What Is The Hebrew Word For Wine?

Several years after Joseph was sold by his brothers to be a slave and was taken to Egypt, a famine came to the land of Canaan.

The famine was so hard, that both human and animals had nothing to eat. Somehow a rumor had spread saying that there is something to eat in Egypt. Unwillingly wrapped with fear but charged with a promise of a dream that he had in Beer Shevah (Gen 46: 1-4), Jakob and his extended family are coming to Egypt with a circle of seventy men, women and children.

The number seventy is not random, as we said before, numbers are a reflection of an inner hidden reality that comes and appears in time and space. The word wine in Hebrew is Yayin, written Yod, Yod, Nun, and the numeral value of the word יין wine is 10-10-50 = 70.

The Bible tells us that Adam ate from the tree of knowledge good and bad, while an ancient lore tells that the tree of knowledge was a grapevine. Why does the grapevine consider to be the tree of knowledge? and not an orange or banana?

One option would be that the product which is made from the grapevine is wine. Now, when a person drinks a bit of wine, it’s a warming his heart, he feels happy, relaxed and sobber, but if one drinks too much, he might get drunk and loses control.

Adam was expelled from the Graden of Eden after eating from the tree of knowledge, which was according to the sages, grapevine. But why? Why is it so bad to eat a bunch of grapes?

Well, nothing is bad in eating a bunch of grapes, if one remembers where they come from. But in the case of Adam, he was eating that much that he forgot about the source who created the grapevine, and the ability to eat created in him an inflated sense of self.

His sense of self became so big until there was no space for God to be. So to say it gently Adam was not expelled from the Garden of Eden, but rather expelled God from his life, Adam, from now on, will look everywhere for a “hidden God”, which his self-centered-inflated personality shadows, shatters and denies its existence.

Another parallel story to “Adam and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden”, we find in a different time zone, when Jakob has to leave the land of Canaan due to a heavy famine. In this story, Jakob sends his beloved son, Joseph, from the valley of Hebron alone, without escorting, to the city of Shechem to ask the peace of his brothers knowing they hate him to death. The appearance of Joseph alone in the field aggravates them so hard that they want to kill him. It was the idea of Judah to eat first before they kill him, a meal with bread that changed the course of history. Joseph will be sold to the Egyptians as a slave, while in his homeland, in the land of Canaan, a great famine will come. The famine will be so hard that it shall enforce his father, Jakob and seventy members of his family to ask for food (spiritual nutritious) from him.

So what do we want to say?

In the same manner that Adam ate from the tree of knowledge which was grapevine,  and separated himself from the source, from the tree of life, by feeling only his body with its full capacity of the seventy which is reflected in the gematria of the word wine in Hebrew, 22 generations after him, his successor, Jacob and his family which conclude of seventy members will have to leave the land of Canaan, which is, in a way, parallel to garden of Eden, and find the hidden god, the one, the source, in the land of plenty.

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This entry was posted in bible, living, stories by Eti Shani. Bookmark the permalink.

About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.

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