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Sacramental Wine.


Sacramental Wine.

James Dodson


Dunlop Moore D.D.,

Pastor of the New Brighton Presbyterian Church, Pennsylvania.

From The Presbyterian Review, III (1882), 78–107.

WHAT in the view of the compilers of the standards of the Presbyterian Church was the wine which ought to be used in the Lord’s Supper can be ascertained by consulting the Assembly’s Annotations. The notes on such a passage as Eph. 5:18, leave no room to doubt that they held the wine proper for the communion to be wine in the ordinary sense of the term. But we will not stop with the Westminster Divines. We will ascend to the earliest Christian antiquity, and inquire what was the nature of the wine made and drunk by our Saviour, and used in the celebration of the Eucharist, according to the testimony of ancient Christian writers who make any allusion to this subject.

Prof. Moses Stuart, who contends that our Lord in instituting the Supper employed the unfermented juice of the grape, admits that there is no trace of this usage in the Gentile Christian Churches. In his oft-quoted article in the Bib. Sac. for 1843, p. 514, he writes:

“The custom of drinking common wine at the Sacramental ordinance (which was certainly a very early one, for it must have been practiced by the Church at Corinth, as appears from the passage under examination, 1 Cor. 11:21) was adopted independently of Jewish scruples.… The fact that the early churches made use of common wine stands unquestioned and unquestionable.”

What Prof. Stuart understood by “common wine” may be learned from page 507 of the same article, where he remarks: “Wine is not properly wine in the usual and strict sense of the word until it has been fermented.”

On page 513 of the same essay, the professor tells us:

“It would seem that the ancient church thought little or nothing of the question as to what particular sort of wine was drunk at the original institution of the Lord’s Supper. It was the current and general belief that red wine, such as Palestine more usually affords, was exhibited, but the color was generally regarded as a thing of little or no consequence, and therefore placed among the ἀδιάφορα.[1] Not so, however, in regard to the mingling of wine with water. The fact that this custom was universal, shows, it must be conceded, that the churches in general regarded it as probable that the Saviour had employed fermented wine.”

But if fermented wine is a “cursed drink,” and the use of it absolutely forbidden in Scripture, how could it have been thought possible by the churches in general that our Saviour employed it? And how did it come to pass that the Corinthians used it under apostolic sanction? The Gentile churches did not know the peculiar scruples of the Jews, says Professor Stuart. But we may learn from the first epistle to the Corinthians that that Church was perfectly familiar with Jewish scruples (1 Cor. 8.) It consisted of Jewish as well as Gentile Christians. It was troubled by Judaizing teachers. It was well acquainted with the law of the Passover in regard to leaven (1 Cor. 5:7, 8). Its members were enjoined to be careful to give no offence to the Jews (1 Cor. 10:32). Yet its use of fermented wine in the communion passed unchallenged, and this custom prevailed in the churches without exciting controversy. The question of the lawfulness of fermented wine was never once mooted till these last days. What is the inevitable conclusion to be drawn? We leave our readers to make it. But we proceed to show by positive testimony that the Christian Churches from the beginning held that the wine approved and used by our Lord and His apostles was fermented, and that they had no idea of any other wine. Professor Stuart tells us (ut supra) that the early churches universally mingled the wine with water, “first, and more specifically, to avoid all approach to intoxication.’ We might, then, fairly cite all writers, from Justin Martyr on, who state that wine mixed with water (κρᾶμα) was used in the Eucharist, as so many witnesses that the wine thus diluted was fermented, and could produce intoxication. But we can furnish still more decisive evidence.

Clement of Alexandria was master of the famous Christian school of that city at the close of the second century. In his Paedagogus he instructs a young convert in the practice of Christianity. He was a man of multifarious learning, and minutely acquainted with the social usages of the civilized world. Yet no one can read the second chapter of the second book of the Paedagogus, which treats of “Drinking,” without seeing that Clement could have had no idea of an unintoxicating, unfermented wine. As no more competent witness could be quoted, as he was a friend of abstinence from wine, and as there is no early Christian writer who discourses so fully on drinking, we shall adduce several extracts from the chapter referred to, adopting the translation in Clark’s Ante-Nicene Library:

“I, therefore, admire those who have adopted an austere life, and who are fond of water, the medicine of temperance, and flee as far as possible from wine, shunning it as they would the danger of fire” (p. 201). “But toward evening, about supper time, wine may be used, when we are no longer engaged in more serious readings. Then also the air becomes colder than it is during the day; so that the failing natural warmth requires to be nourished by the introduction of heat. But even then it must be only a little wine that is to be used; for we must not go to intemperate potations. Those who are already advanced in life may partake more hilariously of the bowl to warm by the harmless medicine of the vine the chill of age” (p. 202).[2] Again: “It is best to mix the wine with as much water as possible, and not to have recourse to it as to water, and so get enervated to drunkenness, and not pour it in as water from love of wine. For both are works of God” (p. 203). Once more: “With reason, therefore, the apostle enjoins, ‘Be not drunk with wine in which there is much excess’; by the term excess (ἀσωτία) intimating the inconsistence of drunkenness with salvation (ἀσωστον). For if He made wine at the marriage, He did not give permission to get drunk” (p. 206).

We shall give another quotation from Clement. It is somewhat long, but it does not bear abridgment:

“In what manner do you think the Lord drank when He became man for our sakes? As shamelessly as we? Was it not with decorum and propriety? Was it not deliberately? For, rest assured, He Himself also partook of wine, for He, too, was man. And He blessed the wine, saying, ‘Take, drink: this is my blood’—the blood of the vine. He figuratively calls the word ‘shed for many, for the remission of sins’—the holy stream of gladness. And that he who drinks ought to observe moderation, He clearly showed by what He taught at feasts; for He did not teach affected by wine. And that it was wine which was the thing blessed He showed again, when He said to His disciples, ‘I will not drink of the fruit of this vine, till I drink it with you in the kingdom of my Father.’ But that it was wine which was drunk by the Lord, He tells us again, when He spake concerning Himself, reproaching the Jews for their hardness of heart: ‘For the Son of man,’ He says, ‘came, and they say, Behold a glutton and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans.’ Let this be held fast by us against those that are called Encratites” (pp. 208–9).

Can any one doubt that Clement wrote for readers to whom the term wine necessarily suggested an exhilarating, stimulating drink, that could be abused so as to produce intoxication? Yet this wine was, according to him, the fruit of the vine, and a work of God, as much as water. It was useful when taken wisely. Our Lord drank it, made it at the marriage, and employed it in instituting the sacrament of the supper.

Dr. Samson, in the “Divine Law as to Wines” (pp. 199–203), professes to set forth what Clement has taught on the natural and revealed law as to wines, and actually adduces him as a witness “that intoxicating wine was not used by Christ, or introduced at the Lord’s Supper in the early church”! We consider Dr. Samson’s account of Clement’s teaching on this subject the worst piece of misrepresentation we have ever read. We earnestly recommend our readers to compare it with Clement’s whole chapter on drinking, which occupies little more than ten pages in Clark’s translation. Read, read, read that chapter carefully, either in the original or in a good version, and it will be evident to the most prejudiced mind that Dr. Samson has misrepresented the truth.

Our next witness is Tertullian, a contemporary of Clement of Alexandria. In his “Apologeticus, or Defence of Christians against the Heathen,” Chapter xxxix., while describing the Agapæ or love-feasts held by the early Christians in connection with the observance of the Eucharist, Tertullian makes the statement that “they drank as much as was useful for modest men” (“bibitur quantum pudicis est utile”). And he relates that when the love-feast is over “each one is summoned to come forward and to sing to God as he is able from the Scriptures, or from his own mind. Hence proof is afforded how he has been drinking” (“hinc probatur quomodo biberit”). From these statements the conclusion is unavoidable that the wine used at the Agapæ, which was doubtless the same as the wine of the communion, was capable of producing inebriation.

We next take up Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, born about the year 200. In his epistle to Cæcilius, numbered sometimes sixty-two and sometimes sixty-three, he contends that wine mixed with water should be used in the Lord’s Supper. He opposes those who on principle had only water in the cup of the communion, and also those who abstained from taking the sacrament with wine in the morning from fear lest by the smell of the wine they should be detected and recognized as Christians (who were then persecuted). These weak brethren would take wine at the communion when it was observed in the evening, as there would be no danger of afterward meeting with the heathen, who might perceive the smell of wine on them. This fact is evidence of the nature of the wine used in celebrating the Supper. The vinous smell does not belong to unfermented grape-juice, but is produced by the fermentation of the must. Pliny has pointed out the difference between wines and musts in respect of smell, when he remarks: Vina mustis odoratiora (xxi. 18). It is manifest, then, that common wine, or wine which emits the vinous smell, was the only wine of the communion in the time of Cyprian. Those who condemned the use of this wine were treated as heretics. They employed water in the supper (as Mormons and Universalists now do), and hence received the name of Aquarii or Hydroparastatæ. The expedient of calling must wine, and using it in the communion, was not then resorted to.

We are far from admiring all the reasoning of Cyprian in favor of using wine and water in the Supper, and not water only. But we can appeal to one consideration which he advances, as showing the nature of the clement exhibited in the communion to represent the blood of Christ. He urges (irrelevantly enough, we admit, but this does not affect our argument) that Noah “drank not water, but wine, and thus expressed the figure of the Lord’s passion (non aquam sed vinum biberit, et sic imaginem Dominicæ passionis expresserit).” Wine such as that which Noah drank of was the only wine of which Christians in the age of Cyprian had any idea.

