Question on Wine from Judges 9:13

Question on Wine from Judges 9:13

Question on Wine from Judges 9:13Verna’s question was:

It is all right to have wine according to Judges 9:13?

I could not just give her a short answer. So here is my long answer. This simple question on wine from Judges 9:13 was  so long that I made this into a separate webpage.

According to some pastors, they say that ALL references in the Bible to wine mean grape juice, the unfermented juice of grapes. I personally don’t agree with that. Here in Judges 9:13 the word “wine” I believe can and does refer to both unfermented and fermented juice and is presented in a Judges 9:13 – Question on Wine Edit(Sticky) very positive sense. This verse was part of Jotham’s parable. Jotham was the youngest son of Gideon who escaped being killed by his half brother Abimelech. Jotham says in his parable:  “And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?”

Wine, in the form of fermented grape juice, does truly make people feel good. I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that wine, but not drunkeness, is okay unless one is a pastor (or even a pastor’s wife).

Here are the verses:

Titus 1:7 “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;”

A bishop is what we call a pastor. He is not to be given to wine, but the criteria is different for a deacon and to the aged women in the church.

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; (emphasis added)

Titus 2:3 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;” (emphasis added)

The deacons and the older women are not to be given to “much wine” while the pastor is not to be given to wine at all. The only exception in the New Testament is when Paul writing to Timothy and he says, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” (1 Timothy 5:23). Timothy is a pastor and as a pastor he is not to be given to any wine. However wine, used as a medicine, is encouraged by Paul. Many pastors will tell you that Paul is telling Timothy to drink grape juice, as a medicine?!That does not make any sense to me.

The drinking of wine and strong wine is allowed in Deuteronomy 14:26: “And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,” This by its contest is certainly fermented juice.

Wine, which I don’t believe is always grape juice, is presented in a very positive way in the Old Testament. Here are a few of the verses:

Isaac before he blessed Jacob Genesis 27:25 “And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.”

The blessing to Jacob – Genesis 27:28 “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:” Wine was part of the sacrifices to God. This may or may not have been fermented juice. I don’t know.

Exodus 29:40 “And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering.”

Leviticus 23:13 “And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shallbe of wine, the fourth part of an hin.”

Numbers 15:7 “And for a drink offering thou shalt offer the third part of an hin of wine, for a sweet savour unto the LORD.”

Numbers 15:10 “And thou shalt bring for a drink offering half an hin of wine, for an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.”

Numbers 18:12 “All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.”

Numbers 28:7 “And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.” (this must have been fermented since the Bible says “strong wine”. Perhaps all of the wine used in sacrifices was fermented juice?

Numbers 28:14 “And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year.”

God’s blessing to His people –

Deuteronomy 7:13 “And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.”

Deuteronomy 11:14 “That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.”

This question on wine from Judges 9:13 shows wine in a positive light. Here are some verses about wine in a negative sense:

  • It is a sin to be drunk. Ephesus 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
  • It is a sin to drink wine or strong drink in the presence of someone who believes that drinking wine is wrong. You do not want to offend anyone that does not believe that way. Romans 14:21 says, “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”

Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

Proverbs 23:31 “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.”

Proverbs 31:4 & 5 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” This verse is especially because the drinking of wine mars clear thinking and judgment.

This verse could be related to the New Testament admonition that pastors are “not to be given to wine”. Titus 1:7 says, “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre”

God tells us to use wine as a medicine to those who are dying and also to those who are depressed in Proverbs 31:6 “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.” In this context, the wine is definitely fermented juice for use in hospice situations and also depression. However we have drugs that will have the same effect.

Personally I choose NOT to drink wine because of my testimony. If I don’t drink, then I don’t have to worry about offending anyone or having my senses dulled or projecting an image of a drunk. It is easier for me to avoid drinking than for me to have to explain my actions to others.

I know that this question on wine from Judges 9:13 is a controversial subject and you may not agree with me. That is fine. We can still be friends! Please leave your comments and questions below and continue reading more questions and answers in Judges chapters 11-21.


Mary Jane

I'm Mary Jane, child of God, wife of Joe, mom to furry little ones, writer and author of The Faith Series devotionals. Trying every day to be better this day than I was yesterday in every part of my life. Thank you for visiting.

1 Response

  1. Kim says:

    I thought this answer on wine was very insightful and honest. I am with you! While I CHOOSE not to drink wine or liquor because of my witness and also all the addicts/ alcoholics in my family tree, that does not make it sinful to use them… even though I really hate to admit it.

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