Why Was Jesus Given Vinegar

Why did Jesus first refuse, and then drink the vinegar offered at the cross?

The Gospel of Matthew states that when Jesus was being taken to the crucifixion, “they offered him vinegar to drink mixed with gall, and when he had tasted it, he would not drink” (Matthew 27:34). A wine infused with myrrh, according to Mark, was the drink (Mark 15:23). The drink that was served to Jesus was a poor Roman vinegar wine that had been laced with a chemical to make the senses dull. It was customary for the Romans to administer a poisoned wine to a guy who was about to be crucified in order to make him more tolerant of his fate.

As He was on the verge of death, Jesus said, “I thirst” (John 19:28).

When David predicted this Messianic occurrence, he said: They gave me likewise gall for my meat, and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21).

Following this, Jesus, knowing that all things have now been finished in order for the scripture to be fulfilled, declares, “I thirst” (John 19:28).

  • However, when Jesus fulfilled this verse, He demonstrated that He was both fully human and truly deified.
  • When Jesus had so taken the vinegar, he declared, “It is completed,” and he lowered his head and died as a result of the sacrificial offering (John 19:29-30).
  • Because his dry lips and neck were in desperate need of moisture, he took the vinegar.
  • It was extremely important to the Jews because it would serve as a constant reminder of the first Passover night, when each family among the Israelites in Egypt slaughtered a beautiful lamb and smeared the blood on their doorposts in order for the death angel to pass over their homes.
  • The blood of the Passover lamb was the only thing that kept the Israelites from perishing.
  • When Jesus hung on the cross, his final words were “It is finished.” Jesus came to serve and to carry out the Father’s will, and he did so willingly.

A great cry may be heard as angels before the throne of God acclaim Christ’s self-sacrificial love, proclaiming, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power, and riches, and knowledge, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 5:12).

Why was wine vinegar or sour wine given to Christ on the cross?

Exactly why did they offer Christ wine vinegar/sour wine when He was hanging on the cross?

Bible Answer:

On three consecutive occasions, while Jesus was hanging on the cross, he was presented with a cup of wine. According to the gospels, the first time Jesus was served sour wine, it was laced with gall. After the second time Christ was insulted for his royal authority and the third time that He received wine, it was sour wine.

Wine Mixed With Gall

The first time that Jesus was served wine while He was hanging on the cross is recorded in Matthew 27:34 and Mark 15:23, respectively. And when they arrived to a location known as Golgotha, which literally translates as “Place of the Skull,” they offered Him wine laced with gall, which He refused to drink after tasting it. Matthew 27:33-34 is a biblical passage (NASB) According to Mark 15:23, the wine had been laced with myrrh. Gall, sometimes known as myrrh, was presumably a narcotic since it was employed in perfumes and embalming fluids.

Prior to Jesus’ death on the cross, this wine was presented to Him (Matthew 27:34-35; Mark 15:23-24).

Wine Offered In Mockery

The only place in the Bible where Jesus was offered wine for the second time is in Luke 23:36. In addition, the soldiers made fun of Him by approaching Him and offering Him sour wine with the remark, “If You are the King of the Jews, rescue yourself!” In addition, there was an inscription above Him that said, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Luke 23:36-38 (KJV) (NASB) The soldiers mocked Christ by presenting him with the wine as if He were their monarch (Luke 23:35-38). They made fun of Him. It is most likely that they presented the drink to Christ in jest.

Sour Wine Offered

Jesus was only served wine once more, according to Luke 23:36, which is the only place where it is mentioned. A group of soldiers came up to Him and offered him sour wine, claiming that He was the Jewish King and exhorting him to “save Yourself!” The inscription, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS,” was now placed above Him as well. Luke 23:36-38 is a biblical passage (NASB) Soldiers presented the drink to Jesus as if He were their monarch, making fun of His divinity (Luke 23:35-38). It was ridiculed by the crowds.


A guy who was thirsty, dying, and suffering was most likely offered a glass of sour wine as a simple drink.


A guy who was thirsty, dying, and suffering was most likely offered a simple glass of sour wine.

Suggested Links:

I’m on the lookout for God. What is the importance of the cross that Jesus Christ carried on the crucifixion of Calvary? Is there any historical information available regarding the cross? Is it possible that Jesus was crucified in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy? What was the soldier’s motivation for piercing Jesus’ side with the sword? Did Jesus’ physical body and spiritual spirit perish?

