The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 9:17
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles…
the former parable, our Lord exposes the folly of the Scribes and
Pharisees, in their zealous attachment to the traditions of the
elders; so in this, he gives a reason why he did not call these
persons by his Gospel, who were settled upon the old principle of
self-righteousness, but sinners, whom he renews by his Spirit and
grace: for by "old bottles" are meant, the Scribes and Pharisees.
The allusion is to bottles, made of the skins of beasts, which in
time decayed, waxed old, and became unfit for use: such were the
wine bottles, old and rent, the Gibeonites brought with them, and
showed to Joshua, (Joshua 9:4,13) and to which the Psalmist compares
himself, (Psalms 119:83) and which the Misnic doctors call (twtmx) , and
their commentators F15 say, were (rwe lv tdwn) , "bottles made of
skin", or "leather", and so might be rent. Of the use of new and old
bottles, take the following hint out of the "Talmud" F16.
``The bottles of the Gentiles, if scraped and (Myvdx) , "new",
they are free for use; if (Mynvy) , "old", they are
Now the Scribes and Pharisees may be signified by these old bottles,
being natural men, no other than as they were born; having never
been regenerated, and renewed in the spirit of their minds; in whom
the old man was predominant, were mere formal professors of
religion, and self-righteous persons: and by "new wine" is meant,
either the love and favour of God compared to wine, that is neat and
clean, because free from hypocrisy in him, or motives in the
creature; to generous wine, for its cheering and reviving effects;
and to new wine, not but that it is very ancient, even from
everlasting, but, because newly manifested, in the effectual calling
and conversion: or the Gospel is signified by wine, for its purity,
good flavour, and pleasant taste; for its generous effects, in
reviving drooping spirits, refreshing weary persons, and comforting
distressed minds; and by new wine, not that it is a new doctrine, an
upstart notion, for it is an ancient Gospel, but because newly and
more clearly revealed by Christ and his apostles: or the blessings
of grace which spring from the love of God, and are manifested in
the Gospel, such as pardon of sin, reconciliation and atonement,
justifying and sanctifying grace, spiritual joy and peace, and the
like. Now as the new wine is not put into old bottles,
else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles
so the love of God, the Gospel of the grace of God, and the
blessings of it, are not received and retained, nor can they be, by
natural men, by self-righteous persons: they do not suit and agree
with their old carnal hearts and principles; they slight and reject
them, and let them run out, which proves their greater condemnation.
But they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
"new bottles" are meant sinners, whom Christ calls by his grace, and
the Spirit regenerates and renews, who are made new creatures in
Christ; who have new hearts, and new spirits, and new principles of
light, life, love, faith, and holiness, implanted in them; who have
new eyes to see with, new ears to hear with, new feet to walk with,
to and in Christ, new hands to work and handle with, and who live a
new life and conversation. Now to such as these, the love of God is
manifested and shed abroad in their hearts; by these, the Gospel of
Christ is truly received and valued, and these enjoy the spiritual
blessings of it; and so both the doctrine of the Gospel, and the
grace of God, are preserved entire, and these persons saved in the
day of Christ.
F15 Jarchi & Bartenora in Misn. Celim, c. 24. sect. 11. & Negaim, c.
11. sect. 11.
F16 T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 33. 1.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 9:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=009&verse=017>. 1999.