Tag Archive for Josephus

The goodness of wine

How did Joseph, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, think God thought about wine? 

Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian, answers this question in the middle of his telling the story of Joseph. According to Josephus, Joseph told one of his fellow prisoners that: 

  • God gives wine to men to do good. 
  • The sharing of wine is a pledge of faithfulness and mutual confidence among people. 
  • Wine puts an end to quarrels. 
  • Wine takes passion and grief out of the minds of the drinkers. 
  • Wine makes people cheerful. 

This at least is what I make of the following paragraph in the writings of Josephus. “God bestows the fruit of the vine upon men for good; which wine is poured out to him, and is the pledge of fidelity and mutual confidence among men; and puts an end to their quarrels, takes away passion and grief out of the minds of them that use it, and makes them cheerful.” (ebook location 2569)

Apparently Joseph felt it necessary to tell the cupbearer this information before he interpreted the cupbearer’s dream. If you are familiar with the story in Genesis 40, the cupbearer would soon forget Joseph’s kindness, leaving him in prison for two years before Joseph would be brought before Pharaoh to interpret the king’s dream and then made ruler of Egypt. 

Today I want to encourage us to enjoy the good things God has given us and to always use them for good. Today and throughout this holiday season, may you enjoy an abundance of the good of the fruit of the vine and all other blessings which the earth produces!

In doing so, may we always keep in mind that Solomon warns us: 

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Proverbs 20:1 NIV

Or in the version in which I first learned it: 

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1 KJV

(As a side note: I continue to make a choice to abstain from all alcoholic drink, yet I recognize that there are truly righteous uses for alcohol. My story is not your story. Nor is my calling yours. They are mine. You have your own. Live out your story and calling well.)

The book quoted is The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, which can be purchased on Amazon

Joy in the Morning!

Good morning, people!! I am so excited to be sitting here, eating breakfast and writing for the first time in a long time! Last night I did a happy dance in my kitchen as I sang, “No more pencils, no more books! No more teacher’s dirty looks! Come on, children! Scream and shout! It’s time to let the monkeys out!” 

Now I love school and I am incredibly excited about the excellent education that I am receiving, but that doesn’t prevent me from being incredibly excited that I have four weeks to do what I want to do and read what I want to read. Beginning the complete works of Josephus, that ancient Jewish historian, is the first thing on my plate. I am so excited! 

As I come back to blogging, I have decided to switch it up and begin blogging in the morning instead of at night. I hope to have my daily posts mostly reflect encouraging biblical truths – the kinds of things that make you want to jump up and down with happiness. Well, they make me want to jump up and down anyway. 

May God bless you with His incredible goodness today. He delights in giving good things to His children! And as He has promised, He will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. 

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for  a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:9-13

Ask away! God will give you the amazing gift of His Spirit. All you need to do is ask! And if you already have Him and His Spirit in you, celebrate that like children, we get to keep going to God and begging, “More! More! More of Your Spirit!” 

He will never say “no” to that request!