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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

Bottle

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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)

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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Bottle'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/pmd/b/bottle.html. London. 1828.

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