From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

The eastern bottle is made of a goat or kid skin, stripped off without opening the belly; the apertures made by cutting off the tail and legs are sewed up, and, when filled, it is tied about the neck. The Arabs and Persians never go a journey without a small leathern bottle of water hanging by their side like a scrip. These skin bottles preserve their water, milk, and other liquids, in a fresher state than any other vessels they can use. The people of the east, indeed, put into them every thing they mean to carry to a distance, whether dry or liquid, and very rarely make use of boxes and pots, unless to preserve such things as are liable to be broken. They enclose these leathern bottles in woollen sacks, because their beasts of carriage often fall down under their load, or cast it down on the sandy desert. These skin bottles were not confined to the countries of Asia; the roving tribes, which passed the Hellespont soon after the deluge, and settled in Greece and Italy, probably introduced them into those countries. We learn from Homer, that they were in common use among the Greeks at the siege of Troy; for, with a view to an accommodation between the hostile armies, the heralds carried through the city the things which were necessary to ratify the compact, two lambs, and exhilarating wine, the fruit of the earth, in a bottle of goat skin:

"Αρνε δυω , και οινον ευφρονα , καρπον αρουρης ,

‘Ασκω εν αιγειω .

Il. lib. v. 50. 246.

The bottle of wine which Samuel's mother brought to Eli.  1 Samuel 1:24 , is called נבל , and was an earthen jug. Another word is used to signify the vessel out of which Jael gave milk to Sisera: she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink,  Judges 4:19 . This is called נאוכּ? which refers to something supple, moist, oozing, or, perhaps, imports moistened into pliancy, as that skin must be which is kept constantly filled with milk. This kind was usually made of goat skins. This word is also used to denote the bottle in which Jesse sent wine by David to Saul,   1 Samuel 16:20 . It is likewise employed to express the bottle into which the Psalmist desires his tears may be collected.  Psalms 56:8; and that to which he resembles himself, and which he calls a bottle in the smoke,  Psalms 119:83 , that is, a skin bottle, blackened and shrivelled. Beside the words already considered, another אבות , in the plural, is used,  Job 32:19 . This signifies, in general, to swell or distend. On receiving the liquor poured into it, a skin bottle must be greatly swelled and distended; and it must be swelled still farther by the fermentation of the liquor within it, as that advances to ripeness. In this state, if no vent be given to the liquor, it may overpower the strength of the bottle, or it may penetrate by some secret crevice or weaker part. Hence arises the propriety of putting new wine into new bottles, which, being strong, may resist the expansion, the internal pressure of their contents, and preserve the wine to due maturity; while old bottles may, without danger, contain old wine, whose fermentation is already past,  Matthew 9:17;  Luke 5:38 .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

Bottle —This is the Authorized Version rendering ( Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘wine-skin’) of Ἀσκά, which denotes the tanned skins of sheep and goats that are used in the East for holding water, oil, wine, and cheese (see art. ‘Bottle’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible i. 311). In the Gospels the allusion to ‘bottles’ occurs in connexion with a question that had been addressed to Christ with regard to an observed difference between His disciples and those of John the Baptist and the Pharisees ( Matthew 9:14-17,  Mark 2:18-22,  Luke 5:33-38). A certain outward conformity was expected in religious teaching and example, and the absence of fasting among His disciples seemed to create a perplexing and objectionable departure. The interview takes place immediately after the incident of Levi’s feast, when Christ’s eating with publicans and sinners was objected to as lowering the standard of the religious life.

The simile reminds us that the life of institutions as of individuals has a limit. It is sufficient for the wine-skin to have once held and matured and preserved its new wine. The attempt to repeat the act of filling and distension involves the loss of both the wine and the vessel which holds it. The most venerated form was once an innovation on what preceded it, and by the operation of the same law a fresh expansive force will again alter external conditions and create new conformities. Christ claims the entire devotion of His disciples, and while the fasting that was largely a commemoration of the past was suspended during His presence, it would receive in days to come a fresh impulse from His absence.

