Isaiah 62:8-9 tirosh grapes, not alcohol, in the holy places!

Certainly tirosh in Isaiah 62:8-9 cannot be alcohol because of the penalty for drinking any alcoholic yayin in the holy places (Lev. 10:9-11).

Isaiah 62:8-9 does NOT contain the word wine (yayin) in the original Hebrew text, despite some of the English versions today (e.g. NLT, CEV) very needlessly adding “wine” into verse 9.* Verse 8 merely says תִּירוֹשׁ tirosh (grape) which is the same word tirosh as in Isa. 65:8 where the tirosh (grape) is found in the cluster! The Wycliffe translation says “grape” for tirosh in Isa. 65:8 (and the CEV says “grape” for tirosh for Isa. 62:8).

The ASV usually translates tirosh as “new wine” (or “vintage” in Mic. 6:15). The Temperance Bible Commentary (Appendix A) renders tirosh consistently as “vine-fruit” in all 38 instances, such as Isa. 62:8 and Isa. 65:8. “And the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy vine-fruit, for which thou hast laboured” (Isa. 62:8). “As the vine-fruit is in a (single) cluster” (Isa 65:8).

Tirosh originally meant solid grapes, as noted by the Babylonian Talmud. “During the time of the Mishna, tirosh meant sweet fruits; the term included grapes but not wine.”
(Yoma 76b, Babylonian Talmud (c. 450 – 550 AD), English translation by William Davidson)

Isa. 62:8 Jehovah hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy grain to be food for thine enemies; and foreigners shall not drink thy {tirosh} new wine, for which thou hast labored:

Isa. 62:9 but they that have garnered it shall eat it, and praise Jehovah; and they that have gathered it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.

(ASV)

Lev. 10:8 Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying:

Lev. 10:9 “Do not drink {yayin} wine or {shekhar} intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations,

Lev. 10:10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean,

Lev. 10:11 and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”

(NKJV)

* P.S. If somebody today needlessly inserts the word “wine” into Isa. 62:9, then this would confuse readers today who are not aware that juice was ready to be called {yayin} wine in Isa. 16:10 even at the very time when it was squeezed from grapes.

In Isa. 62:8, the Greek Septuagint translated tirosh as oinos, just as it usually did elsewhere (e.g. Judg. 9:13; Prov. 3:10; Zech. 9:17). These verses show that:

  • Solid grapes are on the grapevine (Judg. 9:10; tirosh translated as oinos).
  • Solid grapes overflow the press (Prov. 3:10; tirosh translated as oinos).
  • Solid grapes are eaten by young girls (Zech 9:17; tirosh translated as oinos).

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