|WINE. Appendix 27 To The Companion Bible.|
There are eight Hebrew words translated wine. A careful observation of their use will tell us all that there is to be known on the subject. I. Yayin, from the root yayan, to ferment, used of every sort of wine. The word occurs 142 times, and includes fermented wine of all kinds.
The first occurrence is:
Genesis 9:21. "Noah planted a vineyard and drank yayin and was drunken."
Genesis 14:18. "Melchizedek . . . brought forth bread and wine."
1Samuel 25:36, 37. Nabal drank yayin and "was very drunken."
Isaiah 28:1. "The drunkards of Ephraim . . . are overcome (that is to say, knocked down) with yayin."
Jeremiah 23:9. "I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom yayin hath overcome".
It is perfectly certain, therefore, from these passages, that yayin was fermented, and was intoxicating.
Yayin was also used for sacred purposes and for blessing:
Genesis 49:12. "His (Judah's) eyes shall be red with yayin, and his teeth white with milk."
Amos 9:13. "I will bring again the captivity of my people, and they shall plant vineyards and drink the yayin thereof." (verse 14 is No. V.)
Ecclesiastes 9:7. "Drink thy yayin with a merry heart, for God now accepteth thy works."
The Nazarite, at the expiration of his vow, drank yayin. See Numbers 6:13-20. It was used at the Feasts of Jehovah (Deuteronomy 14:24-26), and was poured out as a drink-offering to Jehovah (Exodus 29:40. Leviticus 23:13. Numbers 15:5). II. Tirosh, from yarash, to possess = must, or new wine, so called because it gets possession of the brain. It occurs thirty-four times in the Old Testament.
Hosea 4:11. "Whoredom and yayin and tirosh take away the heart" (that is to say, they blunt the feelings, derange the intellect).
Some say that tirosh means grapes, and is used as solid food, because in Genesis 37:28 we read of "tirosh and corn". We might as well say that when we speak of "bread and water", that water is also a solid, because bread is a solid. On the contrary, "tirosh and corn" mean liquids and solids, by the figure of Synecdoche (of Genus), Appendix 6.
Proverbs 3:10. "Thy presses shall burst out with tirosh."
Isaiah 62:8. "The sons of the stranger shall not drink thy tirosh."
Joel 2:24. "The fats (vats) shall overflow with tirosh and oil."
Micah 6:15. "Thou shalt tread . . . tirosh, but shalt not drink yayin." III. Chemer, from chamar, to ripen. Hence used of strong red wine. It occurs eight times.
Deuteronomy 32:14. "The pure chemer of the grape."
Isaiah 27:2, 3. "A vineyard of chemer. I the Lord do keep it".
Ezra 6:9. Cyrus and Artaxerxes commanded that chemer should be given to the people of Israel for the service of the God of Heaven.
The Rabbins called it neat wine, because, unmixed with water, it disturbs the head and brain. IV. Shekar = strong drink (from shakar, to get drunk), a very intoxicating drink made from barley, honey, or dates.
Numbers 28:7. "In the holy place shalt thou cause the shekar (strong wine) to be poured unto the Lord for a drink offering."
Deuteronomy 14:-25, 26. "Thou . . . shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose: and thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for yayin (wine), or for shekar (strong drink), or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household". V. 'Asis (from 'asas, to tread) new or sweet wine of the vintage year.
Isaiah 49:26. "They shall be drunken with their own blood, as with 'asis (sweet wine)".
The drinking of this was held out by God as a blessing conferred by Him. Joel 3:17, 18. Amos 9:13. VI. Sob'e, any kind of strong intoxicating drink: from sab'a, to drink to excess, become drunk: occurs twice.
Isaiah 1:22. "Thy silver is become dross, thy sob'e (wine) mixed with water".
Hosea 4:18. "Their sob'e (drinking bout or carouse) is over" (Authorized Version their drink is sour (margin gone). Revised Version margin their carouse is over). VII. Mimsak, mixed or spiced wine.
Proverbs 23:30. "They that tarry long at the yayin; they that go to seek mimsak (mixed wine)."
Isaiah 65:11. "That prepare a table for Fortune, and that fill up mingled wine (mimsak) unto Destiny" (Revised Version). VIII. Shemarim, from shamar, to keep, preserve, lay up; hence, old wine, purified from the lees and racked off.
Psalm 75:8. "But the shemarim (dregs), all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them."
Isaiah 25:6. "Wines on the lees."
Zephaniah 1:12. "I will . . . punish the men that are settled on their shemarim (lees)".
Jeremiah 48:11. "Moab . . . hath settled on his lees." N.B. The word translated "flagons of wine" is 'ashishah, from 'ashash, to press; hence a hardened syrup made of grapes, a sweet cake of dried grapes or pressed raisins. It occurs in 2Sam. 6:19. 1Chron. 16:3. Song 2:5. Hosea 3:1.
With these data it will be seen that the modern expression, "unfermented wine", is a contradiction of terms. If it is wine, it must have fermented. If it has not been fermented, it is not wine, but a syrup.
Leaven is sour dough, and not wine. It is that which causes the fermentation. There can be no leaven after the process of fermentation has ceased.
N.B. = [Latin nota bene] note well.