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is unprepared, can be termed blessings. The word tirosh is several times in Scripture associated with corn. Isaac mentions "corn and tirosh”—“ corn and new wine." The king of Assyria spoke of corn and tirosh; and in Psalm iv., David, alluding to the joy of the wicked at the growth of their corn and the fertility of their vines, says that their corn and their wine, or tirosh, increased. Here he must refer to the growth of the grape, because he speaks of its "increasing," and the wine does not increase after it is manufactured; in this passage, therefore, as in Isaiah lxv., tirosh, or new wine, is used for the grape or fruit of the vine, before it had been gathered, and even before it was ripe.
In the same sense the word appears to have been used by the king of Assyria; for, in the same speech in which he speaks of a land of corn and wine, or tirosh, he tells the people to eat every one of his vine, and every one of his fig-tree, and drink ye every one of the waters of his own cistern." Here the people were to eat of the vine and to drink water. Hasselquist says, "the vine is cultivated in Egypt for the sake of eating the grapes, not for wine." And the king of Assyria promises the people corn and tirosh, or grapes, as articles of food. In Hosea ii. 22, it is said," the earth shall hear the corn and the wine, or tirosh;" a passage which alludes to the grape as it hung on the vine and required moisture from the earth, that it might grow and arrive at maturity. In chapter iv. 11, it is classed with wine, and certainly may mean clusters of grapes eaten with the wine which the sensualists there mentioned were drinking at their luxurious feasts.* In Joel ii. 24, and Prov. iii. 10, tirosh is represented as the fresh juice which burst from the wine-press, and which, therefore had not fermented and its fermentation afterwards depended solely upon the will of the husbandman; though the heat of the country threatened it with the acetous fermentation if it fermented at all; or, on the other hand, the sweetness of the grape, and the thickening of the juice by boiling it down, must have been fatal to the production of an alcoholic drink. If it was really made an inebriating liquor, it was probably adulterated with drugs.
3., Chamer, is translated in Psalms lxxv. 8, and Isaiah * To say "wine and wine take away the heart" would be tautology.
xxvii. 2, by the word "red," and Deut. xxxii. 14, by the term
pure:" it is also used for "slime, clay, mortar, and bitumen," and for anything " thick or slimy." In Deut. xxxii. it means the "pure, thick, or red” blood of the grape. It is no tautology to call the blood of the grape red or purple, because the juice of that fruit was sometimes white and sometimes black or dark. The arterial blood of our bodies is red, but the venous is called "black blood." In Isaiah we read of a 66 vineyard of, red wine," evidently alluding to the color of the grape. "Thou didst drink the blood of the grape, red, pure, or thick." Red was considered the best juice; pure, that which was unfermented and unmixed; thick, that which had been boiled or spissated; or rather, that the juice was very thick, saccharine, or sirupy. The text, therefore, means thou didst drink the purest, the sweetest, and the richest blood or juice of the grape. This word being used with the expressions"-dam-anabim, the blood of the grape," affords very strong evidence that the liquor drank was not fermented; for a fermented liquor can never with any propriety be called the pure blood of the grape. Were you by some chimical process to decompose human blood, to dismiss two-thirds of one of its constituent parts, and one-third of another, and then combine the remaining ingredients afresh, you would never call this new product pure human blood; yet this is exactly what takes place in manufacturing alcoholic wines. Suppose three atoms of sugar to consist of three atoms of hydrogen, three of carbon, and three of oxygen; then, in forming spirits of wine, the sugar is decomposed; one-third of the carbon and two-thirds of the oxygen combine and form carbonic acid; while the remaining hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen unite, and become alcohol or poison; and can this new compound be called "the pure blood of the grape ?"
The pure juice which God formed, according to the dictates of his own infinite love and wisdom, is, by the busy caprice of man, analyzed, and formed into two dreadful poisons; the one is dismissed to the air, and the other retained for the human stomach; -and will this meddling mortal call his new production a good creature of God? or say that he has improved a wholesome juice by changing it into two deleterious poisons? or dare assert
that alcohol is the pure blood of the grape? In Isaiah xxvii. the term chamer is evidently used as an adjective. "A vineyard of red" supposes a red something, and here must mean red or purple grapes, rather than red wine. We would scarcely say a vineyard of alcohol, or of alcoholic wine! Besides, God says that he will keep and water this vineyard of purple grapesproving that the term here rather referred to the vine than to a fermented liquor. The wine in the Lord's cup is said to be chamer, "red or purple," but this expression, apart from the context, cannot prove that it was fermented. Again: If chamer means a thick wine, it must either refer to a thick saccharine juice or to a boiled wine, which in either case would be fatal to fermentation; because the juice of the grape will not ferment if it is too saccharine, nor unless it is as liquid as water. That inebriating drugs might be mixed with chamer, or red wine, none will deny: still few will assert that a vineyard of purple grapes means a cellar of wine poisoned with opium, or that God would call such a liquor the "pure blood of the grape." There is therefore nothing in the word chamer, viewed by itself, that necessarily intimates an intoxicating drink.
