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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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( חֹמֵוֹ; Sept. and N.T. ὄξος; Vulg. acetun). The Hebrew term chomets was applied to a beverage; consisting generally of wine or strong drink turned sour (whence its use was proscribed to the Nazarite, Numbers 6:3), but sometimes artificially made by an admixture of barley and wine, and thus liable to fermentation (Mishna, Pesach. 3, 1). It was acid even to a proverb (Proverbs 10:26), and by itself formed a nauseous draught (Psalms 69:21), but was serviceable for the purpose of sopping bread, as used by laborers (Ruth 2:14), being refreshing in the heat (Pliny, 23:26; comp. 2, 49). The degree of its acidity may be inferred from Proverbs 25:20, where its effect on niter is noticed. (See WINE). Similar to the chomets of the Hebrews was the acetum of the Romans a thin, sour wine, consumed by soldiers (Veget. De Re Mil. 4:7) either in a pure state or, more usually, mixed with water, when it was termed posca (Pliny, 19:29; Spartian. Hadr. 10). This was the beverage of which the Savior partook in his dying moments (Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:29-30), and doubtless it was refreshing to his exhausted frame, though offered in derision either on that occasion or previously (Luke 23:36). The same liquid, mingled with gall (as Matthew states, probably with the view of marking the fulfillment of the prediction in Psalms 69:21), or with myrrh (as Mark states, with an eye to the exact historical fact), was offered to the Savior at an earlier stage of his sufferings, in order to deaden the perception of pain (Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23). See Grabner, De Posca (Misen. 1701; Pfaff, De Felle Esca (Tub. 1755); Bynieus, De Morte Jesu Chr. 3, 265. (See CRUCIFIXION).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Vinegar'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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