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Ancient Wine Press

Men Treading Grapes in a Wine Press

In the ancient world the wine press was a large basin where men would tread grapes. They would hold on to ropes above them and stamp their feet.

The juice would run into containers on the sides of the large basin. In the above illustration a woman is seen bringing more grapes in a basket.

"Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it." - Matthew 21:33-34

"And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."
- Revelation 19:15

"When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: [but] thou hast kept the good wine until now." John 2:9-10
 

Heart Message 

Wine - He Saves the Best for Last

Vineyards and wine-making were common in agrarian Israel, and used in Scripture as symbols of many important truths.

At the beginning of the Lordís ministry he turned water into wine at the Cana wedding perhaps symbolizing the joy of the wedding supper of the Lamb. This was his first miracle. The banquet master marveled that the best wine was saved for last. (John 2:10)

At the end of Christís ministry, the Passover cup at the last supper was filled with wine. Jesus said that the Passover wine represented his blood shed to create the New Covenant.

Jesus drank wine with the common people and was accused by the Pharisees of being a drunkard. (Luke 7:34) He spoke of the new birth by comparing it to pouring new wine into new wineskins lest the new wine burst the old wineskins. (Mathew 9:17)

Wine in scripture is seen as a gift of God which produces joy. (Psalm 104:15) The disciples on the day of Pentecost were so joyful after being filled by the Spirit and in miraculously worshipping in known foreign languages that they were accused by some of being drunk on new wine. In all three synoptic gospels Jesus uses a leased Vineyard as a parable of Israel whose tenants wouldnít provide the fruit due to the owner at harvest time. (Mathew 21, Mark 12, Luke 20)

Overuse of wine leads to debauchery and should not be used as a substitute for the joy of the Spirit of God. (Ephesians 5:18) This is a temptation we can do with any of the good things God has created.

Wine is produced through a methodical process beginning with planting a vineyard with chosen grape varieties in the right soil. Weather plays an important part in the quality of the wine providing the right amount of sunshine and rainfall. As believers growing in the Lordís vineyard, we are being transformed into fine wine through the soil he plants us in, the weather and circumstances we endure and the long fermentation process. We are all somewhere in His wine-making process. We may be new believers enjoying our miraculous connection to the Vine. Or perhaps we have ripened but suddenly challenged with a crushing process within some unforeseen winepress. Could we be stored in a cold lonely place as we endure the unstable and gaseous process of fermentation? Be encouraged, the Master Wine-Maker, whose example you are following, will call upon your vintage to be used to share the joy of His kingdom. Those who experience your transformed character will marvel saying he has saved the best for last.

 

The Bible Mentions the "Winepress" Often

Judges 7:25 - And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

Lamentations 1:15 - The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty [men] in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, [as] in a winepress.

Deuteronomy 15:14 - Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: [of that] wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.

Isaiah 5:2 - And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

2 Kings 6:27 - And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress?

Revelation 14:19 - And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

Numbers 18:30 - Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.

Isaiah 63:3 - I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people [there was] none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.

Matthew 21:33 - Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

Revelation 19:15 - And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Judges 6:11 - And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which [was] in Ophrah, that [pertained] unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide [it] from the Midianites.

Numbers 18:27 - And [this] your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though [it were] the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress.

Hosea 9:2 - The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.

Revelation 14:20 - And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.
 

 

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