The important truth taught by the simile of the wine-skin and its contents is emphasized by the twofold fact that religious forces are the most expansive of all, and that their receptive forms often attain to a degree of rigidity which preserves the outward shape after the contents have been withdrawn. With regard to the principle of fasting, the affinity of mind and body that connects sorrow with sighing ( Isaiah 35:10) abundantly authorizes the observance under naturally suitable circumstances, but fasting by statute has usually been found to be linked, both as cause and effect, with ecclesiastical segregation and asceticism.

Literature.—Bruce, Parabolic Teaching , p. 295 ff., Galilean Gospel , p. 180 ff.; F. W. Robertson, The Human Race , p. 190 ff.

G. M. Mackie.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

Of two kinds:

(1) Of skin or leather, used for carrying water, wine, and milk. A goatskin whole, the apertures at the feet and tail being bound up, and when filled tied at the neck. They are tanned with acacia bark and left hairy at the outside. The Gibeonites' bottles were rent, as they pretended, with their distant journey ( Joshua 9:4;  Joshua 9:13). New wines by fermenting would rend "old bottles" of skin ( Matthew 9:17). It is therefore put in new goatskin bottles, and without a vent to work off the fermentation strains even them.

So Elihu, the young friend of Job, after the older ones had failed to comfort him, compares himself, filled with the spirit which inspired him so as to be full of words seeking for utterance, to new bottles of wine: "my belly is as wine which hath no vent, it is ready to burst like new bottles" ( Job 32:19). Hung in the smoke to dry, the skin bottles become parched and shriveled; whence the psalmist ( Psalms 119:83) says, "I am become like a bottle in the smoke." Skins for wine are still used in Spain, called borrachas.

(2) Bottles of glass or "potters'" earthenware, easily "dashed in pieces": a frequent image of sinners, God's creatures ( Romans 9:21-23;  2 Timothy 2:20-21) dashed in pieces by God their Maker at His righteous pleasure when they do not answer His end, namely His glory ( Jeremiah 13:12-14;  Jeremiah 19:1-10;  Psalms 2:9;  Revelation 2:27). The Egyptian monuments illustrate the pottery and glass work of that country fifteen hundred years B.C.

The clouds pouring down water are figuratively "the bottles of heaven" ( Job 38:37). "Who can stay (rather, incline, so as to empty out and pour) the bottles of heaven?" the rain filled clouds. "Put Thou my tears (as a precious treasure in Thy sight) into thy bottle" (the repository of precious objects, sealed up anciently), so as to reserve them for a manifold recompence of joy hereafter ( Psalms 136:5;  Isaiah 61:7)

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [4]

The accompanying engraving shows the form and nature of an ancient goatskin bottle, out of which a water-carrier is offering to sell a draught of water. After the skin has been stripped off from an animal, and properly dressed, the places where the legs had been are closed up; and where the neck was, is the opening left for receiving and discharging the contents of the bottle. These were readily borne upon the shoulder,  Genesis 21:14 . See also  Joshua 9:4,13   Psalm 119:83   Jeremiah 13:12 .

By receiving the liquor poured into it, a skin bottle must be greatly swelled and distended; and still more, if the liquor be wine, by its fermentation while advancing to ripeness; so that if no vent be given to it, the liquor may overpower the strength of the bottle, or if it find any defect, it may ooze out by that. Hence the propriety of putting new wine into new bottles, which being in the prime of their strength, may resist the expansion of their contents, and preserve the wine to maturity; while old bottles may, without danger, contain old wine, whose fermentation is already past,  Matthew 9:17   Luke 5:38   Job 32:19 .

Such bottles, or skins, are still universally employed in travelling in the East, as well as by the public water-carriers, and for domestic uses. They were made, for storage in wine cellars, of the hides of oxen or camels. But the smaller ones of goatskins were more generally used for water as well as wine. The ancients, however, were acquainted with the art of making earthenware, and had a variety of elegant small bottles and vases for toilet purposes, made of the precious metals, of stone, glass, porcelain, and alabaster,  Jeremiah 19:1,10,11 . See Cruse , Vine , Tears .

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [5]

Before the invention of glass, bottles were made, for the most part, of skins. It is proper to keep this in remembrance when reading the Bible, both of the Old Testament and of the New; for the knowledge and use of glass is of modern date. Hence, when it is said, ( Genesis 21:14) that Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, we may suppose, that this was not only a large skin for a bottle, but as it was put on her shoulder, it was somewhat cumbersome and heavy.

