Wine and the Bible
Wine, and a sense of humor for that matter, were given to us by a beneficent God who knew from time to time we would need them. The Bible has a lot to say about wine. In fact, the grapevine and its primary product, wine, is mentioned more than any other plant.
In the book of Genesis, chapter 9, after the Great Flood, Noah begins anew by planting a vineyard and making wine. He is credited as being the first to plant a vineyard. Lamech, Noah's father, said that Noah would "bring us relief and comfort from our work and the toil of our hands." This he surely fulfilled as the first wine-maker.
With the first wine, came the first occasion of drunkeness. The Bible warns of the pitfalls of too much wine. It declares wine is a mocker and whoever is led astray by it, is not wise. On the other side of the same coin, it reminds us God made the wine that gladdens the heart of man. Clearly, moderation is called for here.
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From ancient times, the Levant has been famous for the quality and quantity of its wine. The Bible says little though regarding the use of wine in ordinary life. It was customary to present wine to travelers. It was used at feasts and marriages. In times of scarcity it was mixed with water and sometimes even with milk. Its importance is evident in the fact that Israel was deprived of it by God as a punishment.
In the New Testament, we see Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine for the marriage celebration at Cana. How we wish we could have tasted that wine! Paul recommended wine to Timothy as a digestive aid. Its symbolic importance for Christians is well known and practiced today.
There six words related to wine in the Bible: Vine, Vineyard, Wine, Winebibber, Wine Press and Strong Drink.
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