Why did Jesus raise the question, “Father, why have you deserted Me?” while he was hanging on the cross? Were the sins of the world laid on Jesus, or were they placed in Him, when He died? What was God’s motivation in allowing His Son to suffer and die for us? – God Is Compassion

What was the purpose of giving Jesus vinegar to drink?

Jesus is offered sour wine on a sponge in Matthew 27:48 and Mark 15:26. In Luke 23:36, the soldiers offer Jesus sour wine from a vessel on a sponge in John 19:28 and 29, Jesus is offered sour wine from a vessel on a sponge in Matthew 27:34. In Matthew 27:34, the soldiers offer Jesus wine mingled with gall before he is crucified, which He rejects. In Matthew 27:34, the soldiers offer Jesus wine Mk 15:23 – Before he is crucified, the soldiers present Jesus with a cup of wine mixed with myrrh, which He declines.

It is also used to characterize different poisons, such as cyanide and cyanide-containing solutions.

3) Myrrh was frequently used as an additive to make things taste more pleasant.Scofield, Gill, the Pulpit, Matthew Poole, the ESV study Bible, James Edwards, Robert Mounce, and MacArthur all state that wine mixed with narcotic/anesthetic agents was commonly given to people being cruc

Sour Wine and Gall: Was it a Merciful Gesture or Mockery? – Literature – Resources

“They served Him sour wine laced with gall as a refreshment. However, after tasting it, he decided not to drink it ” (Matthew 27:34). Introduction The punishment of crucifixion was not appropriate nor enforceable against Roman citizens. It was intended for non-Roman violent offenders, murderers, rebellious slaves, and those guilty of high treason, as well as those convicted of lesser crimes. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not fit within any of the categories that were punishable by crucifixion, and yet he was wrongfully condemned and put to die as a result of the practice.

  • As Jesus Christ was being crucified on the Cross of Calvary, He was presented with a sour, less than palatable, thin wine laced with gall, which he refused.
  • What I’m saying is, “My God, My God, why have You left Me?”” According to Matthew 27:46, one of those standing alongside the cross dashed over and “got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, set it on a reed, and presented it to Him to drink” (Matthew 27:48).
  • Do you believe that even the most heinous acts were deserving of mercy, or that the act of crucifixion was made more tolerable to witness and hence more bearably executed by intoxicated the crucified?
  • The sour wine that was presented to the Lord Jesus Christ at His crucifixion has been referred to be vinegar on several occasions.
  • When it comes to poison, vinegar is related with the Old Testament’s Holy Book of Psalms, which says, “They gave me gall for my meal, and they gave me vinegar for my drink” (Psalm 68:22; LXX).
  • According to Job 20:14 of the Old Testament, gall is referred to as “the gall of an asp.” Gall is associated with hemlock according to the prophet Hosea (10:4).
  • Offering sour wine laced with gall to our martyred Lord Jesus may have been a therapeutic and charitable gesture to lessen the tremendous anguish, but St.
  • ” The soldiers made fun of Him as well, approaching Him and offering Him sour wine” (Luke 23:36).
  • Mark’s gospel, it was believed that the sour wine combined with myrrh had narcotic properties.
  • A crucified person may have been fed sour wine and myrrh in order to make him drunk in an attempt to make his pain less severe.

Whether it was out of routine performance, an impulsive thoughtless act, or even the remote possibility of it being out of a merciful act towards the criminal during his last breathing moments, sour wine and myrrh appeared to have had the ability to make the execution of crucifixion at least a little more bearable for those who witnessed it.

  1. It is worth emphasizing that the time of the offering of the sour wine and gall to our Lord was significant and, as a result, of the highest significance.
  2. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” our Lord Jesus said as He asked His Father for forgiveness on their behalf.
  3. Second, the soldiers were so anxious to get their hands on His clothing that they split His belongings and distributed them by lot among themselves.
  4. In St.
  5. As a result, after receiving the sour wine, Jesus declared, “It is completed.”” (See also John 19:28-30.) Hyssop is a plant that has stalk-like characteristics and may grow to be three to four feet in length.
  6. Consequently, the Lord Jesus Christ took on our human frailty and thirst in order for us to share in Eternal Salvation and experience no longer thirst.
  7. John to note down in his Gospel.