Eusebius Pamphili (born circa 270), the church historian and bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, bears important testimony on the question now before us. The subject of the twenty-fifth chapter of the twelfth book of his “Præparatio Evangelica,” is that “the drinking of wine should not be allowed to all.” He quotes Plato, who would exclude slaves absolutely from the use of wine, and interdict some other persons from taking it at certain times. Eusebius, after giving the extract from Plato, maintains that Moses had anticipated his views, and cites in proof of this position Lev. 10:8, 9, and Num. 6:2, 3; and also Prov. 31:4, 5, according to the Septuagint. The passage in Proverbs is singularly rendered in that Greek version: “With counsel do all things. With counsel drink wine. Rulers are passionate; let them not drink wine lest, etc.” We have not here to inquire into the origin of this strange translation. What we would remark is, that Eusebius and the Seventy taught that wine might be drunk with counsel, even that same wine from which they enjoined abstinence under certain circumstances. It was the imprudent use of wine which, according to them, caused evil. By all who made use of the Septuagint (and they formed for a considerable time the bulk of the early church) the direction μετὰ βουλῆς οἰνοπότει, with counsel drink wine, was received as an oracle of God which none durst dispute. Eusebius quotes at the close of this chapter Paul’s advice to Timothy (1 Tim. 5:23). He regarded the wine prescribed to Timothy as that drink which was not to be allowed to all, but was to be drunk with counsel.

We would next appeal to Epiphanius, born in Palestine, and bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, who flourished somewhat later than Eusebius. In his treatise “Against Heresies” he has occasion to speak of the Encratitæ, who form the forty-seventh sect of the heretics whom he refutes. They condemned marriage and the use of animal food and of wine. Epiphanius relates of them that they employed water in the Eucharist, and abstained altogether from wine, saying that wine was diabolical, and that they who drank and used it were wicked and sinners. The Encratitæ, as Epiphanius (l. c.) tells us, argued in support of their condemnation of wine from what happened to Noah and to Lot; and they were in the habit of quoting the words in Proverbs, chap. 23: “Who hath woe, etc.” Epiphanius, in reply, censures their ignorance in not knowing that the immoderate use of everything is hurtful and forbidden (non scientes quod omne immodicum ubique molestum est, et extra proposition interdictum est). He fully concedes that the wine of the communion could, if misused, produce the evils mentioned in Prov. 23.

Our next witness is Jerome, who was an ardent advocate of abstinence from wine. In his epistle to Nepotian de vita clericorum, in enjoining on him never to smell of wine, and to avoid every intoxicating drink, he uses the following words:

“Whatever inebriates and upsets the mind, flee in like manner as wine. Nor do I say this, as if a creature of God may be condemned by us; since both our Lord was called a drinker of wine, and Timothy was allowed to imbibe wine moderately when suffering in the stomach; but we require that drinking should be regulated according to age, health, and the physical constitution. (Quicquid inebriat et statum mentis evertit fuge similiter ut vinum. Nec hoc dico quasi Dei a nobis creatura damnetur (siquidem et Dominies vini potator est appellatus, et Timotheo dolenti stomaehum modica vini sorbitio relaxata est), sed modum pro œtatis et valetudinis et corporum qualitate exigimus in potando).”

There is no point in the injunction—Whatever inebriates flee like wine—unless we suppose that in Jerome’s opinion whatever was called wine could intoxicate. And it was, as Jerome cannot think of questioning, wine possessing this dangerous quality which our Lord drank, and which was prescribed to Timothy, and which, much as Jerome disapproved of its use by priests, was still a creature of God which was itself not to be condemned. Jerome, the most learned of the Latin fathers, who had lived in Rome, and Antioch, and Bethlehem, who had inquired into the various kinds of intoxicating drinks included under the term sicera or shekhar, and in this epistle to Nepotian describes their preparation and nature, had absolutely no knowledge of an unfermented, non-intoxicating wine. No tradition of such a wine having been used by our Saviour or by holy men of old had reached him even in Palestine, else he must have mentioned it. Indeed he would have eagerly welcomed such a tradition.[3]

About Augustine’s opinion of Bible wine it is enough to say that the “Temperance Bible Commentary” (p. 305) accuses him and Dr. Trench of “falsely ascribing to the wine of miracle the properties which are solely generated in the fermenting vat.”

To learn Chrysostom’s view on this question our readers may consult his commentary on John ii. We will here content ourselves with quoting from his sermon on the words of the apostle 1 Tim. 5:23: “Use a little wine, etc.” The whole homily should be read. It is an admirable temperance sermon, and depicts the evil of drunkenness in the liveliest colors.

“But,” says the great preacher, “this place (the text) is also useful against the heretics who blame the creature of God. For if it belonged to the prohibited things, Paul would not have permitted it, would not have said to use wine. But not only against heretics, but also against the more simple of our brethren (this place is useful) who when they see some behave improperly through drunkenness, instead of blaming them, revile the fruit given by God (τὸν παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ δοθέντα καρπὸν διαβάλλουσι), saying, let there be no wine. Let us say to them, let there be no drunkenness; for wine is a work of God (οἷνος γὰρ ἐργον Θεοῦ), but drunkenness is a work of the devil. Wine does not make drunkenness, but excess (ἡ ἀσωτία) makes drunkenness. Do not traduce the creature of God (τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸ δημιούργημα), but complain of the madness of thy fellow-servant.… Not use, but immoderation makes drunkenness,—drunkenness the root of all evils (οὐ γὰρ ἡ χρῆσις, ἀλλʼ ἡ ἀμετρία τὴν μέθην ποιεῖ κ.τ.λ.)”

When Chrysostom delivered this homily (the first de statuis) he was living in Antioch in Syria. He clearly knew of no wine that could not be misused by the intemperate. No tradition of an “unfermented wine” was extant in his day in the city which was the original centre of the Gentile Christian Church. Certain persons seem to take for granted that when any one speaks of wine as the fruit of the vine he must mean the fresh juice of the grape. But Chrysostom, who was a master of the Greek tongue, calls the wine that could intoxicate those who used it in excess, the fruit given by God, the creature of God, and a work of God, which only heretics could revile. And, while he abhorred drunkenness, he had no sympathy with the radical remedy of cutting off the foot to cure the corns, or sinking the ship to drown the rats.

We conclude this part of our inquiry with a quotation from the Christian poet Prudentius, born in Spain in the year 348. In the ninth hymn of his Cathemerinon he thus describes the miracle of Cana: “Cantharis infusa lympha fit Falernum nobile. The water poured into the pots is made noble Falernian wine.” If any one in the time of Prudentius had deemed the wine miraculously made by Christ incapable of producing intoxication, the Christian poet would not have dared to call it by the name Falernian (Comp. Pliny, xiv. 8).

The testimonies that have been adduced exclude the belief that in the Christian Church in the first centuries such a drink as unfermented wine was esteemed the proper element in the Supper, or the wine whose use is sanctioned in Scripture. Whatever unscrupulous or ignorant persons may affirm, no passage of any ancient Christian writer has been pointed out which supports this view. In the words of Professor Stuart, “the fact that the early churches made use of common wine stands unquestioned and unquestionable.” Prof. Stuart wrote before Dr. Samson had made his investigations and astonishing discoveries in the works of the Fathers.

We now approach a subject regarding which much confusion and misapprehension and misrepresentation have prevailed: we mean the wine used in the time of our Lord in the observance of the Passover, and still used by Jews throughout the world in the celebration of that ordinance. It is often affirmed that the Mosaic law relative to the prohibition of leaven at the Passover applied to all fermented drinks, and consequently excluded the use of fermented wine. Hence it is argued that Christ, in instituting the Supper at the time of the Passover, must necessarily have employed unfermented wine. Professor Stuart (“Bib. Sac.,” 1843, p. 508) is “disposed to believe that the original precept of Moses had reference only to the bread of the Passover and not to any drink that might be used.” He justly remarks that “not one word is said about any drink on that occasion when it was first instituted.” But while making this admission, he ventures the astounding assertion that the Jewish custom of excluding fermented wine from the Passover “is very ancient, and is even now almost universal.” Others go further than Professor Stuart, and make the prohibition of wine at the Passover a part of the original Mosaic legislation. They accuse the English Bible of error in rendering the Hebrew word מַצּוֹת “unleavened bread,” and maintain that it should be translated “fermented things.” But it is sufficient to justify the Authorized Version to point to Deut. 16:3, where we find the expression “bread of affliction” (נֶֹחֶם עֹנִי) used as epexegetical of matzoth. Here is the scriptural explanation of the meaning of the word translated in the A. V., “unleavened bread.” If matzoth did not refer specifically to bread or cakes, it would not have been said that Gideon made ready matzoth of an ephah of flour (Judges 6:19). Matzoth is the name by which the Jews to this day designate their Passover cakes. Our English version, then, is not in error on this point.

If obedience to the Mosaic law required the absence of all fermented drinks from the Passover, then our Saviour could not have used the fermented juice of the grape in the institution of the Supper. He was made under the law, and He fulfilled all the righteousness which it enjoins. But if it can be shown that the Lord Jesus did during the feast of the Passover actually use fermented liquor, they who have any reverence for His person must be convinced that the Mosaic law regarding חָמֵץ, or leaven, could not have applied to all fermented drinks. What now was Christ’s last voluntary act before He said, “It is finished”? It was to receive the vinegar (τὸ ὄξος), a fermented drink which was put to His mouth (John 19:29, 30). Was that last act a violation of the law under which He was made? In the “Temperance Bible Commentary” (p. 281) we find these words, which, painful as it is to read them, we are compelled in the interest of truth to quote:

“We here reach the last pinch of the argument. Did the Saviour understand the law, or did He not? Did He observe the law, or break it? If He used fermented liquor, He must, either ignorantly or intentionally, have broken it.”

If Dr. Lees and a host of other temperance writers are correct expounders of the Mosaic law regarding leaven, they have made Christ a transgressor. But we venture to think that no Jews will ever cast against Jesus this telum igneum Satanæ which these professed Christians have forged for them. They know better. As we believe in the perfection of Christ’s character, we reject with abhorrence this shameful misinterpretation of the Mosaic law.

