Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Biblical Study on Wine - Torah

Genesis 9:20-21 "Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent."
This is the first time we see wine and it's the first thing the righteous Noah does after getting off the ark. It shows that wine was something common, normal, and not considered evil. However, we do see the first case of drunkenness which has very bad consequences.
Genesis 14:18 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High."
This is the first case of a priest using wine in a blessing. OK, so the first real priest drinks and serves wine.
Genesis 19:32-35 "Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father." So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, "Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father."So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose."
Here we see some awful effects of too much wine. This must have logically been a large amount of wine if it was enough for a man to have sex with his daughters. Too much wine can be very bad.
Genesis 27:25,28 "So he said, "Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son's game, that I may bless you." And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank. Now may God give you of the dew of heaven,And of the fatness of the earth, And an abundance of grain and new wine"
Isaac drank wine and the blessing given to him by God would include an abundance of new wine.
Exodus 29:40 "and there shall be one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and one-fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering with one lamb."
Wine was something that all people had and would give as part of their offering to God. It was also part of the food of the priests and priests would drink wine.
Leviticus 10:9 "Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die--it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations"
This is the instructions for priests as they approach God. So we see that wine is something that does make us less pure in some way.
Leviticus 23:13 - another offering of wine verse.
Numbers 6:3,20 "he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes. 20 Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine."
This is where the Nazirite period of separation includes abstaining from wine, but then when it is over the Nazirite may drink it again. So we see that it is good to not drink wine at periods of time, but that the drinking of wine can even continue for those with the most devout commitments of obedience to God.
Numbers 18:12 "All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the LORD, I give them to you."
This is God giving wine to the priests to drink for themselves after the people have made their offerings. So God directly gives wine to priests.
Deuteronomy 7:13 "He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you.
This was a blessing of God if you kept His commandments. Wine is part of that blessing by God.
Deuteronomy 11:14 - this is a repeat of the last passage
Deuteronomy 29:6 "You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORD your God."
This shows that part of being close to God is abstaining from wine or strong drink. So wine should be avoided at certain times for drawing close to God.
Deuteronomy 32:32-33 "For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter;their wine is the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps."
I'm not sure what to think of this, but it does imply that their is good wine and bad wine and each are used as metaphor of other things.
Deuteronomy 33:28 "So Israel lived in safety, Jacob lived alone, in a land of grain and wine, whose heavens drop down dew."
The blessing of the Promised Land included wine as a positive bonus.


Brooke said...

I like where you're going with this discussion as well. I know that your study will take you through the whole bible but it's intresting to discuss these Old Testament verses; in the background I come from (a Jehovah's Witness for much of my life, Christian now for 14 yrs) I came from such 'legalism', it makes it hard for me to see legalism in the church of God. So much of what they held to was Old Testament teachings... To have found the truth of our Lord and to have found grace, it's a little hard for me to see some so dogmatic about an issue that is clearly not black and white.

Anonymous said...

Christian Italians thank you for your study of God's word regarding wine. - melbro