We might imagine how the loud agonized cry of our Lord would have persuaded the person who brought Him the mixture of sour wine and gall to believe that our Lord was despaired, troubled, and in excruciating agony.

See also:  What Did Jesus Do On Holy Saturday

However, the majority of Biblical scholars do not think that the Lord was despondent or enraged by the unjust suffering that had been inflicted upon him.

The Romans crucified the Lord Jesus Christ, and it was Roman soldiers who drove nails into His holy arms and legs and strung Him up on the Holy Cross, where He would suffer and die in a manner dictated by the Romans.

On the other hand, the Roman officials were prepared and ready to offer freedom to a murderer by the name of Barabbas, but they were equally willing and ready to hang on a cross an innocent man who was devoid of guilt, malice, or any indication of wrongdoing on his part.

Our beloved Lord had undergone a tremendous deal of suffering after being beaten, flogged, struck, tortured, and crucified, among other things.

“This is Jesus the King of the Jews,” read the sign above His Holy Head, mockingly but prophetically designating Him as a king.

The boldness with which the Lord Jesus Christ served mankind was on a par with his humanity’s power.

Because of His unwavering confidence, the Lord was prepared to face any challenges, including death (in His human form), if necessary.

The repentant criminal who was hung on the right side of the Lord Jesus Christ was served, and he was the first person to enter Paradise after his death.

And we have every right to be so, for we have received appropriate compensation for our acts; yet, this man has done nothing wrong.

Courage in the Face of Adversity Every generation, from the beginning of human history to the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, has demanded a great deal of a courageous servant of God.

Examples of the most devout believers who were not afraid to criticize even rulers may be seen throughout history.

This type of faith propelled Elijah into Heaven in a flaming chariot, while dogs licked up the blood of Ahab’s enemies.

John the Baptist for failing to follow the law.

You will be living in a scorpion-infested environment.

Because they are a house of provocation, you must speak My words to them, regardless of whether they hear you or are put off by them ” (Ezekiel 2:6-7; LXX).

John the Baptist was executed, but his saintly voice continues to resound today with the same message: “It is not lawful for you to do so” (Matthew 14:4).

Throughout the writings of the apostles and the history of the early church writers, we can see that they were courageous.

Perhaps the message conveyed by the refusal to drink the sour wine and gall is one of bravery and fortitude.

Do not deviate from your path, because I am your God, who empowers you; and I will assist and protect you with My just right hand ” (Isaiah 41:10; LXX).

The Lord is the defender of my life; whom shall I dread?

Conclusion So, for what purpose or reason was the Lord Jesus Christ’s cry ” why have You forsaken Me?

One can postulate that it was a definite assurance that although Humanity can be forsaken; yet man will not be isolated from God; but accepted and saved through the Lord Jesus Christ’s willing humanity and loud cry.

Such was the strength of His humanity.

May we all be courageous servants who would hold steadfast to our faith no matter what just as did the Lord Jesus Christ who was willing to bear the pain of crucifixion to ensure God’s saving Grace to all.


Blessed are those who show kindness, who contribute to the needy, who fast, and who pray for others.

On the Day of Judgment, the Holy Spirit will flood their hearts, and the Son will extend kindness to them ” (Distribution Melody for the Great Fast). Bishop Youssef Bishop, Diocese of the Southern United States of America, Coptic Orthodox Church

Vinegar on the Cross – Bible Study

Posted in:Easter (Passion Week),Jesus,Jesus Question As stated in the Bible, when Jesus was on the cross, he refused the wine; thus, why did he afterwards consume vinegar? Answer Every crucifixion was attended by a group of compassionate ladies who offered the convicts a glass of poisoned wine to lessen the agony they were experiencing. They presented Jesus with the wine laced with myrrh, but he turned them down. Myrrh was one of Jesus’ infant presents, and now it is being brought to him to soothe his suffering, which is a fascinating coincidence.

  1. “The vinegar (posca) was the first-century equivalent of Gatorade, a sour wine that the troops drank to keep from being dehydrated in hot and humid regions,” according to the author.
  2. A Roman soldier soaked a sponge in vinegar and held it up to Jesus’ lips to spit it out.
  3. 69:21 was fulfilled.
  4. If you have any queries about the Bible, please do not hesitate to contact us by email.