It strikingly illustrates the prevalent ignorance of Jewish antiquities, when men of reputation, such as Moses Stuart, could proclaim to the world that Jewish traditional law excluded the pure fermented juice of the grape from the Passover. Had they never read of the sauce called charoseth (חֲרוֹסֶת), which ever since the Babylonish captivity has been used in the celebration of that feast? Even popular works on the rites of the Jews make mention of this sauce and of vinegar as one of its prescribed ingredients. It was the dish containing this sauce into which Judas dipped his hand with Jesus (Matt. 26:23). This sauce was a memorial of the clay in which the Israelites labored in Egypt. It may be enough for us here to direct our readers to the word חֲרוֹסֶת in Buxtorf’s “Talmudical Lexicon,” p. 831, where they will find satisfactory evidence of vinegar being one of the constituents of the sauce used on the evening of the Passover.

We admit that the rabbis did not confine the law regarding leaven (חָמֵץ Ex. 12:15) to solids, but extended it to certain fermented drinks also. But to what fermented drinks? Only to those into which grain entered as an ingredient, and not to fermented drinks prepared purely from fruit. Whatever any one may have said to the contrary, Jews have not now, and never have had, any scruple about drinking at the Passover the fermented juice of the grape known to be ceremonially pure (כָּשֵׁר). One who carefully examines, as we have done, the Mishna in the edition of Surenhusius with the commentaries of Maimonides and Bartenora, will learn the exact truth on this subject. We quote from Pesachoth pars 2, p. 142: “The general rule is this. The Passover is transgressed by whatever is made of any kind of grain.”[4] In the things which according to the Mishna transgress the Passover, wine is not spoken of, nor any drink prepared purely from fruit. The distinction between grain and fruit is here one of capital importance, and is scrupulously observed by conscientious Jews.

It would be endless to expose all the misstatements that have been promulgated respecting the nature of the wine required at the Passover by Jewish orthodoxy. Lightfoot had shown long before the question was agitated in the Christian Church, that it could inebriate (Works, Vol. I., 966). The Jerusalemitic Gemara states that the reason why they were not permitted to drink between the third cup and the fourth was to prevent their being drunk. Lightfoot again (Vol. II., 260) quotes from the “Bab. Talmud” the reason why wine at the Passover was mixed with water. It was, not because it was a thick syrup or jelly, but because it was “very strong.” On such testimonies comment is needless.

But we can reach the same conclusion in another way. The wine of the Passover was red till the Jewish rabbis thought it prudent to substitute white wine in order to remove all pretext for the atrocious charge that they drank Christians’ blood at the Passover. Red wine, יין אדום, is positively prescribed Jerus. Tal. Shabb. xi. 1. So, too, in the “Bab. Talmud.” (See the quotations in Lightfoot, II., p. 259). Red wine is the blood of the grape. Now we have not been able to find an “unfermented wine” that is red. The reason is plain. The juice of the purple grape is not red, but the coloring matter is in the husks, and can be extracted only by alcohol and acid, or wine.[5] It is not soluble in the unfermented juice. As red wine was prescribed for the Passover, the wine ordinarily drunk at that feast was certainly fermented. We may add that from the earliest times the Christian Church has generally supposed that red wine most appropriately symbolizes the blood of our Redeemer. On this point the works on Christian antiquities may be consulted.

We have settled beyond controversy the ancient Jewish usage in respect of the wine of the Passover. We will now proceed to show that the fermented juice of the grape is still held to be the proper wine for that feast, and is still used by the Jews where they can readily obtain it pure. Let us, however, first refer to some widely-circulated statements which seem to imply the contrary. The Rev. C. F. Frey, a converted Jew, is quoted as saying that no Jews dare “drink any liquor made from grain at the Passover, nor any that has passed through the process of fermentation.” If in the latter part of this statement Mr. Frey did not mean any liquor made from grain that has passed through the process of fermentation; if he intended to be understood as including the fermented juice of fruits, we could only meet him with a direct contradiction. When Judge Noah,[6] of New York, informed Mr. Delavan, “We are strictly prohibited not only from eating leavened bread (on this occasion), but from drinking fermented liquors,” we know of only one way in which the veracity of Mr. Noah can be vindicated. He must have fallen into the vulgar error of confounding fermented liquors with malt liquors. No intelligent, honest Jew could affirm that the pure fermented juices of fruits are prohibited at the Passover. We will make this clear by superabundant evidence.

There is, we believe, no living Christian scholar who excels Dr. F. Delitzsch, of Leipzig, in knowledge of the language and literature of the Jews and their past and present customs. In reply to our note of inquiry addressed to him he sent us a valuable paper which we regret we cannot reproduce in full. Here is an extract from it:

“What Moses Stuart writes in the Bib. Sac., 1843, p. 508, is incorrect. The wine of the Passover has at all times been fermented wine, which, according to the prevalent custom, was mixed with water.”

Dr. Paulus Cassel, of Christus-Kirche, Berlin, an Israelite by birth, is a well-known Hebrew scholar, and ought to be able to give correct information on the usages of the Jews. In answer to our application he published an article in a Berlin periodical (Sunem, 28th May, 1880), which he sent to us, in which he states emphatically that it has never been the custom of the Jews to use unfermented grape juice at the Passover. No Jew in Germany would venture to challenge this assertion.

Professor C. W. Palotta, of Vienna, also an Israelite by birth, is an unexceptionable witness in regard to the usage of Austrian Jews. He writes to us:

“To my knowledge the question of the lawfulness of fermented wine at Easter has never been started by any Jewish doctor. No strict Jew drinks any other than wine שֶׁל פֶּסַח (pesach) at the Passover; but this simply means that the wine has been manufactured under Jewish supervision from the bruising of the grapes, so as to keep it free from all impurities, and especially from leaven. Thus they also buy sugar, coffee, and many other things under the same rabbinical guarantee. But among the many thousands of bottles of Passover wine sold at Vienna every year, there has never been one of unfermented juice. Where there is no wine the Jews take mead instead, which is fermented honey generally mixed with spices.”

The Rev. Andrew Moody, Jewish missionary of the Scotch Free Church in Pesth, when consulted, knew of no unfermented wine in use among the Jews of Hungary. He sent us, moreover, a statement written by the highest authority he could think of applying to—Professor Kaempf, chief preacher to the Jews in Prague, and Professor of Oriental Languages in the university of that city. It was to the learned rabbi a puzzle how the question which now occupies us could ever have been raised, and he only repeated what previous witnesses have testified.

The Rev. D. Edward, of Breslau, is another esteemed Jewish missionary from the Free Church of Scotland to whom we wrote. He has labored in Moldavia, Galicia, and Silesia. From his interesting and full reply we extract the following statements:

“In all my intercourse and negotiations with Jews for nearly forty years, and in all my acquaintance with their literature, I have never met an allusion to any such practice as the use of unfermented wine at their feasts, or in the temple libations. The one rule they insist upon since the captivity, is that the Jews beware of nesekh (נֶסֶךְ), wine prepared by Christians. Their wine must be gathered and prepared by Jews, and have a certificate as ceremonially clean. If there had been any rule about the use of unfermented wine, there would have been as much pilpul (rabbinic disputation) about it as would have filled volumes.”

Mr. Edward sent us a declaration on this question, made by the rabbis of the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau, who are the most learned Jews in Germany. He obtained it through a Jewish friend. The following statement taken from it is sufficiently explicit:

Ungegohrener Wein (Most), wird nicht als Wein betrachtet, und wuerde der Pflicht Wein am Pesachabende zu trinken nicht genuegen. Unfermented wine (must) is not regarded as wine, and would not suffice for the fulfilment of the duty to drink wine on the Passover eve.”

Referring to current misrepresentations on this subject Mr. Edward remarks: “The principle of temperance we reverence; but the fanaticism of the principle is unscrupulous and loathsome.”

The Rev. J. H. Bruehl, superintendent of the Jewish Operative Institution, Palestine Place, London, is a convert from Judaism, and has been a missionary among the Jews in Bagdad, Jerusalem, Lemberg, and Vienna. In his present position he has constant intercourse with Jews from all parts of the world. Here is the testimony which he has furnished to us:

“So far as can be seen from the Talmud the Jews of our Saviour’s time had no hesitation whatever about fermented wine at the Passover. Not vinous [i.e., grape], but farinaceous [i.e., grain] fermentation was prohibited. I do not know of any unfermented real wine. In countries which do not produce wine, the stricter Jews, especially those of the poorer classes, use, both for the Sabbath and the Passover, raisin wine. They are perfectly indifferent about fermentation. They make raisin wine because it is cheaper, because any quantity, however small, can be made for immediate use, and chiefly because they can be thereby assured that their wine has not been defiled by the touch of a Gentile.”

(The rabbis have forbidden Jews to drink the wine of Christians. Comp. McCaul’s Old Paths, p. 580). That the Jews of Palestine use fermented wine at the Passover has been so abundantly testified by unimpeachable witnesses that even Dr. Samson admits it. This wine is sent from the Holy Land to Egypt for the use of the Jews there (as Pococke relates), carefully closed up and accompanied by a certificate of its ceremonial purity.

The testimony of Dr. Schauffler, late of Constantinople, that the Jews of Turkey use fermented wine, is so well known as not to need to be repeated.

Before closing this subject, we will present two additional written testimonies kindly furnished us by two prominent Israelites in the United States, Dr. Isaac M. Wise, of Cincinnati, editor of The American Israelite and Deborah, and Dr. G. Gottheil, Rabbi of Emmanuel Temple, New York, the largest synagogue, we believe, in America. Dr. Wise writes to us:

“All Jews at all times have used at the Passover not only wine and cider, but also vinegar made of wine or of fruit. In all Jewish ceremonies as marriages, circumcisions, the beginning and close of the Sabbath, the feast of Passover, wine—fermented wine, and not must—has been and is still in use.”

