V., "mingled wine"). (7.) Tirosh , properly "must," translated "wine" (Deu 28:51); "new wine" (Pro 3:10); "sweet wine" (Mic 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" (Deu 33:28; compare Isa 36:17). See also Deu 28:51; Ch2 32:28; Joe 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; Jdg 13:4, Jdg 13:7; Isa 28:7 (in all these places rendered "strong drink"). Translated "strong drink" also in Isa 5:11; Isa 24:9; Isa 29:9; Isa 56:12; Pro 20:1; Pro 31:6; Mic 2:11. (10.) Yekebh (Deu 16:13, but in R.V. correctly "wine-press"), a vat into which the new wine flowed from the press. Joe 2:24, "their vats;" Joe 3:13, "the fats;" Pro 3:10, "Thy presses shall burst out with new wine [ tirosh ];" Hag 2:16; Jer 48:33, "wine-presses;" Kg2 6:27; Job 24:11. (11.) Shemarim (only in plural), "less" 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 (Psa 75:8; Pro 23:30). In Act 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), Exo 3:8, Exo 3:17; Exo 13:5; Exo 33:3; Lev 20:24; Num 13:27. (See HONEY.) Our Lord miraculously supplied wine at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee (Joh 2:1). 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); and those who were dedicated as Nazarites from their birth were perpetually to abstain from it (Jdg 13:4, Jdg 13:5; Luk 1:15; Luk 7:33). The priests, too, were forbidden the use of wine and strong drink when engaged in their sacred functions (Lev 10:1, Lev 10:9). "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 (Exo 29:40, Exo 29:41), and also with the offering of the first-fruits (Lev 23:13), and with various other sacrifices (Num 15:5, Num 15:7, Num 15:10). 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 (Luk 21:34; Rom 13:13; Eph 5:18; Ti1 3:8; Tit 1:7).

Winefat (Mar 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 Mat 21:33 the Greek word lenos is used. This properly denotes the upper one of the two vats. (See WINE-PRESS.)

Wine-press Consisted of two vats or receptacles, (1.) a trough (Heb. gath , Gr. lenos ) into which the grapes were thrown and where they were trodden upon and bruised (Isa 16:10; Lam 1:15; Joe 3:13); and (2.) a trough or vat (Heb. yekebh , Gr. hypolenion ) into which the juice ran from the trough above, the gath (Neh 13:15; Job 24:11; Isa 63:2, Isa 63:3; Hag 2:16; Joe 2:24). Wine-presses are found in almost every part of Palestine. They are "the only sure relics we have of the old days of Israel before the Captivity. Between Hebron and Beersheba they are found on all the hill slopes; they abound in southern Judea; they are no less common in the many valleys of Carmel; and they are numerous in Galilee." The "treading of the wine-press" is emblematic of divine judgment (Isa 63:2; Lam 1:15; Rev 14:19, Rev 14:20).

Winnow Corn was winnowed, (1.) By being thrown up by a shovel against the wind. As a rule this was done in the evening or during the night, when the west wind from the sea was blowing, which was a moderate breeze and fitted for the purpose. The north wind was too strong, and the east wind came in gusts. (2.) By the use of a fan or van, by which the chaff was blown away (Rut 3:2; Isa 30:24; Jer 4:11, Jer 4:12; Mat 3:12).

Wise Or wisdom, a moral rather than an intellectual quality. To be "foolish" is to be godless (Psa 14:1; compare Jdg 19:23; Sa2 13:13). True wisdom is a gift from God to those who ask it (Job 28:12-28; Pro 3:13; Rom 1:22; Rom 16:27; Co1 1:17; Co1 2:6; Jam 1:5). "Wisdom" in Pro 1:20; Pro 8:1; Pro 9:1 may be regarded not as a mere personification of the attribute of wisdom, but as a divine person, "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (Co1 1:24). In Mat 11:19 it is the personified principle of wisdom that is meant.

Wise Men Mentioned in Dan 2:12 included three classes, (1.) astrologers, (2.) Chaldeans, and (3.) soothsayers. The word in the original (hakamim) probably means "medicine men. In Chaldea medicine was only a branch of magic. The "wise men" of Mat 2:7, who came from the East to Jerusalem, were magi from Persia or Arabia.

Witch Occurs only in Exo 22:18, as the rendering of mekhashshepheh, the feminine form of the word, meaning "enchantress" (R.V., "sorceress"), and in Deu 18:10, as the rendering of mekhashshepheth, the masculine form of the word, meaning "enchanter."

Witchcraft (Sa1 15:23; Kg2 9:22; Ch2 33:6; Mic 5:12; Nah 3:4; Gal 5:20). In the popular sense of the word no mention is made either of witches or of witchcraft in Scripture. The "witch of En-dor" (1 Sam. 28) was a necromancer, i.e., one who feigned to hold converse with the dead. The damsel with "a spirit of divination" (Act 16:16) was possessed by an evil spirit, or, as the words are literally rendered, "having a spirit, a pithon." The reference is to the heathen god Apollo, who was regarded as the god of prophecy.

Witness More than one witness was required in criminal cases (Deu 17:6; Deu 19:15). They were the first to execute the sentence on the condemned (Deu 13:9; Deu 17:7; Kg1 21:13; Mat 27:1; Act 7:57, Act 7:58). False witnesses were liable to punishment (Deu 19:16). It was also an offense to refuse to bear witness (Lev 5:1).

Witness of the Spirit (Rom 8:16), the consciousness of the gracious operation of the Spirit on the mind, "a certitude of the Spirit's presence and work continually asserted within us", manifested "in his comforting us, his stirring us up to prayer, his reproof of our sins, his drawing us to works of love, to bear testimony before the world," etc.