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Smith's Bible Dictionary

The Arabs keep their water, milk and other liquids in leathern bottles. These are made of goatskins. When the animal is killed they cut off its feet and its head, and draw it in this manner out of the skin without opening its belly. The great leathern bottles are made of the skin of a he-goat, and the small ones, that serve instead of a bottle of water on the road, are made of a kid's skin. The effect of external heat upon a skin bottle is indicated in (Psalms 119:83) "a bottle in the smoke," and of expansion produced by fermentation in (Matthew 9:17) "new wine in old bottles." Vessels of metal, earthen or glassware for liquids were in use among the Greeks, Egyptians, Etruscans and Assyrians, and also no doubt among the Jews, especially in later times. Thus (Jeremiah 19:1) "a potter's earthen bottle." (Bottles were made by the ancient Egyptians of alabaster, gold, ivory and stone. They were of most exquisite workmanship and elegant forms. Tear-bottles were small urns of glass or pottery, made to contain the tears of mourners at funerals, and placed in the sepulchres at Rome and in Palestine. In some ancient tombs they are found in great numbers. (Psalms 56:8) refers to this custom.--ED.)

ATS Bible Dictionary

The accompanying engraving shows the form and nature of an ancient goatskin bottle, out of which a water-carrier is offering to sell a draught of water. After the skin has been stripped off from an animal, and properly dressed, the places where the legs had been are closed up; and where the neck was, is the opening left for receiving and discharging the contents of the bottle. These were readily borne upon the shoulder, Genesis 21:14. See also Joshua 9:4,13 Psalm 119:83 Jeremiah 13:12.

By receiving the liquor poured into it, a skin bottle must be greatly swelled and distended; and still more, if the liquor be wine, by its fermentation while advancing to ripeness; so that if no vent be given to it, the liquor may overpower the strength of the bottle, or if it find any defect, it may ooze out by that. Hence the propriety of putting new wine into new bottles, which being in the prime of their strength, may resist the expansion of their contents, and preserve the wine to maturity; while old bottles may, without danger, contain old wine, whose fermentation is already past, Matthew 9:17 Luke 5:38 Job 32:19.

Such bottles, or skins, are still universally employed in travelling in the East, as well as by the public water-carriers, and for domestic uses. They were made, for storage in wine cellars, of the hides of oxen or camels. But the smaller ones of goatskins were more generally used for water as well as wine. The ancients, however, were acquainted with the art of making earthenware, and had a variety of elegant small bottles and vases for toilet purposes, made of the precious metals, of stone, glass, porcelain, and alabaster, Jeremiah 19:1,10,11. See CRUSE, VINE, TEARS.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
A vessel made of skins for holding wine (Joshua 9:4. 13; 1 Samuel 16:20; Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37, 38), or milk (Judges 4:19), or water (Genesis 21:14, 15, 19), or strong drink (Habakkuk 2:15).

Earthenware vessels were also similarly used (Jeremiah 19:1-10; 1 Kings 14:3; Isaiah 30:14). In Job 32:19 (Comp. Matthew 9:17; Luke 5:37, 38; Mark 2:22) the reference is to a wine-skin ready to burst through the fermentation of the wine. "Bottles of wine" in the Authorized Version of Hosea 7:5 is properly rendered in the Revised Version by "the heat of wine," i.e., the fever of wine, its intoxicating strength.

The clouds are figuratively called the "bottles of heaven" (Job 38:37). A bottle blackened or shrivelled by smoke is referred to in Psalm 119:83 as an image to which the psalmist likens himself.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A hollow vessel, usually of glass or earthenware (but formerly of leather), with a narrow neck or mouth, for holding liquids.

2. (n.) The contents of a bottle; as much as a bottle contains; as, to drink a bottle of wine.

3. (n.) Fig.: Intoxicating liquor; as, to drown one's reason in the bottle.

4. (v. t.) To put into bottles; to enclose in, or as in, a bottle or bottles; to keep or restrain as in a bottle; as, to bottle wine or porter; to bottle up one's wrath.