Dr. Gottheil writes:

“It is proper to use fermented wine at the Passover. That is the rule. Unfermented is permitted in case the former cannot be obtained, or is forbidden from sanitary reasons. So it is with mead, raisin wine, and spiced wine. Where these are not obtainable, any other beverage which takes the place of wine in the customs of the country may be used. These are concessions made to the force of circumstances. The law treats invariably of wine in the ordinary sense of the word; and that it is supposed to possess the intoxicating property is clear from the precept that the celebrants of the Passover are forbidden to drink of the wine between the prescribed cups at certain portions of the ritual, lest their minds should get clouded, and thereby unfit to perform the ceremonies and recite the prayers with proper devotion. In the discussions concerning the substitutes for wine, their inebriating quality is altogether disregarded. Paschal wine is fermented grape-juice which has been carefully kept from contact with leaven. I was reared in strictly orthodox surroundings, and have had, besides, ample opportunities of observing the customs of my brethren in many lands. Yet I never heard it so much as questioned that fermented wines are lawful for use; and I am quite at a loss to account for the positive assertions to the contrary by Mr. Noah and the late Prof. M. Stuart. It was by Christians and not by Jews that this discussion was started. The rabbis did not fear that the use of the cup under religious sanction would turn the faithful into drunkards, and experience has proved that they were not mistaken.”

Our readers who have attended to these statements made by competent witnesses in many lands, will understand the theory and practice of Jews in regard to Passover wine. Strict Jews avoid the use of Gentile wine on all occasions. At the Passover they will not touch or taste fermented drinks into which any grain has entered, no matter by whom they may have been prepared; nor will they drink any wine of which they are not certified that it is what the German Jews call Kosher, i.e., ceremonially pure. But pure fermented grape-juice when obtainable is unquestionably the wine proper for use at the Passover.[7]

We will here notice what Dr. Samson has written in the “Divine Law as to Wines” (p. 188), only so far as to say that if he will give us the names and address of any rabbis or respectable Jews who have told him “that conformity to the law requires abstinence, if possible, from fermented wines at the Passover,” we will put ourselves in communication with these persons, and show that some one has misstated the case.

The Hon. Felix R. Brunot, in his pamphlet “Wine and Truth” (p. 7), employs these words: “The modern Jews, in every part of the world, in their marriage and other religious ceremonies, use only the sweet juice of the grape without fermentation, and they know that their forefathers did the same.”[8] What must the Jews think of such assertions?

Before we leave the consideration of the wine of the Passover, which was the wine used by our Lord in instituting the Supper, we are obliged to notice a singular argument founded on the expression “fruit of the vine,” which our Lord applied to the cup of which He drank. Mr. Brunot is able to assure his readers (“Wine and Truth,” p. 9) that “all authorities agree that the word used means the fresh juice of the fruit, and not the artificial product of its fermentation.” And in the “Temperance Commentary” (p. 285) we read, “Unfermented wine is, in literal truth and beyond all question, the only fruit of the vine.” We humbly venture to think that grapes are, in literal truth and beyond all question, the only fruit of the vine, just as dates are the fruit of a species of palm. But as the literal fruit of the vine cannot be drunk out of a cup, the expression must be employed by a metonymy for wine.[9] The “fruit of the vine” is, in fact, a terminus technicus for wine in the ritual of the Jews, and is always employed in their liturgical services to denote wine in the proper sense of the term. In blessing the wine at the beginning of the Sabbath they call it invariably “the fruit of the vine,” as they do on the Passover eve. Our Lord said “this fruit of the vine,” using the familiar liturgical phraseology of the Jews, and meaning thereby the wine wont to be in the Passover cup. From time immemorial the Jews, in blessing wine, have called it “the fruit of the vine,” and not otherwise. In the Mishna (“De Benedictionibus,” Cap. 6, pars I. p. 20, Surenhusius) we read: “How do they bless for fruits? For fruits of a tree they say, Thou who createst the fruit of the tree; except for wine (חזץ מן היין), as for wine they say, Thou who createst the fruit of the vine.” Here is proof that the phrase “the fruit of the vine” stands for yayin, wine, and not for tirosh, new wine.

The blessing appointed to be said over bread is, “Blessed be He who causes bread to grow out of the earth.” What strictly is made to grow out of the earth is grain. But in the blessing, bread is said by a figure to grow out of the earth; and by a like figure wine is called the fruit of the vine which God creates. Our Lord employed at a sacred feast the expression for wine used in the Jewish religious ceremonies from the earliest times, and still in use in their prayer-book. When not occupied with the celebration of a sacred rite He did not employ a liturgical term, but the common language of daily life, in making mention of wine.[10]

We deem it needful to make a few additional remarks on this phrase for the purpose of dispelling the misconception under which Mr. Brunot labored when he proclaimed to the world that “all authorities agree that ‘the fruit of the vine’ means the fresh juice of the fruit, and not the artificial product of its fermentation.” We have to state some very obvious truths. Fermentation is a natural process which grape-juice spontaneously undergoes on being expressed. It is the attempt to arrest fermentation, which is a work of art, as Pliny has remarked. Again, the Jews could not obtain the fresh juice of the grapes at Easter, as grapes are not ripe in Palestine before July. No authority informs us that the Jews were ever in the habit of trying to preserve grapes so as to have fresh juice at the Passover. We may be sure that if there had been any such custom some mention would have been made of it. We may, too, be permitted to question whether the juice would flow freely from grapes kept more than half a year, and afford a drink fitted to make the heart of man glad in an eminent degree. Furthermore, there is positively no authority for interpreting the expression “fruit of the vine” to mean the fresh juice of the grape. An authority which every simple, unlearned layman can consult is the New Testament, the very highest of all, one statement of which should outweigh with us all that we might find elsewhere. And we learn from the New Testament that the sacramental cup containing “the fruit of the vine” could certainly intoxicate those who were guilty of the sin of drinking it immoderately. What does a plain man need more than the record of the abuse that prevailed at Corinth in connection with the celebration of the Supper: “Another is drunken”[11] (1 Cor. 11:21)? Prof. M. Stuart (“Bib. Sac.,” 1843, p. 504) remarks on this passage, “Less than some kind of unlawful excitement arising from wine cannot be meant by Paul; but that intoxication in its higher stages and grosser developments was intended can hardly be credited.”

No authority can be quoted from the early Christian Church or from the Jewish Synagogue to show that in the Lord’s Supper or in the Passover the expression “fruit of the vine” had ever any other sense assigned to it than that of genuine fermented wine.[12]

We have now to discuss, with a due regard to brevity, the principal terms employed in the Old and New Testaments to denote wine, new wine, and strong drink, נון is in the O.T. the ordinary and proper word for wine, as οἶνος is in the N. T. We find οἶνος defined by both Passow and by Liddell and Scott to be the fermented juice of the grape. This, too, is the proper meaning of yayin in Hebrew. As in Latin vinum stands intermediate between mustum and acetum (see Pliny, “Nat. Hist.,” xxiii.), so in Hebrew נין takes its place between רִּירוֹשׁ and חֹמֶץ. The first use of yayin in the Bible lets us see that it denotes the fermented juice of the grape (Gen. 9:20, 21);[13] and this meaning can be retained in the one hundred and forty-one instances of its occurrence in the O. T., if only we allow a reasonable proleptic or metonymical use of the word. It is a sound principle for lexicographers and commentators to hold fast that the meanings of a term are not to be multiplied without necessity; and there is no necessity for assigning to yayin any other sense than that which it bears where we first meet with it in Scripture. If yayin does not mean wine in the strict sense of the term, then the Hebrew language would present the strange anomaly of having two specific words תִּירוֹשׁ and עָסִיס to designate must, and one, חֹמֶץ to designate vinegar, while it would have no specific term to denote the drink which stands between them, which has been in more common use than either of the others, and which has distinctive properties peculiarly fitted to attract attention!

Yayin is in Jer. 40:10, spoken of as gathered. But so is שֶׁמֶן, oil. Shall we, therefore, conclude that שֶׁמֶן denotes olive fruit and not oil? How natural it is to speak thus is evident from the example of Mr. Edward, who wrote in the letter already quoted that the Jews insist that “their wine must be gathered and prepared by Jews.” What would our friend think if it were maintained that he meant by wine in that passage grapes plucked from the vine? When yayin is described as dangerous, or an occasion of evil, no such epithet as intoxicating or fermented is ever associated with it. The obvious reason is that yayin was known to possess these characteristics. A distinction between an intoxicating and a non-intoxicating yayin is not drawn in Scripture. In the same narrative yayin appears as capable of producing drunkenness, and as a lawful drink. (Compare 1 Sam. 1. vs. 14, 15 with v. 24; and 1 Sam. 25:18 with v. 37).

Yayin is in Ps. 104:15 set forth as a gift of the Creator for which He is praised. One might imagine that no one could mistake the obvious sense of the passage. But the blinding force of prejudice could cause Dr. Samson to write: “The allusion in Ps. 104 is an index to the impression of men of this age as to the pernicious influence of wine-drinking.… In their view wine, as the Psalmist states, produces unhealthy exhilaration” (“Divine Law,” pp. 104–5). We might well ask, Of what use is the Bible to such a writer?