Holy Sponge – Wikipedia

TheHoly Spongeis considered to be one of the Instruments of Jesus’ Passion. According to Matthew 27:48, Mark 15:36, and John 19:29, it was dipped in vinegar (or, in other translations, sourwine), most likely posca, a popular beverage of Roman soldiers, and brought to Jesus to drink from during the Crucifixion, according to the Scriptures.


It was in Palestine, in the Upper Room of theConstantinian basilica, that an object supposed to be the Holy Sponge was worshiped, and it was here that Sophronius of Jerusalem talked about it around 600 AD: And let me walk joyfully to the magnificent sanctuary, the site where the noble Empress Helena discovered thedivine Wood; and let me ascend, my heart overtaken with amazement, to behold the Upper Room, the Reed, the Sponge, and the Lance.

Allow me to look down upon the fresh splendor of the Basilica, where choirs of monks chant nightly melodies of devotion.—Sophronius.


It is said that a brown sponge is worshipped at the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome. Other sponge fragments can be found in the following locations:

  • The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, St. Mary in Campitelli, and the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere are just a few examples of the many churches in Rome.


Another sponge can be seen in the Chapel of the Relics at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme: Santa Croce, out of all the churches in Rome, boasts one of the most impressive collections of relics. In order to accommodate them, a separate chapel was constructed in 1930. This chapel is reached via a staircase to the left of the choir, where visitors can see three pieces of the True Cross, one of its nails, a fragment of the INRI inscription (“Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”), two thorns from Christ’s crown of thorns, a piece of the sponge that was held up to him, one of the silver coins paid to Judas, St Thomas’s finger that touched the wounds of Christ, and the crossbar from An extensive amount of soil from Golgotha is supposed to have been used in the construction of the paving stones.

Constantinople and France

Nicetas played an important role in the conquest of Egypt by Phocas in the 7th century. In 612, he became well-known for bringing objects to Constantinople from Palestine that he claimed were the Holy Sponge and the Holy Lance (also known as the ” Lance of Longinus “). According to anecdotal evidence, he may have served as exarch of Africa from 619 until 628/9. As part of the relics he required for the Sainte-Chapelle inParis, Louis IX of France purchased this sponge from theLatin EmperorBaldwin II and kept it in Constantinople until it was purchased from him by Louis IX of France.

Some went to the Bibliothèque Nationale for a quick visit.

Other claimants

Other parties that have claimed access to the Holy Sponge include the following:

  • The church of St. Jacques de Compiègne in France
  • The cathedral of Aachen (which was built as a model for Charlemagne)

See also

  • The Arma Christi, the Crown of Thorns, the Lance of Longinus, the Titulus Crucis, or the True Cross are all terms used to describe the cross of Christ.


  1. Peter Manseau is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (April 11, 2009). “Belief, Evidence, and Relics.” As reported by the Wall Street Journal. abDavis, C. Truman. “A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.” Retrieved September 1, 2020
  2. AbDavis, C. Truman. “A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.” The Christian Broadcasting Network is a television network that broadcasts religious programming. On September 1, 2020, you will be able to download Wija and Tantri are two women that have a lot of power in Hinduism (September 18, 2019). “Yes, without a doubt. It’s becoming fashionable right now. Drinking vinegar, on the other hand, was the flavor that first rejuvenated an ancient empire “. According to the Seattle Times. On September 1, 2020, Knopf will be released (1994). Rome: A Traveler’s Guide

External links

  • In the “Gazetteer of Relics,” by Marc A. Beherec, we see Sophronius of Jerusalem celebrating the relics of the Passion about the year 600 A.D.

What is the significance of giving Jesus vinegar?

This post is also accessible in the following languages: हिन्दी (Hindi) God The book of Psalms in the Old Testament foretold that Jesus would be offered vinegar at the moment of His death: “Reproach has shattered my heart, and I am filled with melancholy; and I searched for those who would sympathize with me, but there were none; and I searched for those who would comfort me, but there were none.” They also provided me with gall for my flesh, and when I became thirsty, they provided me with vinegar to drink” (Psalm 69:20, 21).

The Messianic fulfillment of this prophecy occurred twice: first, in the person of Jesus Christ, and second, in the person of John the Baptist.