5. (n.) A bundle, esp. of hay.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

bot'-'-l (chemeth, no'-dh, nebhel, baqbuq, 'obh; askos): The most literal rendering of all the words for bottle in English Versions of the Bible is "skin," or "wine-skin," the Revised Version (British and American). The primitive bottle among eastern peoples was really a bag made from skins, tanned or untanned, of kid, goat, cow, camel or buffalo-in most cases drawn off of the animal entire, after the legs and head were cut off, and, when filled, grotesquely retaining the shape of the animal. The skins in common use today, as in ancient times no doubt, for holding water milk, butter and cheese, have the hair left on and are far from cleanly-looking. Those used for wine and oil are tanned by means of oak bark and seasoning in smoke, a process that gives a peculiar astringency of flavor to the wine kept in them, and gave rise to the parable of Jesus about putting new wine into old wine-skins (Matthew 9:17 Mark 2:22 Luke 5:37). The fact that the leather underwent distension once and only once under fermentation, and the further fact that the wine-skins became dried and liable to crack from the smoke and dry heat of the tents and houses, gave point to the parable: "No man putteth new wine into old wine-skins; else the wine will burst the skins, and the wine perisheth, and the skins: but they put new wine into fresh wine-skins." All such "bottles" today are liable to crack and become worthless.

Pliny Fisk used fresh goat-skins to carry water, but he says this gave the water a reddish color and an exceedingly loathsome taste. Harmer tells of carrying liquids in smoked skin-bottles, which when rent "were mended by putting in a new piece, or by gathering up the piece, or by inserting a flat bit of wood." Burckhardt says he saw Arabs keeping water for their horses on journeys in "large bags made of tanned camel-skin." They would sew the skins up well on four sides, but would leave two openings, one to admit the air, one to let out the water. Two such bags made a good load for a camel. Edwin Wilbur Rice says the leather or skin-bottles are of different sizes and kinds, usually made from the skin of the goat, rarely ever from that of the sheep, as it is not considered strong enough. But sometimes they are made from the skin of the camel, or the ox, which is then prepared by tanning. When leather bags are sewed up the joinings are smeared with grease, as the skin-bottles of all sorts are, as they grow older, lest the water, or other liquid, ooze through.

Such bottles, being more portable and less breakable than earthenware, were peculiarly well suited to the use of primitive and nomad peoples, as they are to the roving Bedouin of today. The mention of them, however, in such various accounts and connections as those for instance of the story of Hagar (Genesis 21:19), of the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:4), and of David (1 Samuel 25:18) shows that they were in common use among ancient Orientals, pastoral and peasant alike. Tourists still find that they are admirably suited to travelers in waterless districts, or districts where the water is brackish and bad. One of the characteristic figures even in oriental centers like Damascus today is the waterman who sells from his dripping goat-skin water cooled with the snow of Hermon, flavored with lemon, rose, or licorice, temptingly offered up and down the streets by his clapping his brass cups and crying in the most pleading but pleasing tones, "Drink, drink, thirsty. one" (compare Isaiah 55:1). But, as Dr. Mackie, of Beirut, says, "While the bottle is thus highly prized, and the water thus kept in it is a grateful necessity, the luxury of the East belongs to the spring itself, to the draught from the fountain of living waters." Hence, the comparison Jesus made at Jacob's well (John 4:14), and the one blessed terminus of all, the Shepherd's leading (Revelation 7:17). See HDB, under the word.

Of course in the settled life of the Orient water, milk, wine and other liquids are often kept in earthen jars or other receptacles. For such "bottles" see PITCHER; VESSEL. Glass bottles are not mentioned in the Bible; but those now found in tombs, for keeping perfume in, may have been known in Old Testament times.


(1) For the clouds (Job 38:37).

(2) For intoxication, through which, because of their headstrong continuance in sin, Israel shall be helpless to resist the enemy's attack (Jeremiah 13:12).

(3) For sorrow: "Put thou my tears into thy bottle" (Psalm 56:8). "The Psalmist's sorrows were so many that they would need a great wine-skin to hold them all. There is no allusion to the little lachrymatories of fashionable and fanciful Romans: it is a robuster metaphor by far; such floods of tears had the Psalmist wept that a leathern bottle would scarce hold them" (Treasury of David, III, 39). "God treasures His servants' tears as if they were water or wine." Bernard says, "The tears of penitents are the wine of angels" (Dummelow's Comm., 351).

George B. Eager


See next article.