Instead of considering in detail places in which the word yayin is employed metonymically or proleptically, we will give some illustrations of such figurative employment of other words in the sacred Scriptures, and thus most effectively expose the error of certain writers in multiplying the meanings of yayin and tirosh. If we found vapor seriously set down as a distinct meaning of water, we should smile at the incapacity of the writer. But he might argue from Gen. 1:7, that this meaning is justified by Scripture. What is “the water above the firmament” but vapor? Here we have genuine Bible water. Vapor is “uncondensed water,” the fitting accompaniment of “unfermented wine.” Our Baptist brethren may use as much of it as they please without running the risk of drowning any one. And modern chemists can furnish this uncondensed water that will not drown just as they can furnish an unfermented wine that will not intoxicate. But if it be replied that “the water above the firmament” is called water by a metonymy or a prolepsis, we will take the liberty of extending the use of these figures of speech to wine as well as to water. God said to man (Gen. 3:19): “Dust thou art.” What is to hinder our assigning, on the authority of this place, dust as a distinct meaning to the term man? Nothing but the assumption of a figure which will enable us to vindicate to yayin everywhere the single meaning of the fermented juice of the grape. We read in our English Bible that Abraham commanded Eliezer to “take a wife” unto his son (Gen. 24:7). He brought home a virgin (v. 43) in the execution of this commission. We ask: Was Eliezer instructed to choose a married woman, a wife, to be the spouse of Isaac? And is virgin synonymous with wife? If it is said that in the charge of Abraham there is a prolepsis, and that his servant was directed to take for Isaac one who should be a wife to him, then all is plain. But this rule of interpretation we can with equal justice apply to the term yayin. If we should deal with the word for bread as the word for wine has been treated, we might exhibit on O. T. authority the following distinct meanings of לֶחֶם 1. Grain in the car (Ps. 104:14). 2. Grain cleaned from the chaff (Ex. 16:12, 31). 3. Common flour קֶמַח. 4. Fine flour סנֶֹת (1 Kings 4:22. In the Hebrew 5:2). 5. Food made into loaves (1 Sam. 10:4). We could suggest yet another meaning of bread. A man would be deemed “witty” who, on the ground of 2 Kings 4:40, should give as a distinct meaning of the term death, “An article which the Hebrews cooked in a pot,” but he would be simply carrying out the lexical principles of Dr. Lees and others. Iron, again, might be defined unsmelted ore, for in Job 28:2, iron is said to be “taken out of the earth.” If the explanation be proposed that what is wrought into iron is taken out of the earth, we can only recommend the application of the same rule of interpretation in defining the words yayin and tirosh. We hope that those of our readers who may hereafter undertake to write a commentary or to compile a Bible Dictionary or Cyclopedia, will bear in mind these simple hints, and then they will be able everywhere in the O. T. to understand yayin as denoting just what it means in the place where it first occurs.

We next take up the term שֵׁכָר shekhar (in Greek σίκερα, Luke 1:15), which is often combined with יַיִן. Shekhar is rendered “strong drink” in the E. V. We read in “Wine and Truth” (p. 4): “Dr. Ritchie, of Scotland, tells us that in every case tirosh is spoken of as a blessing, and shechar as an evil or curse.” If Mr. Brunot had searched the Scriptures to know whether these things were so, he would have learned from them that tirosh, too, appears as an evil in Hos. 4:11; while shekhar is exhibited as a blessing in Num. 28:7 (where it is translated “strong wine”), Deut. 14:26, 29:6, and Prov. 31:6.

There is no more certain fact in the Hebrew language than that shekhar denotes an intoxicating drink. The Septuagint and the Vulgate on Prov. 20:1 support this meaning. The Targum on the same place teaches that “shekhar is intoxicating.” Elsewhere the Targum renders it “old wine.” Aquila and Symmachus translate it in various places μέθυσμα, or that which intoxicates. Hesychius, Suidas, and the Scholiast quoted by Wetstein, ascribe to shekhar the like potency. We might quote Philo and the Jewish commentators to the same effect, and also Origen, Chrysostom, and Jerome. The last mentioned, in his letter to Nepotian, tells us: “Sikera Hebræo sermone omnis potio, quæ inebriare potest, sive illa quæ frumento conficitur, sive pomorum succo; aut cum favi decoquuntur in dulcem et barbaram potionem; aut palmarum fructus exprimuntur in liquorem, coctis que frugibus aqua pinguior coloratur.” Whatever may be the origin of the word shekhar, it can denote nothing but an intoxicating drink. Uniform usage is decisive as to this signification. By examining the places where it occurs in the Old Testament its meaning is clear. But in Num. 28:7, shekhar forms a drink-offering poured unto the Lord; and in Deut. 14:26, its use is expressly sanctioned. Hence, for its definite meaning of “strong drink,” there must be substituted another which will not upset the theory that God could not sanction the drinking of anything that could by abuse intoxicate. To save this theory the unauthorized and unheard-of meaning of “sweet drink” or “saccharine drink” is actually given to shekhar![14]

There is no reason, either in philology or in biblical usage, for this signification. A man might have used “sweet drink” without taking shekhar; and he could have drunk some kinds of shekhar that were not sweet. In all cases except Deut. 14:26, yayin and shekhar are allowed to form together a comprehensive designation of intoxicants among the Hebrews. But in this instance a foregone conclusion would set aside the meaning that irresistibly forces itself on the unprejudiced mind. But is there any restrictive expression in Deut. 14:26, or a clause that suggests a limitation of the usual signification of the words yayin and shekhar? There is, on the contrary, an addition made to them which justifies the unrestricted acceptation of the terms: “Thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after,[15] for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink (yayin or shekhar), or for whatsoever thy soul desireth.” There is no sanction of either gluttony or drunkenness in the passage, but there is full permission accorded to use yayin or shekhar as well as beef or mutton. Not eating and drinking to any extent are allowed, but the eating and drinking of whatever the Israelites might desire; and we can say after Law, in his “Serious Call”:

“As the lawfulness of different apparel leaves no room nor any excuse for the smallest degree of vanity in dress, so the lawfulness of different liquors leaves no room nor any excuse for the smallest degree of intemperance in drinking.”

It is simply to trifle with Scripture, and capriciously to reject the certain meaning of a term to attach to shekhar any other signification than that of strong or intoxicating drink, though it may be cheerfully conceded that such a drink as the Egyptian ζῦθος, or beer, which was included under shekhar, was weak in comparison with whisky, brandy, or rum, or what are now called “strong drinks.”[16] On the radical signification of the verb שָׁכַר; whence שֵׁכָר is derived, Delitzsch on Isaiah 5:11 may be consulted.

תּירוֹשׁ, tirosh, mustum, or new wine, is a word which gives promise of being naturalized in the English language. According to Gesenius it comes from יָרַשׁ, to take possession of, from its affecting or taking possession of the head. This is a better explanation than to say that new wine is a possession par excellence; hence its name, tirosh, i.e., possession; for it could hardly be considered a more valuable possession than wheat and oil, with which it is often associated. That tirosh could take possession of the head we see from Hos. 4:11, and from the drunkenness which prevails in wine-producing countries when tirosh is abundant. The attempts to set aside the plain meaning of Hos. 4:11, we consider beneath criticism. Buxtorf (Lex. Talm., p. 986) agrees with Gesenuis in following the rabbis in the derivation of tirosh:Sic dictum quòd mentem hominis facile possidet”; and he gives quotations from the Talmud to show that the Jewish doctors ascribed to tirosh an intoxicating power. Grape-juice soon begins to ferment; its first fermentation takes place in the vat before it is poured into vessels; and it can intoxicate long before its fermentation is completed, before the tirosh has become yayin, and so ripe for use. The Greek equivalent of tirosh, which is γλεῦκος, appears in Acts 2:13–15 as having an inebriating influence.

Dr. Lees contends that tirosh is “the fruit of the vineyard in its natural condition.” But we read in Isaiah 62:8, “The sons of the stranger shall not drink thy tirosh; and this drinking of tirosh is in the following verse expressly distinguished from the eating of corn. In Joel 2:24, we read: “The vats shall overflow with tirosh and oil,” where it is vain to think of giving tirosh another meaning than that of the expressed juice of grapes. That Joel distinguished the וקב or vat from the גת or press, is clear from chap. 3:13. Tirosh is said to be in the cluster, Isa. 65:8. But if tirosh denotes “the fruit of the vineyard in its natural condition,” it is the cluster and would not be spoken of as found in the cluster. Dr. Lees’ definition of tirosh would be laughed at by Jews to whom Hebrew is still a familiar tongue. Tirosh is said to be trodden in Micah 6:15, but the same verb דרך is in Isa. 16:10 applied to yayin; and עָסיִס, whose meaning of new wine is undisputed, is literally, that which is trodden. When a German speaks of the keltern of wine, if you were to argue that, since keltern means to crush in the press, he must understand by wine, grape fruit, he would smile at your logic. Of this proleptic use of words we have furnished sufficient examples in discussing the meaning of yayin.[17]

But we must now attend to Dr. Samson’s observations on tirosh. Lest we might be suspected of misrepresenting him, we will quote his words (“Divine Law,” p. 71): “The noun tirosh, as its form shows, is from the hiphil or causative conjugation; meaning, therefore, an article which causes either possession or dispossession.” We confess to a desire for an opportunity of putting the doctor over the Hiphil conjugation of וָרַשׁ, that we might see how he could possibly derive tirosh from it. But what does he make of tirosh? It is, according to him, “an article which causes dispossession,” or a purgative. He finds indicated in the name “the laxative influence ascribed to unfermented wines by the Greek and Roman writers” (p. 72). Its derivation, he assures us, “shuts up the Hebrew scholar to the idea of purging,” as the proper meaning of tirosh, a result which he confirms in his own way by an appeal to the Arabic. Our readers, who may have learnt from the Bible, or from their grandmothers, that good wine is noted for strengthening the feeble and faint, and for cheering and comforting those that are of a heavy heart, will be slow to believe that that tirosh, which, by Dr. Samson’s showing, is a purgative, can be this good wine.

