Luke 5:39

New Testament

36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old garment. If he does, he will have torn the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 Instead new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 No one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’

Sifre Deuteronomy 48:6

Halakhic Midrash

— But perhaps, just as water does not rejoice the heart of one who has learned, so words of Torah do not rejoice (the heart); it is, therefore, written (Song of Songs 1:2) "for Your love is better than wine." Just as wine rejoices, so words of Torah rejoice, as it is written (Psalms 18:9) "The statutes of the L-rd are just, rejoicing the heart." And just as with wine, you taste the flavor of wine from the beginning, but the more it ages in the bottle, the more its flavor is enhanced, so, words of Torah — the older they grow in the body, the more their "flavor" is enhanced, viz. (Job 12:12) "With the aged there is wisdom, and with length of days, understanding." And just as wine is not preserved in vessels of gold or in vessels of silver, but in the basest of vessels, those of clay, so, words of Torah are preserved only in one who lowers himself.

 Notes and References

"... It is true that there are New Testament passages, in which the new content of Christianity stands in contrast to the old message of Judaism: see Rom. 7:6 and Hebr. 8:13 (compare Eph. 4:22-24 and Col. 3:9-10). All these passages occur in the second, “Pauline” stratum of Christianity. Now we recognize the reason why the two comparisons of Jesus were misinterpreted: they were understood in the light of a later Christian theological tension with the Jewish heritage ... Also in our text the importance of Luke becomes evident. But even so, we cannot be sure, if Luke himself correctly understood Jesus’ words, which he reflects better than Mark. There is even a possibility that the evangelist understood the passage in the same manner as Mark, but was faithful to his source in bringing the concluding sentence as well. In any case, it is clear, that already in Luke the whole passage was rewritten. Before analyzing our passage, some references in the ancient rabbinic literature regarding wine, as a symbol for the doctrine of Judaism should be considered e.g. the beautiful comparison in Tractate Soferim XV, 6 and another source (Sifre Deuteronomy 48) ..."

Flusser, David Do You Prefer New Wine? (pp. 26-31) Immanuel 9, 1979

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