The first offer ofvinegar

A foul wine mixed with gall was served to Christ by his executioners at the start of His trial and execution. “However, after tasting it, he decided not to drink it” (Matthew 27:34). As well, Luke writes, “they offered Him wine flavored with myrrh to drink, but He refused to accept it” (Mark 15:23). The readingoinos, “wine,” is preferred above the readingoxos in the textual evidence for the word “vinegar.” The wordoxos referred to wine that had become sour as a result of fermentation (Numbers 6:3).

  1. 309), he is handed a cup of wine with an aromatic grain of frankincense “in order to dull his senses” (Talmud Sanhedrin 43a, Soncino ed., p.
  2. In order to lessen the agony of the individual who had been sentenced to death, this practice was carried out.
  3. He would get nothing that may impair His ability to think clearly.
  4. His faith must maintain a firm grip on the Almighty.
  5. .
  6. .
See also:  Who Wrote All My Hope Is In Jesus

The second offer ofvinegar

“And around the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You deserted Me?” just before He takes His final breath. So one of them dashed out, filled an empty sponge half-way with sour wine, and tied it on a stick, and presented it to Him as a cup of water. And Jesus cried out with a loud voice once more, and His spirit was given up.” (Matthew 27:34, 46-50; Mark 10:46-50). The apostle John wrote about the same episode in the following words: ‘Now there was a jar full of sour wine sitting there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, putiton hyassop, and putitto His lips.’ As a result, after receiving the sour wine, Jesus declared, “It is completed!” And with a bend of His head, He surrendered His spirit.” (See also John 19:29, 30.) The sour wine or vinegar had no effect on Jesus since His suffering on humanity’s behalf had come to an end at that point.

His Father had committed to Him the task of finishing the job He had begun (John 4:34).

He has indeed suffered and carried our sufferings; nevertheless we considered Him to be afflicted, to have been struck by God, to be in a state of affliction.

His wounds are our trespasses, and His bruises are our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was laid on Him, and it is by His stripes that we are healed” (Isaiah 43:4,5). BibleAskTeam is dedicated to His service. This post is also accessible in the following languages: (Hindi)

The Wine Jesus Drank

While hanging on the cross, Jesus was served wine on two separate occasions. He turned down the first, but accepted the second. What is the reason behind this? Mark 15:23 states that “they offered him wine laced with myrrh, but he refused to accept it.” This is the first time this occurs. According to William Lane, In accordance with an ancient tradition, revered ladies of Jerusalem supplied individuals sentenced to death with a narcotic drink in order to reduce their sensitivity to the horrific agony.

Jesus was offered.

564) This first glass of wine signified an invitation to relieve the suffering, to take a modest shortcut—albeit a minor one in comparison to the horrific torture of the cross, but a shortcut nonetheless—in order to alleviate the suffering.

In response to his apparent request for Elijah, “someone rushed over and soaked a sponge with sour wine, arranged it on a stick, and handed it to him, saying, ‘Wait and see whether Elijah will come to take him down.'” (Jeremiah 1:5) Lane expresses his thoughts, A refreshing drink made from sour wine vinegar is mentioned in the Old Testament (Numbers 6:13; Ruth 2:14), and it is also mentioned in Greek and Roman literature as a common beverage enjoyed by laborers and soldiers because it relieved thirst more effectively than water and was relatively inexpensive.

  • .
  • Thus, instead of a caustic vinegar presented as a cruel joke, the image is of a sour wine made by the people.
  • He was adamant about not drinking this wine.
  • This is the wine that Jesus drank on the night of his death.
  • Jesus, on the other hand, would not take any short cuts on the road to our salvation.

What Did Jesus Drink While Dying on the Cross?

It has always been a wonder to me how Jesus declined to drink wine before the Romans hung him to the crucifixion, as recorded in the Bible. One of the greatest mysteries of my life was attempting to decipher Jesus’ motivations when he sought for anything to quench his thirst and then proceeded to drink vinegar-laced wine while enduring the agony of the crucifixion. So, why would Jesus decline one drink but not the other, you may wonder. Jesus is adamant in his refusal to drink. “And they carried him to a spot called Golgotha,” says the gospel of Mark, describing what Jesus had to undergo (which means Place of a Skull).