4. 7, Mesek, means mixed wine, or a "mixture," and was intoxicating or not according to the character of the grape, the mode of manufacturing the wine, and the drugs or spices with which it was mixed. When used in Scripture, the context, or some other approved canon of interpretation, must settle its meaning. When Wisdom is said to have " mingled her wine," we may be sure that she did not compound a liquor that would rob men either of their health or their wisdom. The spiced wine mentioned in Cant. viii. 2, is not called mesek.
5. boy, Asis, comes from oy, to tread. It therefore sometimes means the juice which has been trodden out of the grape; but this fact does not prove that it was a fermented liquor, because fermentation is subsequent to treading; and from what has already been said, we have seen that it was possible, and far from uncommon, to preserve the juice after it had been trodden out, from fermentation. In whatever passage it is used, let the context and scope of the writer settle the meaning. In Cant. viii. 2, it is translated by the word juice, and is applied to the
juice of the pomegranate, and which also is there said to have been manufactured into a spiced wine; so that wine, in that instance, is not the juice of the grape, but of the pomegranate.
6., Shemarim, is derived from shamar, to preserve, and the word literally means preserves." It sometimes refers to lees or dregs, but this cannot be its meaning in Isaiah xxvi. 6. There it signifies preserved wine, or preserves; for no one can suppose that God would promise to make to all people a feast of "refined lees," or "refined dregs." Indeed the idea of its being lees or dregs is contradicted by the assertion that it was well defœcated or filtered. How this preserve was made, or in what manner the wine was preserved, we cannot say. The juice may have been kept in the same manner as Columella directs, or it may have been boiled down to a sirup, as we find was the case with most wines in Palestine. Its being "well refined or filtered,” seems exactly to correspond with the words of Pliny. "Utilissimum vinum omnibus sacco viribus fractisthe very best wine is that which has had all its strength broken by the filter. It is worthy of remark that the word p3, zacac, used by the prophet, and rendered "well refined," is the same word as the Latin " saccus, a filter."
In Hebrew, zacc means to refine or filter, and in Latin, sacco has the very same signification; and it is not a little remarkable that both the Roman naturalist and the Jewish prophet should have used the very same word to express the manner in which the very best wine was produced. Pliny says, "The best wine is that which has had all its strength broken by the filter;" and Isaiah tells us, "In this mountain will the Lord God make unto all people a feast of fat things full of marrow, of preserved wines well refined or well filtered." Plutarch asserts that the most esteemed wines, and esteemed because they would not intoxicate, were those which had been well refined or filtered; and Columella also directs that the filter should be used in making sweet or unfermented wines. Horace also says, "Sapias, liques vina-You are wise, you clear or filter your wine." There is also reason to believe that those wines which were not drugged were deemed the most wholesome. Pliny's words are, “Saluberrimum cui nihil in musto additum est-The most wholesome
wine is that which has nothing added to the must." I need not tell the reader who has paid any attention to the character of alcoholic wines, or the physiology of the human frame, that the words utilissimum and saluberrimum, which Pliny has applied to those wines which were unmixed with any deleterious matter, and which would not intoxicate, are used in exact accordance with the dictates of science and observation; nor need any believer in revelation be reminded that the Lord God, when he condescends to feast the nations, will give them wine which may be termed saluberrimum and utilissimum-most useful and most wholesome.
Though I have thus examined this passage, and shown that the wine alluded to was not an intoxicating drink, yet I do not think that we have any need to prove that the wines on the lees were unfermented. The text is metaphorical, and the use of a metaphor does not suppose that we are to reduce the custom from which it is borrowed to practice. The parable of the wisdom of the unfaithful steward, and which wisdom and prudence, in a spiritual sense, we are to follow, does not put us under an obligation to be dishonest or worldly wise; and the command to "take the sword of the Spirit," does not direct us to wear a sword of steel; so the declaration that God will give to sinners a feast of spiritual food, cannot suggest that therefore we all ought to drink liquors poisoned with alcohol. The promise of a crown of glory, &c. does not command us to wear crowns of gold here; and the promise of a life-giving spiritual wine, can never impose on us the duty of drinking a life and soul-destroying beverage in the present world.
7. N2D, Sava, is supposed by some to mean, to drink hard, or to guzzle," by others, " to turn round or reel," and may refer to a drink which was so pleasant that tipplers swallowed it in large quantities, or to one so thoroughly mixed and drugged with medicaments as to make those who partook of it largely, reeling drunk. Science has shown us that the alcoholic wines of Palestine, if they did exist at all, were too weak to make persons reel, and therefore, when they had this effect, they must have been drugged. Sava is never recommended in Scripture.
8. 7, Shacar from the verb, 7, to satisfy, to please, to make