779. askos -- a leather bottle, wineskin
... a leather bottle, wineskin. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: askos
Phonetic Spelling: (as-kos') Short Definition: a wine-skin Definition: a wine ...
// - 6k

211. alabastron -- a box of alabaster
... Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: alabastron Phonetic Spelling:
(al-ab'-as-tron) Short Definition: an alabaster phial or bottle Definition: a phial ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
4997. nod -- a skin bottle, skin
... 4996, 4997. nod or nod or nodah. 4998 . a skin bottle, skin. Transliteration:
nod or nod or nodah Phonetic Spelling: (node) Short Definition: bottle. ...
/hebrew/4997.htm - 6k

5035. nebel -- a skin bottle, skin, jar, pitcher
... a skin bottle, skin, jar, pitcher. Transliteration: nebel Phonetic Spelling:
(neh'-bel) Short Definition: bottle. bottle, pitcher, psaltery, vessel, viol ...
/hebrew/5035.htm - 5k

178. ob -- a bottle (made from animal skin), a necromancer
... ob. 179 . a bottle (made from animal skin), a necromancer. Transliteration: ob
Phonetic Spelling: (obe) Short Definition: mediums. ... bottle, familiar spirit. ...
/hebrew/178.htm - 6k

5035a. nebel -- a skin bottle, skin, jar, pitcher
... 5035, 5035a. nebel. 5035b . a skin bottle, skin, jar, pitcher. Transliteration:
nebel Short Definition: jug. Word Origin of uncertain ...
/hebrew/5035a.htm - 5k

2573. chemeth -- a water skin
... bottle. From the same as chowmah; a skin bottle (as tied up) -- bottle. see HEBREW
chowmah. 2572, 2573. chemeth. 2574 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/2573.htm - 6k

1228. baqbuq -- a flask
... Word Origin from baqaq Definition a flask NASB Word Usage jar (3). bottle, cruse.
From baqaq; a bottle (from the gurgling in emptying) -- bottle, cruse. ...
/hebrew/1228.htm - 6k


A Bottle in the Smoke
... A Bottle in the Smoke. A Sermon (No.71). ... "For I am become like a bottle in
the smoke; yet do I not forget they statutes.""Psalm 119:83. ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 2 1856/a bottle in the smoke.htm

Other New Testament Names for "Being Filled with the Spirit. "
... In Genesis 21:14 we read that Abraham gave Hagar "a bottle of water" and
sent her away. As she wandered in the wilderness "the water ...
/.../macneil/the spirit-filled life/chapter viii other new testament.htm

What Old Bill could not Do
... After talking a while, one pulled a bottle from his pocket, saying, "Here, Bill,
take a bit to brace you up." "No, Jack," he answered, "I'm going to quit the ...
// talks/talk eighteen what old bill.htm

Acts of Saint Philip the Apostle when He Went to Upper Hellas.
... you ought to throw away from you the disposition of the old man; as my Lord said,
It is impossible to put new wine into old bottles, since the bottle is burst ...
/...// acts of philip/acts of saint philip the.htm

Popular Science, Like that of Mr. ...
... Mr. Blatchford, with colossal simplicity, explained to millions of clerks and
workingmen that the mother is like a bottle of blue beads and the father is like ...
/.../chesterton/whats wrong with the world/chapter 29 popular science like.htm

Motives to Holy Mourning
... And sure, God delights much in tears, else he would not keep a bottle for them
(Psalm 56:8). One calls tears a fat sacrifice', which under the law was most ...
/.../the beatitudes an exposition of matthew 51-12/8 motives to holy mourning.htm

The Story of Hagar and Ishmael
... He gave them some food for the journey, and a bottle of water to drink by the way.
The bottles in that country are not like ours, made of glass. ...
/.../marshall/the wonder book of bible stories/the story of hagar and.htm

The Prophet Nehemiah
... You may take a bottle and cork it up tight, and put it under Niagara, and not
a drop of that mighty volume of water will get into the bottle. ...
// of the bible/iv the prophet nehemiah.htm

The Card Parties
... The lucky fellow alone was given a drink while those who had lost were
given only a smell of the bottle. One time when John had ...
/.../byrum/how john became a man/chapter v the card parties.htm

Where to Find Fruit
... Ishmael had his bottle of water, and went away into the wilderness; but it is written,
that Isaac abode by the well: how happy is the soul which bath learned ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 10 1864/where to find fruit.htm

Bottle (28 Occurrences)
... A bottle blackened or shrivelled by smoke is referred to in Psalm 119:83 as an image
to which the psalmist likens himself. Noah Webster's Dictionary. ...
/b/bottle.htm - 23k