When the men of Gibeon acted wisely with Joshua, as if coming from afar country, we are told, that they not only produced their bread mouldy, but their bottles rent, and patched together, which they said, were new when they left their own country. Bottles rent would be useless if made of glass. ( Joshua 9:4, etc.) Modern travelers relate that, even now, large skins of oxen are made use of for containing liquor; though vessels made of earth are also known. But for large quantities, they tell us, that still the skins of beasts are in use.

In the days of our Lord, it is certain that stone, as well as earthen vessels, were known, for we read of such at the marriage in Cana of Galilee. ( John 2:6) But skins were also used; for the Lord speaks of using caution, not to put new (fermenting) wine into old dried bottles. ( Matthew 9:17) A beautiful figure this, of the precious wine of the gospel, which must not be put into the old skin of our dried nature, but into the new heart of grace. Both must be new, and both are then preserved. ( Revelation 21:5;  2 Corinthians 5:17)

Easton's Bible Dictionary [6]

 Joshua 9:4 13 1 Samuel 16:20 Matthew 9:17 Mark 2:22 Luke 5:37,38 Judges 4:19 Genesis 21:14,15,19 Habakkuk 2:15

Earthenware vessels were also similarly used ( Jeremiah 19:1-10;  1 Kings 14:3;  Isaiah 30:14 ). In  Job 32:19 (Compare   Matthew 9:17;  Luke 5:37,38;  Mark 2:22 ) the reference is to a wine-skin ready to burst through the fermentation of the wine. "Bottles of wine" in the Authorized Version of  Hosea 7:5 is properly rendered in the Revised Version by "the heat of wine," i.e., the fever of wine, its intoxicating strength.

The clouds are figuratively called the "bottles of heaven" (  Job 38:37 ). A bottle blackened or shrivelled by smoke is referred to in  Psalm 119:83 as an image to which the psalmist likens himself.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

BOTTLE . Although glass was not unknown in Palestine in Bible times, the various words rendered ‘bottle’ in AV [Note: Authorized Version.] denote almost exclusively receptacles of skin. In RV [Note: Revised Version.] the NT revisers have wisely introduced skins and wine-skins in the familiar parable (  Matthew 9:17 ||), but their OT collaborators have done so only where, as in   Joshua 9:4;   Joshua 9:13 , the context absolutely required it. These skins of the domestic animals, in particular of the goat, were used not only, as we have seen, for wine, but for water (  Genesis 21:14 ), milk (  Judges 4:19 ), oil, and other liquids. They were doubtless used, as at the present day, both tanned and untanned. In later times (Mishna), the larger skins sometimes received a coating of pitch on the inside, and were furnished at the neck with a reed to serve as a funnel.

The ‘potter’s earthen bottle’ of  Jeremiah 19:1;   Jeremiah 19:10 was a narrow-necked wine-jar, which might also be used for honey (  1 Kings 14:3 EV [Note: English Version.] ‘cruse’).

A. R. S. Kennedy.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [8]

Bottle. The Arabs keep their water, milk and other liquids in leathern bottles. These are made of goatskins. When the animal is killed, they cut off its feet and its head, and draw it, in this manner, out of the skin, without opening its belly. The great leathern bottles are made of the skin of a he-goat, and the small ones, that serve instead of a bottle of water on the road, are made of a kid's skin.

The effect of external heat upon a skin bottle is indicated in  Psalms 119:83, "a bottle in the smoke," and of expansion produced by fermentation, in  Matthew 9:17, "new wine in old bottles." Vessels of metal, earthen or glassware for liquids were in use among the Greeks, Egyptians, Etruscans and Assyrians, and also no doubt among the Jews, especially in later times. Thus  Jeremiah 19:1 "a potter's earthen bottle."

(Bottles were made by the ancient Egyptians of alabaster, gold, ivory and stone. They were of most exquisite workmanship and elegant forms. Tear-bottles were small urns of glass or pottery, made to contain the tears of mourners at funerals, and placed in the sepulchres at Rome and in Palestine. In some ancient tombs. They are found in great numbers.  Psalms 56:8, refers to this custom. - Editor).