  • And they nailed him on the cross and divided his clothing among themselves, drawing lots to determine which garments each should take” (Mark 15:22-24ESV throughout).
  • When they were experiencing physical anguish from the crucifixion, the women would offer them myrrh-flavored wine or gall-flavored wine (Matthew 27:33-35), which would deaden or numb their senses from the agony of the cross.
  • Despite their efforts, Jesus refused to drink it.
  • Jesus declined because he desired to be there in each and every hour allotted to him by the Father (Matthew 26:39), in order to continue to make the perfect sacrifice for sin on the cross (Ephesians 5:2).
  • The Old Testament (Psalms 69:21) states that he took it upon himself to guarantee that nothing would stand in the way of his capacity to fulfill the scriptures.
  • Jesus takes a sip.
  • “After everything happened, Jesus, realizing that all had been completed, stated (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.'” When they noticed a jug of sour wine standing nearby, they placed a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and placed it near his lips.

Jesus did drink, but the substance that many people assume to be vinegar was in fact nothing more than water.

They poured him a glass of sour wine.

The inexpensive beverage was pleasant, and it included no ingredients that might interfere with Jesus’ ability to fulfill God’s plan.

Jesus is the one who has achieved the final triumph.

John 1:35-36 describes how he freely offered himself as the Lamb of God (1 Corinthians 5:7), and how he suffered the torment for our sins with a clear conscience (1 Peter 2:24).

He rose from the dead three days later (Matthew 28:5-6), and he now sits at the right side of the Father (Romans 8:34), awaiting the day when he will come in all his power and glory to conquer all nations and bring them under his control (Revelation 15:3-4).

