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Water Into Wine

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word (pronounced) yah-yin is translated as "wine." The Hebrew word means fermented, as in wine, not plain grape juice. To prove that it means wine, not unfermented grape juice, it was from yah-yin that Noah became drunk:

"9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 9:21 And he drank of the wine [i.e. yah-yin], and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent." (Genesis 9:20-21 KJV)

The Greek word translated as "wine" in the New Testament is pronounced oy-nos. It means wine, not unfermented grape juice. We know that because the word is used where people are warned not to drink to excess and get drunk from it. No such warning would be necessary if it were no-alcohol grape juice. The apostle Paul plainly made the distinction between drink "a little wine" and "be not drunk with wine."

"5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine [oy-nos] for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." (1 Timothy 5:23 KJV)

"5:18 And be not drunk with wine [oy-nos], wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18 KJV)

"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee"

The first public miracle of the Messiah was that of transforming water into wine, the same Greek word, oy-nos, as quoted in the verses above. It happened at a marriage celebration where it was customary (and still is in many nations and cultures) to consume wine, not plain grape juice (note: the point of this study is not to promote the consumption of wine or any other alcohol-containing beverage, but merely to make plain that wine, not unfermented grape juice, was and is used at the LORD's Passover).

Grape Vines

"2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

2:2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage." (John 2:1-2 KJV)

Jesus at first resisted doing the miracle, not because wine was wrong (the Messiah never sinned), but because His ministry had not yet begun.

"2:3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

2:4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come." (John 2:3-4 KJV)

Jesus' mother was insistent however, so out of respect to her, He transformed water into wine.

"2:5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."

2:6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

2:7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water.

And they filled them up to the brim.

2:8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.

And they bare it.

2:9 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, 2:10 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 2:6-10 KJV)

Transforming water into wine was the Messiah's "beginning of miracles."

"2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him." (John 2:11 KJV)

Fact Finder: How do we know that Passover is to be observed with a small amount of red wine? For example, did the apostle Paul once rebuke those who defiled the observance by getting drunk with Passover wine?
1 Corinthians 11:20-29


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