The linkage of blood and wine is found throughout the Bible and crescendos in the Book of Revelation.
An early example of that relationship is noted when Jacob offered a prophecy for each of his sons just prior to his death in Egypt.
Jacob’s prophecy for Judah is well known and appears to focus on Judah’s role as an ancestor of the future Messiah.
Let’s, however, examine the verse immediately following.
“Binding his donkey (foal per KJ) to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.” Genesis 49:11 NKJV
‘Foal’ does in fact mean ‘colt’ or ‘young.’ Thus the offspring is the subject. Judah would tie the colt to the choice vine of the vineyard.
However, the Hebrew for ‘colt’ in the above verse is Ben which means a young male child. It is the same word used to describe the two ‘children’ within Rebekah, i.e. Jacob and Esau.
Consider the following:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder….” Isaiah 9:6a
‘Son’ in the above is also from the Hebrew Ben, while ‘child’ is synonymous with ‘Son.’ Isaiah further describes the Son as Prince which is a masculine noun. Several times in the referenced verse the pronoun ‘his’ is used to describe the future reign of the ‘Son.’
Now note from Genesis 49:11 that the colt (Ben) will be tied to the ‘choice vine.’
Isaiah described the nation of Israel as a vineyard planted by God.
“He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the ‘choicest vine.’ He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so He expected it to bring forth good grapes…” Isaiah 5:2a (emphasis mine)
Therefore, Judah tied the ‘colt’ to the ‘choicest vine,’ which is the same term used to describe God’s vineyard.
God also made a winepress in His vineyard. ‘Winepress’ is a vat consisting of two chambers; the upper chamber where the grapes are crushed and the lower chamber into which the juice is drained.
Much more will be said of the ‘winepress’ as we progress.
Back to our subject Scripture passage describing Judah’s offspring.
“He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.” Genesis 49:11b
‘Washed’ has several meanings including ‘trample,’ ‘tread,’ ‘to be purified.’
In Hebrew, garments and clothes are synonymous. ‘Wine’ in this verse is used interchangeably with ‘banqueting,’ while ‘blood’ means ‘slaughter’ and is also used to describe the juice of grapes.
Before we pursue more, relative to blood and wine, let’s consider another aspect of Jacob’s prophecy for his son Judah. Recall the donkey and her foal, or male offspring, which was tied to the choicest vine.
Consider the following written over 1,300 years after Jacob’s words:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9
‘Foal’ in this passage is likewise from the Hebrew ‘Ben’ meaning a young male child. It appears that the foal is a male offspring of Judah carrying the King.
Zechariah’s prophecy was perfectly fulfilled when Jesus rode into Jerusalem at the beginning of the last week of His life before the cross.
We saw previously that God prepared with great care a vineyard for Himself, which was the nation Israel.
“So He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes.” Isaiah 5:2b
God asked those of Judah and Jerusalem to respond.
“What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?” Isaiah 5:4
Then God announced what action He would take.
“I will lay it waste…” Isaiah 5:5b-6a
The meaning of the vineyard is confirmed.
“For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel…” Isaiah 5:7a
The stage has been set for ‘blood and wine.’