Jug (11 Occurrences)
... 1 Samuel 1:24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls,
and one ephah of meal, and a bottle of wine, and brought him to Yahweh's ...
/j/jug.htm - 10k

Lad (66 Occurrences)
... Genesis 21:14 And Abraham riseth early in the morning, and taketh bread, and a bottle
of water, and giveth unto Hagar (placing 'it' on her shoulder), also the ...
/l/lad.htm - 27k

Gourd (4 Occurrences)
... rind; a fleshy, three-celled, many-seeded fruit, as the melon, pumpkin, cucumber,
etc., of the order Cucurbitaceae; and especially the bottle gourd (Lagenaria ...
/g/gourd.htm - 12k

Familiar (35 Occurrences)
... 33:6; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Isaiah 8:19; 29:4). Such a person was called by the
Hebrews an 'ob, which properly means a leathern bottle; for sorcerers were ...
/f/familiar.htm - 22k

Flask (15 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) A small bottle-shaped vessel for holding
fluids; as, a flask of oil or wine. 2. (n.) A narrow-necked ...
/f/flask.htm - 11k

Cruse (11 Occurrences)
... In 1 Kings 14:3 the word there so rendered means properly a bottle, as in Jeremiah
19:1, 10, or pitcher. ... 2. (n.) A bottle for holding water, oil, honey, etc. ...
/c/cruse.htm - 12k

Tears (58 Occurrences)
... in the passage as he pleads that God should record his wanderings (Hebrew, nodh)
and that his tears should be put into God's no'-dh (receptacle or bottle). ...
/t/tears.htm - 27k

Perfume (202 Occurrences)
... Matthew 26:7 There came to him a woman having a bottle of perfume of great price,
and she put the perfume on his head when he was seated at table. ...
/p/perfume.htm - 38k

Glass (12 Occurrences)
... vases, etc. A glass bottle with the name of Sargon on it was found among
the ruins of the north-west palace of Nimroud. The Hebrew ...
/g/glass.htm - 21k

Bible Concordance
Bottle (28 Occurrences)

Matthew 26:7 There came to him a woman having a bottle of perfume of great price, and she put the perfume on his head when he was seated at table.

Luke 7:37 And there was a woman in the town who was a sinner; and when she had news that he was a guest in the Pharisee's house, she took a bottle of perfume,

Genesis 21:14 Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder; and gave her the child, and sent her away. She departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. Exodus

Genesis 21:15 The water in the bottle was spent, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

Genesis 21:19 God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, filled the bottle with water, and gave the boy drink.

Judges 4:19 He said to her, "Please give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty." She opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.

1 Samuel 1:24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, and one ephah of meal, and a bottle of wine, and brought him to Yahweh's house in Shiloh. The child was young.

1 Samuel 10:1 Then Samuel took the bottle of oil, and put the oil on his head and gave him a kiss and said, Is not the Lord with the holy oil making you ruler over Israel, his people? and you will have authority over the people of the Lord, and you will make them safe from the hands of their attackers round about them, and this will be the sign for you:

1 Samuel 10:3 "Then you shall go on forward from there, and you shall come to the oak of Tabor; and three men shall meet you there going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three young goats, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine:

1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the bottle of oil, and put the oil on him there among his brothers: and from that day the spirit of the Lord came on David with power. So Samuel went back to Ramah.

1 Samuel 16:20 Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by David his son to Saul.

2 Samuel 16:1 When David was a little past the top of the ascent, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, and one hundred clusters of raisins, and one hundred summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.

1 Kings 14:3 and thou hast taken in thy hand ten loaves, and crumbs, and a bottle of honey, and hast gone in unto him; he doth declare to thee what becometh of the youth.'

1 Kings 17:12 Then she said, By the life of the Lord your God, I have nothing but a little meal in my store, and a drop of oil in the bottle; and now I am getting two sticks together so that I may go in and make it ready for me and my son, so that we may have a meal before our death.

1 Kings 17:14 For this is the word of the Lord, the God of Israel: The store of meal will not come to an end, and the bottle will never be without oil, till the day when the Lord sends rain on the earth.

1 Kings 17:16 The store of meal did not come to an end, and the bottle was never without oil, as the Lord had said by the mouth of Elijah.

