lees Summary and Overview
lees in Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Heb. shemarim), from a word meaning to keep or preserve. It was applied to "lees" from the custom of allowing wine to stand on the lees that it might thereby be better preserved (Isa. 25:6). "Men settled on their lees" (Zeph. 1:12) are men "hardened or crusted." The image is derived from the crust formed at the bottom of wines long left undisturbed (Jer. 48:11). The effect of wealthy undisturbed ease on the ungodly is hardening. They become stupidly secure (compare Ps. 55:19; Amos 6:1). To drink the lees (Ps. 75:8) denotes severe suffering.
lees in Smith's Bible Dictionary
the coarser parts of a liquor, its sediment or dregs. "Wine on the lees" means a generous, full-bodied liquor. #Isa 25:6| Before the wine was consumed, it was necessary to strain off the lees; such wine was then termed "well refined." #Isa 25:6| To drink the lees, or "dregs," was an expression for the endurance of extreme punishment. #Ps 75:8|
lees in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
LEES . "Wine on the lees," Isa 25:6, means well-preserved, full-bodied wine. "He hath settled on his lees," however, is used figuratively, Jer 48:11; Zeph 1:12, as an expression of sloth and indifference. To drink the lees or "dregs," Ps 75:8, denotes extreme suffering.
lees in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Wine was allowed to settle on them, to keep the body and color; especially the choicest wine (Isaiah 25:6). Hence, such phrases expressing ease and self indulgent prosperity as "Moab ... hath settled on his lees," i.e. has been like wine undisturbed, and not "emptied from vessel to vessel," never having been dislodged from his original settlement, "his scent (i.e. the bouquet of the wine) is not changed," "therefore I will send unto him wanderers that shall empty his vessels (i.e. cities) and break their bottles" (i.e. the men of his cities) (Jeremiah 48:11-12). The effect of undisturbed prosperity on the ungodly is to harden in undisturbed security (Zephaniah 1:12). Psalm 75:8, "the dregs (lees) of the Lord's cup ... all the wicked shall wring out and drink," i.e. they must drain out the whole cup to the dregs.