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [9]

 1 Samuel 10:3 (c) Probably this bottle represents the gift of the Holy Spirit. They would be strengthened, cheered and refreshed as only the Holy Spirit can do. The three men may represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 Job 38:37 (a) This is a type of the storehouse of the sky from which the rain pours upon the earth from time to time.

 Psalm 56:8 (b) This is a very sweet request for the Lord to keep a record of all the tears that David shed for the people of GOD, and the work of GOD.

 Jeremiah 19:1 (a) This vessel represents the believer. The potter represents the Lord. First, He finds us just as a shapeless lump of clay. Then He takes us and puts us on the wheels of adversity and of strange experiences, molds us and makes us into a vessel fit for His use.

 Jeremiah 48:12 (b) Here is a symbol of the granaries, wine vats and other depositories of food products, all of which were to be destroyed and emptied by the enemies of Israel.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [10]

There are six Hebrew words translated 'bottle ' in the O.T. Among the descendants of Judah there were some described as 'potters,'  1 Chronicles 4:23; and from the relies found in the tombs of Egypt it is evident that bottles were very early made of earthenware; and small ones of glass; though then, as now in the East, especially for larger vessels and for those to be carried about, skins were used.  Joshua 9:4,13 . They are made of goats' skins: the head, the legs and the tail are cut off, and the body drawn out. In the N.T. the word is ἀσκός , and signifies a 'wineskin,' or 'skin-bag.' Hence new wine must be put into new skins, which are more or less elastic.  Matthew 9:17;  Mark 2:22;  Luke 5:37,38 . The Lord was teaching that the new principles of the kingdom would not suit the old forms of Judaism: everything must be new.

King James Dictionary [11]


1. A hollow vessel of glass, wood, leather or other material, with a narrow mouth, for holding and carrying liquors. The oriental nations use skins or leather for the conveyance of liquors and of this kind are the bottles mentioned in scripture. "Put new wine into bottles." In Europe and America, glass is used for liquors of all kinds and farmers use small cags or hollow vessels of wood. The small kinds of glass bottles are called vials or phials. 2. The contents of a bottle as much as a bottle contains but from the size of bottles used for wine, porter and cyder, a bottle is nearly a quart as a bottle of wine or a porter. 3. A quantity of hay in a bundle a bundle of hay.

BOT'TLE, To put into bottles as, to bottle wine or porter. This includes the stopping of the bottles with corks.

Webster's Dictionary [12]

(1): (n.) Fig.: Intoxicating liquor; as, to drown one's reason in the bottle.

(2): (n.) A bundle, esp. of hay.

(3): (v. t.) To put into bottles; to inclose in, or as in, a bottle or bottles; to keep or restrain as in a bottle; as, to bottle wine or porter; to bottle up one's wrath.

(4): (n.) The contents of a bottle; as much as a bottle contains; as, to drink a bottle of wine.

(5): (n.) A hollow vessel, usually of glass or earthenware (but formerly of leather), with a narrow neck or mouth, for holding liquids.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [13]

Bottle. Several words are used in Scripture which our translators have rendered "bottle." The skins of kids and goats, and sometimes of oxen, are used for the purpose of holding liquids. When the animal is killed, the head and feet are cut off, and the body drawn out without any further incision. The skin is tanned with acacia bark; the legs then serve for handles, and the neck as the mouth of the "bottle," being tied up when the wine or water, as the case may be, has been poured in. The hairy side is outward. These bottles are still in constant use in Syria and the adjacent countries, and are very common also in Spain.

Holman Bible Dictionary [14]

 Psalm 33:7  Exodus 15:8

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [15]

Fig. 95—Animal skin carried by yoke

Natural objects, it is obvious, would be the earliest things employed for holding and preserving liquids; and of natural objects those would be preferred which either presented themselves nearly or quite ready for use, or such as could speedily be wrought into the requisite shape. The skins of animals afford in themselves more conveniences for the purpose than any other natural product. The first bottles therefore were probably made of the skins of animals. Accordingly we learn from Herodotus that it was customary among the ancient Egyptians to use bottles made of skins; and this is confirmed by the monuments, on which such various forms as the above occur. The above figure is curious as showing the mode in which they were carried by a yoke; and as it balances a large bottle in a case, this skin may be presumed to have contained wine.

