What is a…
winepress in the Bible

also known as: wine press or wine-press

Hebrew: יֶקֶב —transliteration: yeqeb —meaning: wine vat or winepress —In various forms, this Hebrew word occurs 16 times in Scripture ( Numbers 18:27, 18:30; Deuteronomy 15:14; 16:13; Judges 7:25; 2 Kings 6:27; Job 24:11; Proverbs 3:10; Isaiah 5:2; 16:10; Jeremiah 48:33; Hosea 9:2; Joel 2:24; 3:13; Haggai 2:16; Zechariah 14:10).

Greek: ληνός —transliteration: lenos —meaning: a trough, vat, winepress, winefat

The winepresses of ancient Israel consisted of two vats or receptacles…

  1. a trough (Hebrew: gath, Greek: lenos) into which the grapes were thrown and where they were trodden upon and bruised (Isaiah 16:10; Lam. 1:15; Joel 3:13)

  2. a trough or vat (Hebrew: yekebh, Greek: hupolénion) into which the juice ran from the trough above, the gath (Neh. 13:15; Job 24:11; Isaiah 63:2, 3; Hag. 2:16; Joel 2:24)

Archeologists find ancient winepresses in almost every part of the Land of Israel. Between Hebron and Beersheba they are found on all the hill slopes; they abound in southern Judea; they are no less common in the many valleys of Carmel; and they are numerous in Galilee.”

Winepress as a symbol

The “treading of the wine-press” is emblematic of divine judgment, as in the coming Great Tribulaton.

So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trampled outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of 1,600 stadia. —Rev. 14:19-20 NASB

Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? —Isaiah 63:2 NASB

The Lord has rejected all my strong men
In my midst;
He has called an appointed time against me
To crush my young men;
The Lord has trodden as in a wine press
The virgin daughter of Judah. —Lam. 1:15 NASB

More information

Article Version: January 16, 2023