But the doctor is right in saying that the old writers ascribed to new wine a laxative influence. It is a purgative, and far from being gentle in its operation. Those for whom the matter is not too high, may exercise themselves with the question whether “an article which causes dispossession,” a drink to which the Hebrew scholar must attach the idea of purging, would be quite the proper thing to use freely at a marriage, especially when account is taken of the fact that among the ancient Hebrews a nuptial festivity was prolonged for seven days (Gen. 29:22, 27; Judges 14:12).

חֶמֶר, chemer, besides its Chaldee form in Ezra and Daniel, occurs in Deut. 32:14, and also, if we adhere to the Masoretic text, in Isa. 27:2. In both places it appears as an approved drink. In the latter, it is rendered in the E. V. “red wine.” Our translators, we believe, took it in the same sense in the former passage. But as the version, “Thou didst drink the blood of the grape, red wine,” would sound tautological (the redness of the wine being involved in the designation “the blood of the grape”), they seem to have thought that chemer would be adequately represented by prefixing the epithet “pure” to the expression “blood of the grape.” If we give to chemer the meaning of red wine (and this signification is etymologically justifiable) it would denote a fermented drink, as we have seen that the red color of wine, when not artificially produced, results from the grape-juice fermenting with the husks. But Gesenius, with most modern Hebraists, prefers to derive the word from the verb חָמַר, whose radical notion is to boil up, to ferment. So J. A. Alexander (on Isa. 27:2) writes: “חֶמֶר strictly denotes fermentation, then fermented liquor, and is used as a poetical equivalent to יַיִן.” The best Arabic and Syriac scholars among our missionaries inform us that those to whom these languages are vernacular have the idea of a fermented drink suggested by chamr and chamro, the Arabic and Syriac forms of the Hebrew chemer.

After the example of others, Mr. Brunot, in his pamphlet “Wine and Truth,” rings changes on the expression “the pure blood of the grape,” which he finds in Deut. 32:14. This poetic phrase furnishes the chief argument for his theory. Had he understood the Hebrew text he could have seen that this verse is fatal to it, for it exhibits chemer, which is certainly a fermented drink, as a choice blessing of God. We may add that in Dan. 5:1, חַמְרָא, the emphatic Chaldee form of חֶמֶר, denotes the wine which Belshazzar drank. It is, indeed, only ignorance of Oriental languages which could allow a man to identify “the pure blood of the grape” of Deut. 32:14 with anything but a fermented wine. They who maintain that fermented wine is condemned in Deut. 32:33, should read what is said of grapes and clusters in v. 32.

עָסִיס, ’âsis, is new wine, from עָסַס, to tread down (Mal. 4:3). It is strange that Dr. Lees did not contend that that which is trodden in the wine-press is the grape-fruit, and, therefore, grape-fruit must be the meaning of עָסִיס. His main reason for making tirosh denote grape-fruit is that it is spoken of as trodden. But this reason applies with greater force to ’âsis; yet he is content to let it retain the signification with which it has come down to us. From Joel 1:5 ’âsis appears to be capable of producing intoxication. Drunkards are called on to weep, and drinkers of yayin to howl because the new wine, or ’âsis, is cut off from their mouth. New wine, or grape-juice, before it has, by completing its fermentation, become proper yayin, is, as we have seen, in wine-producing countries, an abundant source of intoxication. ’Asis, new wine, or sweet wine, is certainly used by Joel to denote a drink partially fermented, and able to cause drunkenness (Comp. Isa. 49:26). Yet the prophet, in chap. 3:18 (Heb. text 4:18), represents this same ’âsis as a blessing which God will bestow plentifully on His people.

In the paper on “Temperance Reform” in the Presbyterian Review for July, 1881, p. 524, the testimony adduced to show that there is no unfermented wine in use in Palestine is thus summarily disposed of:

“But what is a mountain mass of such evidence worth beside the clear, positive declaration of Dr. M. W. Jacobus in his comment on the miracle of Cana. ‘This wine,’ he says, ‘was not that fermented liquor which now passes under that name. All who know of the wines then used will understand rather the unfermented juice of the grape. The present wines of Jerusalem and Lebanon, as we tasted them, were commonly boiled and sweet, without intoxicating qualities, such as we here get in liquors called wines,’ ”

We may safely leave those “who know of the wines used” in the time of our Lord’s life on earth to understand by the simple, unqualified word wine, what accords with their knowledge. But the judicious reader can determine for himself from the following correspondence whether the positive declaration of Dr. Jacobus should be deemed sufficient to outweigh a mountain mass of evidence to the contrary from those most competent to testify on such a question:

New Brighton, Pa., Aug. 7, 1876.

To the Rev. M. W. Jacobus, D.D.

Reverend and Dear Sir:—In your “Notes on the Gospel of John” (Ch. 2:11), the following statement appears: “The present wines of Jerusalem and Lebanon, as we tasted them, were commonly boiled and sweet, without intoxicating qualities such as we get here, in liquors called wines. The boiling prevents the fermentation.” May I respectfully request you to inform me whether you are quite certain that the wines referred to had no intoxicating quality? I could truly declare from my experience of wines commonly drunk in countries on the Continent of Europe, that they are “without intoxicating qualities such as we get here in liquors called wines”; but, nevertheless, they have intoxicating qualities in some degree. If you have no doubt on your mind that the judgment which you have expressed in regard to the wines of Jerusalem and Lebanon is correct, may I beg you in that case to have the goodness to tell me where you tasted those wines. Can you recollect any well-known persons, missionaries, or others, in Jerusalem, Beyrout, Damascus, or in the region of Lebanon, who furnished the wines which you tasted? If you kindly favor me with their names and address, I will write to them in order to ascertain the real nature of those wines which you are supposed to hold to have been entirely unintoxicating. I cannot doubt that the joint testimony of Drs. W. M. Thomson, C. V. A. Van Dycke, Jessup, and Wortabet, and Revs. S. C. Calhoun, Robertson, Crawford, Wright, and others, is in accordance with fact when they solemnly declare that they have never seen nor heard of an unfermented wine in Syria, or in the Holy Land. I suppose you have seen the document which they have subscribed. The interests of religion require that this question as to the present wines of Syria should be settled beyond further controversy. Your statement, put forth in language not quite unambiguous, respecting wines which you confess only to have tasted, has been held sufficient to outweigh the deliberate declaration of many of the highest and most disinterested authorities resident in Syria, expressed in clear, unequivocal terms. This matter has now assumed an importance which demands that the exact truth should be known. This is my apology for venturing to trouble you with this communication, to which I solicit a reply at your earliest convenience. Let me add that I mean to publish our correspondence.

I am, reverend and dear sir,

Yours very respectfully, Dunlop Moore,

Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, New Brighton, Pa.

P. S.—I dare say you are now aware that the boiling given to must from which wine is to be made, does not prevent its fermentation, and also that sweet wine can intoxicate.

To the foregoing letter Dr. Jacobus sent the following reply:

Allegheny City, Aug. 8, 1876.

My Dear Sir:—I have this moment your letter of inquiry calling for my authority in regard to an “unintoxicating wine of Lebanon” referred to in my “Notes on John,” Ch. 11:11. [This is not exactly the inquiry which I made]. Though I have been already called out on this subject two or three years ago, and have sufficiently answered in the New York Observer, I will repeat the statement, much as I am disinclined to be drawn into the debate.

In the spring of 1851 I visited Syria and the Holy Land. At Beirut I was the guest of the well-known American Consul, J. Hosford Smith, Esq., whom I had already known as my neighbor in Brooklyn, before his appointment to that post. During my sojourn with him, he called my attention to a Lebanon wine which he was then proposing to export to this country, because of its being an unintoxicating wine, having at the same time very agreeable and nutritive quality. The special excellence that was to justify his commercial enterprise for its export, was precisely this, that it did not intoxicate. I tasted it freely, and sufficiently to satisfy myself of the fact. I had no disposition, however, to put his statement to any crucial test by personal experiment. I noticed in it a certain smoky taste, and he stated that it had been subjected to heat to prevent the fermentation. It was not possible for me to examine the manufacture. That there was no fermentation whatever I could not testify, only that it was pronounced by my informant an “unfermented wine.” The intelligence of Mr. Smith, and his established residence and commercial relations in the country, backing his financial venture, satisfied me, apart from any controversial object.

Unhappily my informant is dead. But his nephew, Mr. Hassler, a well-known banker of New York City, promptly confirmed my statement in the New York Observer as of his own personal knowledge—that his uncle did export large packages of this wine, which he pronounced unintoxicating, and which he exported to this country on this account. My object in using this testimony in my “Commentary on John,” was to discriminate against “the liquors called wines which we get here,” and I was able to testify that this Lebanon wine “had no such intoxicating quality.”

As you are pleased to notify me that you “mean to publish this correspondence,” I make it short, and will only add that I am no connoisseur in wines, nor have I any taste for the controversy about the wine of Cana. I am sure there has been more ferment in the controversy than in the wine of Lebanon.

Yours very respectfully,

Rev. Dunlop Moore.

M. W. Jacobus.

The readers of the “Notes on John” naturally think that Dr. Jacobus must have tasted in many places of Syria various kinds of wine which were unfermented. But from his own explicit statement in answer to our inquiry, it appears that he drank only one kind of wine that had this “special excellence,” and this happened only at the house of a gentleman residing in Beyrut. And this wine may, for aught Dr. Jacobus knew, have really been fermented. For he writes: “It was impossible for me to examine the manufacture. That there was no fermentation whatever I could not testify.” His informant, too, is dead. But residents in Beyrut before 1851, such as Dr. Eli Smith, Dr. Van Dycke, and Mr. Black, though they sought for it carefully, never heard of this unfermented wine of Syria with which people in the United States are so familiar; and no one now living in Beyrut can tell anything of it. It has entirely disappeared; and the traveller who inquires about it is laughed at. We might appropriately call this unfermented wine “vinum fugiens,” if that designation had not been given by the Latins to wine that will not keep. If a Frenchman should take it into his head to write that raw flesh cut from the living ox is a common article of diet in England, would a mountain mass of negative evidence suffice to disprove this positive statement? Would not any one who might make such a declaration be reasonably expected to specify some particular place where such usage can now be found to prevail? Persistency and force of assertion will never convert a fiction into a fact, however they may impose on the credulous and unreflecting, and the sooner this is understood by professed friends of temperance, the better for a cause in which every Christian is bound to take a hearty interest.