Fig. 96—Jugs and skins

In the figure (figure 96) to the left, the jug on the right is such a skin of water as in the agricultural scenes is suspended from the bough of a tree, and from which the laborers occasionally drink. The next figure on the right (figure 97) represents two men with skins at their backs, belonging to a party of nomads entering Egypt. This party has been with some plausibility supposed to represent the sons of Jacob.

Skin-bottles doubtless existed among the Hebrews even in patriarchal times; but the first clear notice of them does not occur till  Joshua 9:4, where it is said that the Gibeonites, wishing to impose upon Joshua as if they had come from a long distance, took 'old sacks upon their asses, and wine-bottles old and rent and bound up.' Age, then, had the effect of wearing and tearing the bottles in question, which must consequently have been of skin. Our Savior's language ( Matthew 9:17;  Luke 5:37-38;  Mark 2:22) is thus clearly explained: 'Men do not put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish;' 'New wine must be put in new bottles, and both are preserved.' To the conception of an English reader who knows of no bottles but such as are made of clay or glass, the idea of bottles breaking through age presents an insuperable difficulty; but skins may become 'old, rent, and bound up;' they also prove, in time, hard and inelastic, and would in such a condition be very unfit to hold new wine, probably in a state of active fermentation. Even new skins might be unable to resist the internal pressure caused by fermentation.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [16]

is the word employed by our translators for several terms in the original. The most proper of these appears to be' נאד : (Nod, so called from being shaken in churning, (See Butter) ), Gr. Ἄσκος , a vessel made of skin, used for milk ( Judges 4:19), or wine ( Joshua 9:4;  Joshua 9:14;  1 Samuel 16:20;  Matthew 9:17;  Mark 2:22;  Luke 5:37-38).- For preserving the latter free from insects, they were often suspended in the smoke ( Psalms 119:83). The term occurs in a figurative sense in  Psalms 56:8. חֵמֶת (Che'Meth, so called from its usual Rancidity) was also a leathern or skin bottle for holding water ( Genesis 21:14-15;  Genesis 21:19) or strong drink ( Hosea 2:15). Earthen vessels for liquids are denoted by בִּקְבּוּק (Bakbuk',  Jeremiah 19:1-10; " cruse" of honey,  1 Kings 14:3) and נֵבֶל or נֶבֶל (Ne'Bel,  Isaiah 30:14; for wine,  1 Samuel 1:24;  1 Samuel 10:3;  1 Samuel 25:18;  2 Samuel 16:1;  Jeremiah 13:12;  Jeremiah 48:12; figuratively,  Job 38:37; "pitchers,"  Lamentations 4:2). The term employed in  Job 32:19, is אוֹב (ob, strictly a Water-Skin), and evidently refers to a wine-skin as bursting by fermentation. The word חֵמָה (Chemah'), rendered "bottle" of wine in  Hosea 7:5, signifies rather its heat or intoxicating strength, as in the margin and elsewhere. (See Cruse); (See Cup); (See Flagon); (See Pitcher); (See Bowl), etc.

1. The first bottles were probably made of the Skins of animals. Accordingly, in the fourth book of the. Iliad (1. 247), the attendants are represented as bearing wine for use in a bottle made of goat-skin ( Ἀσκῷἐν Αἰγείῳ ). In Herodotus also (ii, 121) a passage occurs by which it appears that it was customary among the ancient Egyptians to use bottles made of skins; and from the language employed by him it may be inferred that a bottle was formed by sewing up the skin, and leaving the projection of the leg and foot to serve as a cock; hence it was termed Ποδεών . This aperture was closed with a plug or a string. In some instances every part was sewed up except the neck; the neck of the animal thus became the neck of the bottle. (See Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. i, 148-158.) The Greeks and Romans also were accustomed to use bottles made of skins, chiefly for wine (see Smith, Dict. of Class. Antig. s.v. Vinum). (See Skin-Bottle).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [17]