What the Bible says about Vinegar

Topical StudiesWhat the Bible says about Vinegar (FromForerunner Commentary)Matthew 26:27-29Jesuswas certainly aware that He would spend forty days with His disciples after His resurrection, time in which He would have been well able to enjoy a glass of wine with them. But the first part of His statement seems to have been a vow, or at least a strong promise, that He would abstain from wine until after the time oftheirresurrection.It may be significant then that, just before His crucifixion, once He realized what He was being given, He refused the sour wine and gall mixture that was offered to Him: “They gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted, He would not drink” (Matthew 27:34; see alsoMark 15:23;Luke 23:36).From our human points of view, we may think that a mere taste of this foul-tasting cocktail would not have caused Jesus to break His vow—that it could hardly be construed as “drinking of the fruit of the vine” with His disciples. Jesus, however, looked at things from God’s point of view, and He knew that all that His Father had assigned for Him to do was to be carried out perfectly, and not with an “oh, that should do” attitude.The Greek verb for “taste” inMatthew 27:34isgeuomai,which can mean “to perceive the flavor of,” suggesting that perhaps Jesus did not actually taste the mixture at all. In the haze of His agony, He may not have been aware of what the Roman soldier was holding up to Him until it reached His lips, and in that split-second, He recognized it for sour wine. In any case, a taste cannot be considered a drink.Later, as His human life moved into its final moments, He was offered sour wine a second time: “Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink” (Matthew 27:48; see alsoMark 15:36;John 19:29-30).These “drink offerings” of sour wine and gall perfectly fulfilled David’s prophecy ofPsalm 69:21:”They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”Matthew 27:34These “drink offerings” of sour wine and gall perfectly fulfilled David’s prophecy ofPsalm 69:21:”They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”But what was this “sour wine”?Easton’s Bible Dictionarydescribes this drink in its article, “Gall”:The drink offered to our Lord was vinegar (made of light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers) “mingled with gall,” or, according toMark 15:23, “mingled with myrrh”; both expressions meaning the same thing, namely, that the vinegar was made bitter by the infusion of wormwood or some other bitter substance, usually given, according to amercifulcustom, as an anodyneto those who were crucified, to render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud his faculties or blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of woe in the bitter cup of agony given him by the Father (John 18:11).Other commentators opine that the gall—being a poison as well as a desensitizing drug—was meant to speed the death of the victim before the grisly effects ofthe crucifixiondid. But surely it was not offered as, Easton suggests, for the comfort of the condemned! Rather, it was given for the soldiers’ own ease and perhaps for the benefit of the pitiless Jewish leaders who wanted the three victims dead and disposed of before the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (John 19:31-33).Luke’s account implies that the soldiers’ offers of sour wine toJesuswere part of their mockery of Him: “The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine” (Luke 23:36). It is not logical that these soldiers would mock Jesus, beat Him, spit on Him, jam a crown of thorns on His head, flog Him terribly, and then give a pain-relieving drink to Him as a “merciful custom”! Later, to speed their deaths, the soldiers would break the legs of the two men who were crucified on either side of Jesus and would cruelly stab Him with a spear. They would have broken Jesus’ legs too, but they were prevented from doing so for the prophecies to be accurately fulfilled. Not much evidence of mercy here!John 19:29-30Like this rendition from the New King James version, most Bible translations read thatJesus”received” the sour wine, but this is not to say that He actually drank it.Strong’s Greek Lexiconstates thatlambano, the Greek verb translated “received,” can imply “to have offered to one.” In the overall context, this is a more logical meaning. Also, if Jesus refused to drink the first offering, why would He accept the second? Knowing that only moments—perhaps even seconds—remained before He would die, why would He seek any temporary comfort from the effects of this drink?John 19:34The modern understanding of the English word “pierced” used in these verses (also inJob 16:13;Psalm 22:16;Lamentations 3:13; andRevelation 1:7) does not adequately describe the magnitude of Jesus’ terrible wound. When we think of “pierced,” we probably think of:» The minor puncture of the tiny needle used for the medical blood-tests we might have from time to time;» The minute holes required for earrings; or» The erroneous view of classical artists who painted depictions of the crucified Christ with small, inoffensive wounds from which drip insignificant trickles of blood.Webster’s Dictionarydefinitions, however, show that the Bible’s translators did an accurate job in translating this word:» To run into or through as a pointed weapon does;» To stab;» To enter or thrust into sharply or painfully;» To force or make a way into or through.Here is an excerpt from Albert Barnes’ commentary onJohn 19:34:The common spear which soldiers used in war. There can be no doubt that such a stroke from the strong arm of a Roman soldier would have caused death, if He had not been already dead. Let the following circumstances be remembered, showing that death must have ensued from such a wound:(1) The Saviour was elevated but a little from the ground, so as to be easily reached by the spear of a soldier.(2) The wound must have been transversely upward, so as to have penetrated into the body, as he could not have stood directly under Him.(3) It was probably made with a strong arm and with violence.(4) The spear of the Roman soldier was a lance which tapered very gently to a point, and would penetrate easily.(5) The wound was comparatively a large wound. It was so large as to admit the hand (John 20:27); but for a lance thus tapering to have made a wound so wide as to admit the hand, it must have been at least four or five inches in depth, and must have been such as to have made death certain. If it be remembered that this blow was probably in the left side, the conclusion is inevitable that death would have been the consequence of such a blow.It is clear that the spear pierced to the region of the heart.Such a flowing of blood and water makes it probable that the spear reached the heart, and if Jesus had not before been dead, this would have closed His life.Heshows that those who were sent to hasten His death believed that He had expired; that then a soldier inflicted a wound which would have terminated life if He had not been already dead; and that the infliction of this wound was followed by the fullest proof that He had truly expired.Further research informs us that some Roman spears had larger blades attached to their “business end” for the purpose of inflicting larger wounds. However, if Barnes is correct that the point of this spear tapered gently to a point, the soldier must have viciously twisted it in order to create a five-inch gash. In fact, such a twisting motion, virtually guaranteeing a mortal wound, would have been second-nature to a veteran soldier.Each year, as we reflect upon the great sufferings of our Savior, let us not be depressed by them. Although we should deeply appreciate the agonies that Jesus endured for us, we should realize that His physical suffering is now over, and has been over for nearly two thousand years. In this regard,Matthew Henry’s CommentaryonJohn 19:34is very interesting, positive, forward-looking, and worthy of some reflection. He notes that the Creator—the One who later became Jesus Christ—pierced and opened Adam’s side to create his wife, Eve. Likewise,Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, suffered His own side to be pierced and opened in order for His own Bride to be created.The members of God’strue churchconstitute the beloved Bride of Christ. Our tiny congregations have the wonderful privilege of being part of that church. As we have seen, Jesus calls on us to remember Hisaffliction, including the piercing, the cup, the sour wine, and the gall. No matter how many years we have rehearsed these events, let us remember once again what our Savior went through bodily for us. As He said to His disciples, “This is My body which is given for you” (Luke 22:19).Find more Bible verses aboutVinegar:Vinegar
The Berean: Daily Verse and CommentSign up for theBerean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See whatover 150,000 subscribersare already receiving each day.Email Address:
We respect your privacy. Your email address will not be sold, distributed, rented, or in any way given out to a third party.We have nothing to sell. You may easily unsubscribe at any time.