We are fully alive to the tremendous evils resulting from drunkenness, and are in entire sympathy with all proper measures aiming at its suppression or mitigation. We acknowledge our obligation to practice self-denial on the principles stated in Rom. 14:21; 1 Cor. 8:13. But we would remember, too, the doctrine that balances these passages, that no man is to judge his Christian brother in regard to eating and drinking (Col. 2:16; Rom. 14:3). Above all, we maintain the sinless character of our Redeemer, and it is just as certain that He drank and miraculously created wine in the common and proper sense of the term, and used it in the institution of the Supper, as that He was born in Bethlehem. We can never consent to an impeachment of the morality of the New Testament, or to a disfiguration or mutilation of the blessed sacrament of the Supper in the supposed interest of temperance. And we will be faithful in following the example of our Presbyterian fathers in contending for the kingly authority of Christ as Head of the Church, and for His sole prerogative to appoint its ordinances. And we will give no quarter to falsehood and misrepresentation, no matter what may be the cause in support of which they are employed. “No lie is of the truth”; and the followers of Christ should not be ashamed or afraid to show their faith that God’s truth will prove more effectual in working a genuine and permanent reformation of manners than the devil’s lie.[18]

We would, in conclusion, remind those who may think “the two-wine theory” a valuable auxiliary to the cause of temperance, of the just remark of Trench in his Notes on the Parables—“How oft has that which bore the worst fruit in the end, appeared at first like a higher form of good!”

Dunlop Moore. 


[1] “See Augusti, Denkwürd, viii. p. 290 sq.” Prof. Stuart cannot have read the chapter in Augusti to which he refers; for it clearly testifies against the notion held by Prof. Stuart that the proper Passover wine was an unfermented unintoxicating drink. As this may appear incredible to some, we translate the following extract which will be found on pp. 290–1 of the volume to which the Professor appeals: “In the Orient red wine was at all times more highly esteemed than white—a judgment which is still found to be universal. See Rosenmüller’s Altes und Neues Morgenland, Th. I., p. 235. We have, moreover, definite testimonies of Jewish authors that red wine was not only held by the Jews to be the more excellent, but was also required in preference to any other for the Passover. In Lebusch Halicot Pesach, §172, 11, it is said: Praeceptum est comparare vinum rubrum, quia id fortius esse solet quam album.” Red wine was ordered to be provided for the Passover because it was wont to be stronger than white. The authority to which Prof. Stuart refers us should have set him right if he had only read a little beyond the heading of the chapter. We shall afterward show that all red wine has been fermented.

[2] We have here an example of the inconsequence of arguing that the wine must be unfermented to which the epithet harmless is applied.

[3] Yet Dr. Samson dares assure his readers that Jerome states “that the wine used at the supper and as medicine, was the wine without alcohol commended by Roman and Greek physicians” (“Divine Law,” p. 215). It would be hard to determine whether the Roman and Greek physicians or Jerome have here most cause to complain of misrepresentation. Greek and Roman physicians concurred with Jewish in holding every kind of must to be hurtful to the stomach. Pliny’s statement, N. H. xxiii. 18, mustum omne stomacho inutile, expresses the universal judgment of antiquity.

As a specimen of Dr. Samson’s scholarship we give the following extract (p 214): “Alluding to the plea that Christ used wine at the supper and that Paul recommended the use of wine to Timothy, Jerome says: ‘Elsewhere we were made acquainted with both the wine to be consecrated into the blood of Christ and the wine ordered to Timothy that he should drink it.’ The Latin of Jerome is ‘Alioquin sciebamus, et in Christi sanguinem vinum consecrari et vinum Timotheo ut biberet imperatum.’ ” Dr. Samson should not expose his ignorance by construing Latin in this way—Sciebamus vinum, we were made acquainted with the wine; cansecrari, to be consecrated, that is, which should be consecrated! His object in this ridiculous rendering was to teach that Jerome makes the wine approved by our Lord and Paul different from ordinary wine. As we learned Latin, the words of Jerome adduced by Dr. S. can have only this meaning: “We knew that wine is both consecrated into the blood of Christ and was prescribed by Paul to Timothy to drink.” Jerome nowhere indicates that he had any idea of the “two-wine theory.”

[4] We give the passage in full: “Haec sunt in causa transgressionis Paschatis; Cutach Babylonicum, cerevisia Mediæ et acetum Edomæum, et Zytus Aegypticus, et Zoman tinctorum et Amilan coquorum et pulmentum librariorum. R. Eliezer dicit, etiam ornamenta mulierum. Regula generalis haec est quicquid est è speciebus frumenti, ecce propter hoc transgreditur Pascha.” We need not append the original Hebrew. The strange words here used are all defined in Buxtorf’s “Talmudical Lexicon,” and need not be explained by us. The Jewish commentators distinctly state that grain was an ingredient in every one of the things mentioned as transgressing the Passover. There was no prohibition even of pure vinegar made of the juice of fruits. The vinegar of the Edomites was forbidden because, as Maimonides and Bartenora explain, the Edomites sometimes put barley in their vinegar, and therefore it was unlawful at the Passover.

[5] “The color of the wine is dependent on the mode in which the fermentation is effected. Red grapes may be made to yield a ‘white’ wine if the husks of the grape be removed from the must before fermentation begins.… But if the skins be left in the fermenting mass, the alcohol, as it is formed, dissolves the coloring matter, producing the different shades of red wine.” (Miller’s “Organic Chemistry,” 4th ed., p. 185).

[6] Mr. Noah’s famous recipe for Passover wine, furnished in answer to Mr. Delevan, would actually yield a fermented drink! If we keep bloom raisins in water for a week near the fire, as he directs, the fermentation of the infusion is certain. In fact, Dr. Schauffler, in giving directions for preparing raisin wine as the Jews of Constantinople make it, tells us: “Let them stand a week in some warm place to ferment.” In the “Tem. Bib. Comm.,” p. 286, where a recipe for making Passover wine is given, we read: “Let the infusion stand over night.” A longer time would be dangerous by giving room for fermentation. Mohammed was wont to indulge in an infusion of dry grapes which was allowed slightly to ferment. But it was never suffered to remain longer than two whole days. It was either used up within that time or poured upon the ground. (“Mishcat-ul-Masâbih,” chap. v., Part I.)

[7] The “Temperance Commentary” (p. 281) is entirely astray in making the quantity of wine obligatory on each person to drink at the Passover three pints. Such a law would occasion drunkenness. We might retort on the authors of this commentary by asking how three pints of their favorite jelly or grape syrup would agree with an ordinary stomach. The Babylonian Talmud (Pesachim, 108b), tells us that the Passover cup contained the fourth part of a lôg. As the lôg contained as much as six eggshells, the four cups were equal in quantity to six eggshells, not three pints. We owe this reference to Professor A. B. Ehrlich, of New York, who has the reputation of being one of the best Talmudical scholars in this country. In Pesachim, 109a, the quantity contained in the cup of the Passover is said to be the fourth part of a lôg, “according to the lôg of the sanctuary.” From the Gospels it appears that Christ and the disciples drank out of one cup. We are to remember that water in the proportion of three-fourth parts water to one-fourth part of wine could be mingled in the Passover cup. We do not know how Lightfoot came to put the fourth part of a quarter of a hin as the measure of each of the Passover cups. We have not been able to learn any Talmudical authority for this statement. According to the Jerus. Talmud, the measure of each cup should be 2 finger-breadths wide and 1⅚ finger-breadths deep. According to the Bab. Talmud each cup should be only 1 finger-breadths deep. Prof. Ehrlich, who should understand this matter, says: “The law does not prescribe that the cups should be emptied.”

[8] Mr. Brunot felt that in order to give verisimilitude to the theory that the wine made by our Saviour at the marriage of Cana was unfermented grape-juice, Jewish usage, ancient and modern, should be as he has described it. But we may not draw facts from our imagination in order to gain acceptance for our ideas of what is right. Who that remembers the words of the governor of the feast, recorded John 2:10, could think of unfermented grape-juice as the ordinary drink at a Jewish marriage? His remark implies that where different kinds of wine were furnished to guests at nuptial entertainments, that wine which was considered “good” had the property of rendering those who drank it freely, uncritical in their taste, so that it was safe to serve up to them an inferior wine (Comp. Meyer in loc). It was with good wine possessing this potency that the governor classes the wine miraculously made by our Lord. As has been often observed, it does not follow that the guests at this marriage of Cana were unduly affected by wine. The governor speaks of what was customary when an inferior wine was substituted for the good wine supplied at the beginning; and his observation to the bridegroom is, “Thou hast kept the good wine until now,” not “until the guests are drunken.” Due weight must be attached to the governor’s words, as his testimony is adduced by the evangelist to show the nature of the wine that was made out of water, or to prove that it was a genuine good wine. We here remark that wherever in the Gospels wine is mentioned in connection with Christ’s name the circumstances compel us to think of the fermented juice of the grape. Thus in Matt. 9:17, and in the parallel places in the other synoptic Gospels, what our Lord says about new wine bursting old wine-skins, shows that the wine kept by the Jews for common use was suffered to ferment. The tumultuous, or first fermentation, took place in the vat. The second, or less violent repetition of the first, took place in the wine-skins. But only new skins could bear its strain. The idea that new wine was put into new skins to keep it from fermenting is not to be entertained. New wine, if it has no vent, threatens to burst even new skin bottles (Job 32:19). When, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, our Lord makes mention of oil and wine as poured upon wounds (Luke 10:34), He must mean by wine fermented grape-juice. Indeed Galen expressly mentions red or dark wine (οἷνος μέλας), which is always fermented, as proper to be used in such a case. Of what service could fresh grape-juice be to a wound? In Luke 5:39 Christ declares that old wine was universally preferred to new by those who drank it. So, too, Columella iii. 4, Fere omne vinum eam qualitatem sortitur ut vetustate acquirat bonitatem. It was not must, but wine οἷνος which Christ drank, and which gave occasion to His enemies to call Him οἱνοπότης (Luke 7:33, 34). That the sacramental wine was not different from the only wine with which Christ is known to have been familiar is evident from 1 Cor. 11:21.