bot ´' l ( חמת , ḥēmeth , נאד , nō' - dh , נבל , nēbhel , בּקבּק , baḳbuḳ , אוב , 'obh  ; ἀσκός , askós ): The most literal rendering of all the words for bottle in English Versions of the Bible is "skin," or "wine-skin," the Revised Version (British and American). The primitive bottle among eastern peoples was really a bag made from skins, tanned or untanned, of kid, goat, cow, camel or buffalo - in most cases drawn off of the animal entire, after the legs and head were cut off, and, when filled, grotesquely retaining the shape of the animal. The skins in common use today, as in ancient times no doubt, for holding water milk, butter and cheese, have the hair left on and are far from cleanly-looking. Those used for wine and oil are tanned by means of oak bark and seasoning in smoke, a process that gives a peculiar astringency of flavor to the wine kept in them, and gave rise to the parable of Jesus about putting new wine into old wine-skins ( Matthew 9:17;  Mark 2:22;  Luke 5:37 ). The fact that the leather underwent distension once and only once under fermentation, and the further fact that the wine-skins became dried and liable to crack from the smoke and dry heat of the tents and houses, gave point to the parable: "No man putteth new wine into old wine-skins; else the wine will burst the skins, and the wine perisheth, and the skins: but they put new wine into fresh wine-skins." All such "bottles" today are liable to crack and become worthless.

Pliny Fisk used fresh goat-skins to carry water, but he says this gave the water a reddish color and an exceedingly loathsome taste. Harmer tells of carrying liquids in smoked skin-bottles, which when rent "were mended by putting in a new piece, or by gathering up the piece, or by inserting a flat bit of wood." Burckhardt says he saw Arabs keeping water for their horses on journeys in "large bags made of tanned camel-skin." They would sew the skins up well on four sides, but would leave two openings, one to admit the air, one to let out the water. Two such bags made a good load for a camel. Edwin Wilbur Rice says the leather or skin-bottles are of different sizes and kinds, usually made from the skin of the goat, rarely ever from that of the sheep, as it is not considered strong enough. But sometimes they are made from the skin of the camel, or the ox, which is then prepared by tanning. When leather bags are sewed up the joinings are smeared with grease, as the skin-bottles of all sorts are, as they grow older, lest the water, or other liquid, ooze through.

Such bottles, being more portable and less breakable than earthenware, were peculiarly well suited to the use of primitive and nomad peoples, as they are to the roving Bedouin of today. The mention of them, however, in such various accounts and connections as those for instance of the story of Hagar ( Genesis 21:19 ), of the Gibeonites ( Joshua 9:4 ), and of David ( 1 Samuel 25:18 ) shows that they were in common use among ancient Orientals, pastoral and peasant alike. Tourists still find that they are admirably suited to travelers in waterless districts, or districts where the water is brackish and bad. One of the characteristic figures even in oriental centers like Damascus today is the waterman who sells from his dripping goat-skin water cooled with the snow of Hermon, flavored with lemon, rose, or licorice, temptingly offered up and down the streets by his clapping his brass cups and crying in the most pleading but pleasing tones, "Drink, drink, thirsty. one" (compare  Isaiah 55:1 ). But, as Dr. Mackie, of Beirût, says, "While the bottle is Thus highly prized, and the water Thus kept in it is a grateful necessity, the luxury of the East belongs to the spring itself, to the draught from the fountain of living waters. Hence, the comparison Jesus made at Jacob's well ( John 4:14 ), and the one blessed terminus of all, the Shepherd's leading ( Revelation 7:17 ). See HDB , under the word

Of course in the settled life of the Orient water, milk, wine and other liquids are often kept in earthen jars or other receptacles. For such "bottles" see Pitcher; Vessel . Glass bottles are not mentioned in the Bible; but those now found in tombs, for keeping perfume in, may have been known in Old Testament times.

Figurative: (1) For the clouds (  Job 38:37 ). (2) For intoxication, through which, because of their headstrong continuance in sin, Israel shall be helpless to resist the enemy's attack ( Jeremiah 13:12 ). (3) For sorrow: "Put thou my tears into thy bottle" ( Psalm 56:8 ). "The Psalmist's sorrows were so many that they would need a great wine-skin to hold them all. There is no allusion to the little lachrymatories of fashionable and fanciful Romans: it is a robuster metaphor by far; such floods of tears had the Psalmist wept that a leathern bottle would scarce hold them" ( Treasury of David , III, 39). "God treasures His servants' tears as if they were water or wine." Bernard says, "The tears of penitents are the wine of angels" (Dummelow's Comm., 351).