450. Shriveled Bottles

Psalm 119:83
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Bottles made of skin (see note on Matt. 9:1717Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. (Matthew 9:17)) are often hung up in Oriental tents. Here the smoke from the tent fire can freely act upon them, since there is no chimney to carry it away. Skins of wine were sometimes hung in the smoke to give the wine a peculiar flavor. When skin bottles are long exposed to smoke, they become hard, shriveled, and unsightly. This is the foundation of the striking figure of the text.