(chemeth (Genesis 21:14 margin), n'odh (Judges 4:19 "'bottle") nebhel, nebhel (1 Samuel 10:3 margin), ('obh) (Job 32:19); askos (Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37; compare askoputine, Judith 10:5, the Revised Version (British and American) "leathern bottle")):
These words are all used to designate skins for the containing of liquids, nebhel, however, being the most common in the case of wine. The Israelite, like the modern Arabic and Syrian, used mainly the skin of the goat and the sheep, but the skins of the ox and the camel have also been put to this purpose. The skin is removed from the animal by drawing it over the body from the neck downward, half the skin on each of the limbs being also retained. It is then tanned, the hair cut close, turned inside out, and has all the openings save one closed with cords, when it is ready for use. The reference to "a wineskin in the smoke" in Psalms 119:83 is generally explained on the supposition of its being hung there for mellowing purposes, but this can scarcely be accepted, for wine is never left for any length of time in the skin on account of its imparting a disagreeable flavor to the contents. The explanation of the New Testament passages is that the new wine, still liable to continue fermenting to a small extent at least, was put into new, still expansible skins, a condition that had ceased in the older ones.
W. M. Christie
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