2017 04 23 Gill Khoury The Parables of the Cloth and the New Wineskin
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Last UpdatedAugust 30, 2017

The Parables of the Cloth and the New Wineskin Gill Khoury Matthew 9:16-17

What do the cloth and old garment represent?

Jesus' second illustration derives from a well-known fact: No one with a reasonable amount of experience in mending clothes would waste a piece of new cloth to repair an old garment. If new cloth is used to patch an old garment, and the patch becomes wet, it shrinks as it dries and puts strain on the old garment. The tear becomes worse than it was.

What do the new wine and old wineskins represent?

Jesus' third illustration derives from wine bottling. In those times, "bottles" were made of animal skins—sheep, goat, or ox—and, after being properly prepared, filled with wine or water. These skins came in various sizes—an ox-skin held as much as 60 gallons. Horses and camels could carry glass or ceramic bottles or wooden kegs only with difficulty, but two skins tied together and laid across a beast's back could be carried a long distance. After a time, an animal skin became brittle and ruptured easily. New wine put into an old skin would ferment, expand, and burst them open. New skins, however, were strong enough to stretch without bursting.



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