OED definition of "wine":
"the fermented juice of the grape used as a beverage".
Jer 35:9 Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:
Jer 35:10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.
Jer 35:11 But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.
Jer 35:12 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 35:13 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.
Jer 35:14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.
Jer 35:15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending [them], saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.
Jer 35:16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:
Jer 35:17 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.
Jer 35:18 And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:
Jer 35:19 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.
"Do you understand what the word "wine" means?"
I do indeed:
People today assume that the word "wine" refers only to fermented, intoxicating grape juice in classical texts, because this is it's contempory meaning. Problems....
The classical dual meaning of the word wine can be either fermented or unfermented and many versions of the Bible such as the KJV use the classical definition.
For example, the 1955 Funk & Wagnalls New "Standard" Dictionary of the English Language defines "wine" as follows: "1. The fermented juice of the grape: in loose language the juice of the grape whether fermented or not." New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language (1971) defines "must" as "Wine or juice pressed from the grapes but not fermented." This definition clearly equates "wine" with grape juice.
The problem is that people have taken the contempory (modern) meaning of the word (whether in Hebrew, Greek, Latin or English)as an intoxicating beverageand have made it the only definition of the word. That is incorrect scholarship! It is inaccurate both biblically and secularly, and it is inaccurate in the English language historically."
Older English Dictionaries.
"The 1759 Nathan Bailey's New Universal English Dictionary of Words and of Arts and Sciences offers the following definition for "wine":
1. "Natural wine is such as it comes from the grape, without any mixture or sophistication. 2. Adulterated wine is that wherein some drug is added to give it strength, fineness, flavor, briskness, or some other qualification." "
Josephus the Jewish Historian
"A clear example of the use of the term "wine" to refer to unfermented grape juice is provided by William Whiston's translation of Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, first published in 1737.
Referring to Joseph's interpretation of the cupbearer's dream, Josephus writes: "He therefore said that in his sleep he saw three clusters of grapes hanging upon three branches of a vine, large already, and ripe for gathering; and that he squeezed them into a cup which the king held in his hand and when he had strained the wine, he gave it to the king to drink . . . Thou sayest that thou didst squeeze this wine from three clusters of grapes with thine hands and that the king received it: know, therefore, that the vision is for thy good."
In this translation Whiston uses "wine" as a proper rendering for fresh, unfermented grape juice (gleukos), obviously because in this time "wine" meant either fermented or unfermented grape juice.
Josephus' statement offers another significant insight, namely, that it was customary long before Israel became a nation to squeeze the juice from grapes and drink it immediately in its fresh, unfermented state. This is what Josephus called gleukos, the term which our English translators render "wine" or "new wine" in Acts 2:13. Does not this translation support the conclusion that unfermented grape juice was called "wine" in older English usage?
The above sampling of definitions of "wine" from older English dictionaries suggests that when the King James Version of the Bible was produced (1604-1611) its translators must have understood "wine"
to refer to both fermented and unfermented wine. In view of this fact, the King James Version's uniform translation of the Hebrew yayin and Greek onios as "wine" was an acceptable translation at that time, since in those days the term could mean either fermented or unfermented wine, just as the words it translates (yayin or oinos) can mean either. "
Quoted & Paraphrased from "Wine in the Bible: A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages"
Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.