This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Leviticus 10:8-11

 "8 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, 9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; 11 And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses." — Leviticus 10:8-11 KJV.


9. Do not drink wine — This wine is in Hebrew יַ֣יִן (yayin), the most general term for this beverage, especially when it is intoxicating. “Yayin is a mocker.” Proverbs 20:1. In seventy-five out of a hundred and thirty-six passages it is spoken of with condemnation by reason of its disastrous effects. Unfermented, or new wine, called must, is in the Hebrew expressed by תִּירוֹשׁ (tirosh). This is never prohibited or condemned. It occurs thirty-eight times, with no indication of any intoxicating quality. The solitary apparent exception in Hosea 9:11 is explained as the gluttonous use of sweet, nutritious wine as an article of food. The meaning of the passage is, that the three great appetites — the sexual, the bibulous, and the gluttonous — “take away the heart” or understanding. There are several other terms sparingly used, some of which always involve a bad sense, as שׂבַע sobe, signifying soak and soaker, while others are doubtful. Nor strong drink — The Hebrew שֵׁכָר (shecar) is a generic term applied to all fermented liquors except wine. It includes, 1.) Beer, which was largely consumed in Egypt under the name of zythus. It was made of barley and certain herbs, such as lupin and skirrett, as a substitute for hops. 2.) Cider, or apple-wine. 3.) Honey-wine, of which there were two sorts; the first consisting of a mixture of wine, honey, and pepper, the other a decoction of the juice of the grape, termed debash (honey) by the Jews, and dibs by the modern Syrians. 4.) Date-wine, which was the fermentation of dates mashed and mixed with water. 5.) The fermented juices of various other fruits and vegetables, as figs, millet, pomegranates, and carob fruit. According to the latest researches in philology, the English word cider is a modification of shecar, through the Grecized form sikera. See Webster’s Dictionary. When ye go into the tabernacle — The service of God requires the clearest head and the purest heart. It is an intelligent exercise, and not a blind, mechanical opus operatum, or going through with the motions. If the priest even medicinally used fermented wine or strong drink in the smallest quantity, it disqualified him for his office during that day. What a rebuke is this to the usage — still prevalent in some countries — of drinking wine in the vestry before going into the pulpit and reasoning of righteousness, temperance, and a judgment to come! The enactment of this law immediately after the slaying of Nadab and Abihu affords strong grounds for the theory that they were drunken when they committed the act of sacrilege. The Targum of Palestine plainly sustains this view. “Drink no wine nor any thing that maketh drunk, as thy sons did, who have died by the burning of fire.” See Numbers 3:4.

11. That ye may teach — The priest was the earliest religious teacher of the Levitical law, “for the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth.” Malachi 2:7. The two sides of the priestly vocation, teaching and offering, are embraced in Deuteronomy 33:10. The Pentateuch knows nothing of a scholastic inculcation of the divine laws; it knows no formal religious instruction at all except the reading of the law before the assembled people, at the feast of tabernacles, in the Sabbatic year. Deuteronomy 31:10-13. All religious teachers should be τελειοι, perfect, having their senses — internal and external — exercised to discern or discriminate both good and evil. Hebrews 5:14. Wine draws a film over the spiritual eye and confounds moral distinctions. If the priests have aught to do with wine in a lawful way, it is only that it may, in the holy place,” be poured unto the Lord for a drink offering.” Numbers 28:7. Wine symbolizes joy. The joy of all believers is not the joy of earth but of heaven — of the sanctuary. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

No comments:

Post a Comment