1 Kings 19:6 And looking up, he saw by his head a cake cooked on the stones and a bottle of water. So he took food and drink and went to sleep again.

2 Kings 9:1 And Elisha the prophet sent for one of the sons of the prophets, and said to him, Make yourself ready for a journey, and take this bottle of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead.

2 Kings 9:3 Then take the bottle and put the oil on his head, and say, The Lord says, I have put the holy oil on you to make you king over Israel. Then, opening the door, go in flight, without waiting.

Psalms 33:7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap. He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
(See RSV)

Psalms 56:8 You number my wanderings. You put my tears into your bottle. Aren't they in your book?

Psalms 119:83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

Isaiah 30:14 And He hath broken it As the breaking of the potters' bottle, Beaten down -- He doth not spare, Nor is there found, in its beating down, A potsherd to take fire from the burning, And to draw out waters from a ditch.

Jeremiah 13:12 Therefore you shall speak to them this word: Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall tell you, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?

Jeremiah 19:1 Thus said Yahweh, Go, and buy a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the elders of the people, and of the elders of the priests;

Jeremiah 19:10 Then you shall break the bottle in the sight of the men who go with you,

Jeremiah 19:11 And say to them, This is what the Lord of armies has said: Even so will this people and this town be broken by me, as a potter's bottle is broken and may not be put together again: and the bodies of the dead will be put in the earth in Topheth, till there is no more room.

Habakkuk 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!



Bottle used As a Lachrymatory (A Receptacle for Tears)

Bottle: General Scriptures Concerning

Bottle: Made of Animal Skins

Bottle: Made of Clay

Lachrymatory (Tear Bottle): A Bottle for Containing Tear Drops

Related Terms

Jug (11 Occurrences)

Lad (66 Occurrences)

Gourd (4 Occurrences)

Familiar (35 Occurrences)

Flask (15 Occurrences)

Cruse (11 Occurrences)

Tears (58 Occurrences)

Perfume (202 Occurrences)

Glass (12 Occurrences)

Jar (45 Occurrences)

Loaded (21 Occurrences)

Wine-skins (7 Occurrences)

Wineskins (7 Occurrences)

Wineskin (3 Occurrences)

Flagon (4 Occurrences)

Potter's (16 Occurrences)

Bakbuk (2 Occurrences)

Openeth (48 Occurrences)

Boy (94 Occurrences)

Store (134 Occurrences)

Quite (55 Occurrences)

Loaves (54 Occurrences)

Youth (169 Occurrences)

Jesse (45 Occurrences)

Causeth (209 Occurrences)

Tear (97 Occurrences)

Potter (14 Occurrences)

Vessel (118 Occurrences)

Vial (12 Occurrences)

Kit (3 Occurrences)

Kids (12 Occurrences)

Goats (134 Occurrences)

Numberest (3 Occurrences)

Laden (14 Occurrences)

Lament (44 Occurrences)

Guest (24 Occurrences)

Weaned (9 Occurrences)

Wandered (29 Occurrences)

Inside (185 Occurrences)

Inkhorn (4 Occurrences)

Figs (27 Occurrences)

Filleth (16 Occurrences)

Flies (16 Occurrences)

Tossings (2 Occurrences)

Three-year-old (1 Occurrence)

Thirsty (38 Occurrences)

Tellest (2 Occurrences)

Riseth (165 Occurrences)

Rinse (2 Occurrences)

Raisins (9 Occurrences)

Earthen (19 Occurrences)

Drops (27 Occurrences)

Ditch (9 Occurrences)

Mephib'osheth (13 Occurrences)

Music (143 Occurrences)

Potsherd (6 Occurrences)

Placeth (28 Occurrences)

Puttest (18 Occurrences)

Price (181 Occurrences)

Placing (44 Occurrences)

Bunches (7 Occurrences)


Bottled-up (1 Occurrence)

Beer-sheba (33 Occurrences)

Box (13 Occurrences)

Bushes (7 Occurrences)

Crumbs (8 Occurrences)

Clusters (12 Occurrences)

Countest (3 Occurrences)

Consumed (213 Occurrences)

Ancients (17 Occurrences)

Attackers (41 Occurrences)

Accompany (19 Occurrences)

Summer (28 Occurrences)

Shoulders (38 Occurrences)

Seated (252 Occurrences)

Senior (3 Occurrences)

Shrubs (4 Occurrences)

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