[9] We find uva, the grape, used metonymically for wine by Horace (Carm. Lib. i. xx. 10), and by Juvenal v. 31. Stanley (“The Roman Catacombs”) has the expression “the life-giving grape” for wine. In German Kuemmel, caraway, is used to denote a strong drink made of caraway. Anacreon calls wine γόνον ἁμπέλον. Pindar terms it ̔αμπέλου δρόσος, dew of the vine, in the seventh Olympian ode, which is inscribed to the boxer Diagoras; and at the close of the ninth Nemean he designates wine ἁμπέλου παῖδα, child of the vine. It has been affirmed that Pindar understood by the latter phrase unfermented grape-juice, whereas the poet in the passage actually describes the intoxicating influence of the “child of the vine”! We have in Persian the expression dukhtar-i-tâk, daughter of the vine, and in Arabic bintu-l-inab, daughter of the grape, used for real fermented wine. In Isa. 36:16 every one is bidden to eat his vine. See Heb. text. The same metonymy which will allow a man to eat his vine will also allow him to drink his grapes or the fruit of the vine.

[10] Bread is bread, whether it is leavened or unleavened. But grape-juice is not wine till it is fermented. (See Pres. Rev., January, 1881). Unbaked dough is not bread, and would not be a proper element in the Supper. But the difference between true bread and unbaked dough is of a less specific character than that between true wine and unfermented grape-juice. A reward has been offered for the discovery of an unfermented wine in use in Bible lands. But no one has claimed it.

[11] In the “Temp. Comty.” it is affirmed that the great mass of expositors agree in understanding the original word μεθύει not of intoxication, but of repletion (p. 341). We take up, as the most important, the first three expositors professedly quoted, Clement of Alexandria, Chrysostom, and Bengel. We simply deny what is stated of Clement. We give Chrysostom’s comment on 1 Cor. 11:21; “εἰς ἁπληστίαν καὶ εἰς μέθην ἐξέβαινον. Διὸ οὐδὲ εἶπεν, ὃς μὲν πεινᾷ, ὁς δὲ κορέννυται, ἀλλὰ Μεθύει.” Chrysostom expressly denies that the apostle said, “is full.” He contrasts the word employed by the apostle, μεθύει, with the word he would have used, κορέννυται, if he had meant simple repletion and not intoxication. Bengel renders μεθύει ebrius est. The largest charity can hardly deem this misrepresentation unintentional. The Pauline use of μεθύειν and related words supports the E. V. Philo (De Plant. Noae xxxv.) distinguishes two senses of μεθυειν, a stronger and a weaker, but both imply intoxication. There is no word in Greek that would more clearly convey the notion of inebriation.

[12] The drinks sold as “unfermented wines” often contain little or none of the juice of the grape. Mr. Carter Bell, the public analyst of Salford, England, lately published a report on the so-called unfermented wines sold in that town which he had analyzed. The Church Times thus summarizes the report: “Three samples of these drinks were made up of sugar, tartaric acid, salicylic acid, and coloring matter, including a considerable quantity of copper. Of grape-juice, pure or otherwise, not a trace was discernible. One sample labeled, ‘The select wine of the temperance fraternity,’ was simply a vin ordinaire; and of nine samples only one was what it purported to be, ‘pure grape-juice, entirely free from alcohol.’ ” It is obvious that much of the agitation for “unfermented wine” in the communion is to be ascribed to manufacturers of the stuff which goes by this name. Simple people are told by them that fermented wine contains alcohol, which is a poison, and that therefore they should not use it in any form. They might for the same reason be urged to discard common salt, since chlorine, a poison, is a constituent of it, making sixty parts of it by weight. So vegetarians condemn fish and meat as containing phosphorus, a poison. The fact may be unknown to some that carbonic acid, a poison, escapes from grape-juice in the fermentation of it, sometimes suffocating those who tread the wine-press.

[13] Nothing can be learned from Gen. 40:11, as to the primitive meaning of yayin, as the word is not used in this place; and if it were, the yayin might be supposed to mature in the chief butler’s dream with the same preternatural rapidity with which the grapes are represented as ripening in it. Dreams are not faithful pictures of the world of reality. We do not infer from Pharaoh’s dream that it was customary in ancient Egypt for lean kine to eat up fat kine, or for thin ears of grain to devour good ears. And the drink which the chief butler gave in his dream to Pharaoh was just “such stuff as dreams are made of.” A legend contained in the Targum of Jonathan tells us that Noah planted a certain vine, and “that very day it blossomed, and its grapes ripened, and he pressed them out and drank from the wine.” If nothing more were known of the nature of the wine drunk by Noah, how confidently would it be maintained that it was fresh unfermented grape-juice! But the legend agrees with the Bible in stating that Noah became drunk. This example teaches that we ought to be careful in drawing inferences from visions, dreams, and legends. Why, even Bacchus has been called “the god of unfermented wine,” on the ground of a legend related by Achilles Tatius, in which he is made to show a Tyrian herd, Icarus, a bunch of grapes, and pressing them to say, “Here is the water, and this is the fountain from which it flows.” This, we are told, is the way in which wine came to men, as the Tyrians say. But unfortunately for the unfermented wine theory Icarus is said to have acted like a Bacchanal when he drank this “unfermented wine.” ὁ δὲ πίων ὑφʼ ἡδονῆς βακχεύεται; and he could tell of the wonderful heat which the “purple water,” cold though it was to the touch, diffused through his system. (Achilles Tatius, lib. ii., p. 66). To cap the climax of absurdity, Bacchus pressing the juice from a cluster of grapes with one hand and holding a cup in the other, as he appears in a statue exhumed from Pompeii, has been adduced as a proof of the common drinking of unfermented wine by the votaries of Bacchus! The statue probably formed the sign of a wine-shop. The Eucharist is symbolized by ears of wheat and by grapes even in the Roman catacombs and on altars and vessels used in Roman Catholic churches in administering that sacrament. (Menzel’s “Christliche Symbolik,” Vol. I., pp. 13, 35). But this does not warrant the inference that the Eucharist is celebrated by eating ears of wheat and grapes!

[14] Shekhar has no connection with the Sanskrit sarkarâ and the Indo-Germanic words derived from it. Sarkarâ is compounded of two Sanskrit roots. It is applied originally to gravel, and then to granulated sugar (see Lassen, “Indische Alterthumskunde,” Vol. I., p. 270, and the Sanskrit Dictionaries). Neither root of sarkarâ has the least relation to the idea of sweetness; and the composite word is not applied to the juice of the sugar-cane, but to granulated sugar. The companions of Alexander the Great became first acquainted with sugar in India. It is from India that the languages of Europe and Western Asia received the name of sugar. Sarkarâ sugar (word and thing) was unknown to the Hebrews when shekhar was current among them. Comp. Lassen ut supra. A sweet drink derived from sarkarâ, or granulated sugar, is not given in the Sanskrit Dictionary. But from the Sanskrit guda, molasses, or the boiled juice of the sugar-cane, we have the word gaudi, denoting an intoxicating drink, or rum. This last example shows that the name of a drink may be derived from a root denoting a sweet substance, while that name invariably designates an intoxicating drink. But it is only ignorance of philology that can think of connecting the Hebrew shekhar with the Sanskrit sarkarâ in order to find in the former word the radical idea of sweetness. How vain it is to attempt to determine the sense of a word from its derivation (whether true or false), may be seen from the example of the term whisky. It is used invariably to denote an intoxicating drink, but it comes from the Celtic uisge, water.

[15] “ ‘Thy soul lusteth after.’ In the present day ‘lust’ is always used in a bad sense, as noting some evil desire; and so it is generally used in the Bible. But properly it denotes only ‘desire,’ and in this sense both the verb and the noun occur in Scripture. Deut. 12:15, 20, 21; 14:26, etc.”—Dr. W. L. Alexander.

[16] Com. Isa. 19:10 where ζῦθος is given by the Sept. as rendering of what was supposed to be שֵׁכָר.

[17] תִּירוֹשׁ and יִצְהָר are regularly associated, and so are יַיִן and שֶׁמֶן. The two former words are ordinarily employed in describing new wine and fresh oil as products of a country, while yayin and shemen mark the same things as articles of consumption, or as they are actually used. See how in Gen. 27:25 Isaac drinks yayin, but prays that God may give Jacob tirosh (v. 28), as yielded by the soil. See how this distinction comes out in Isa. 24:7 and 9. Comp. also Micah. 6:15, where tirosh is trodden out, but the yayin is the proper drink. Keil on Zech. 4:14 takes this view.

[18] One of the most devoted and successful advocates of temperance, the late Dr. John Edgar, of Belfast, when he heard and read of certain zealots who would make the drinking of wine a sin per se, and would exclude genuine wine from the table of the Lord, gave utterance to this remark, “When the devil cannot upset the coach, he mounts the box and drives.”