“They Offered Him Wine-Vinegar”: Reexamining the Gospel Accounts of Jesus’ Last Drink.

Pat Lowinger contributed to this article. While the factual certainty of Jesus’ crucifixion is debatable, the anti-Roman prejudices that pervaded much of early Christian writing are unassailable. Is there another explanation for at least one of these images if we look at the culture and traditions of Roman society, notably those of the Roman military, rather than just one of these depictions? Perhaps one that is significantly less ominous in nature? The Gospel Accounts are divided into two categories: One or more Roman soldiers offered Jesus a cup of sour wine, according to the stories in each of the four canonical gospels, which are somewhat similar in their accounts of Jesus’ death on the cross.

According to both Matthew and Mark, Jesus was served two distinct beverages, both of which included wine.

They took Jesus to a spot known as Golgotha (which literally translates as “the place of the skull”).

– Mark 15:22-23 New International Version Someone dashed after Jesus, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, tied it to a stick, and presented it to him to drink off of it.

Jesus exhaled his final breath with a piercing scream.

The focus of this piece will be on the second offer of wine or vinegar that has been extended.

When Jesus had finished drinking the cup, he declared, “It is finished.” He bent his head and surrendered his spirit at that moment.

The identity of the’someone’ who is mentioned in Mark’s second mention of wine is unknown, but it could have been nearly anyone who was present at the crucifixion at the time.

“.the offer of a sip of wine was intended to keep Jesus conscious for as long as possible,” wrote William Lane, a noted author and theologian.


Posca Roman mosaic depicting a wine container and cup.

The most common translations for the variety of wine offered to Jesus are vinegar, wine-vinegar and sour-wine.

Posca, a kind of low-cost, sour-wine was in common use throughout the Roman Empire.

Posca was an important part of a soldier’s dietary regime.

Not because of its intoxicating effect(s) (s).

The first was to serve as a cutting agent for water, which in antiquity was generally of dubious quality and often had smells, odors and/or tastes that were unpleasant.

When combined with poor-quality water, posca’s naturally strong flavor was subdued, but served as an excellent masking agent for otherwise unpotable water.

The simple answer is that historians really don’t know.

The second was posca’s acidity.

Acetic acid is the byproduct of fermentation and has very useful antimicrobial properties, in particular against some of the better known bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus and Enterococcus.

Vitamin C is a well-known dietary requirement.

Scurvy, a chronically low-level of Vitamin C was a perilous condition in the ancient world and could result in agonizing death.

Without unduly belaboring the issue, the historicity, authenticity and authorship are constant points of academic debate among scholars, many of whose expertise on these issues far exceed my own.

The later, when combined with social and/or professional pressure not to appear offensive, has in some cases stiffed academic debate.

The Drink Before Death So what do we know?

Historians have long known about the relatively common use of posca as a dietary staple of the Roman military before, during and after the period in which Jesus’ crucifixion may have occurred.

The drinking of posca was likely an acquired taste, but was cheap and widely available.

Interestingly, none of the other Gospels mention Jesus’ plea.

What we don’t know.

Did they hate him?

A better question might be did they even know who he was?

A seditionist?

So why would a Roman soldier bother himself with giving posca-water to a condemned man?

If John’s account is accurate, Jesus plea for water was answered.

Was this extra posca, set aside specifically to be given Jesus as he languished on the cross?

John’s account also begs the question to be asked, why would any plea from a condemned criminal be met with anything other than utter disdain and non-compliance?

It would also be a notable exception to the numerous other examples of crucifixions conducted by the Romans.

Was it inserted to support some prevailing scriptural expectation (prophecy) of early Christians?

Conclusion The certitude of many scholars regarding the motivations of ancient peoples is often striking.

For historians, particularly those focusing on the culture and societal norms of the Romans, the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion often create more questions than they answer.

This analysis needs to be undertaken in an unbiased and nonprejudicial manner, irregardless of religious traditions and/or presuppositions.

Lane, William.The Gospel According to Mark, 2nd ed.


Haak, Carl.

Transcript 1999. Cardano, Girolamo(translator), Nero. An Exemplary Life. Inkstone Books. 2012. 184-186. John 19: 28 NIV. Edwards, William (and others) (and others). On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ. Journal of the American Medical Association, May 1986. Digital archive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.