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Denison Journal of Religion

Abstract

While the biblical character of Noah is almost exclusively known for his role in the flood narrative, there is a passage in Genesis 9 that indicates he is both the inventor and an enjoyer of wine. This article questions the implications for men and women today of such a revered biblical character imbibing regularly and, there is evidence of, to an excess. Ross examines aspects of the story such as Noah's heritage which can link him either to Cain and the city, or to Seth and agriculture. She also looks at the symbolism of the vine, and its frequent usage to trace families and God's blessing. Ross points out that the symbolic importance of wine does not end with the Hebrew Testament. In fact, Jesus's use of wine at the last supper is perhaps one of its most iconic uses. Ross concludes that because of alcohol's association with degeneracy in today's world, its properties as a gift of god are often overlooked. The author reminds readers that wine, in Genesis, is indicated to be a gift representing god's forgiveness and the renewal of the earth. Ross argues that while alcohol can become an idol when used too frequently and to excess, it can also bring an otherworldliness to humanity's experience on earth and can even offer a taste of the ecstasy of heaven. Noah's role as both the saved and the sinful often equates him with Adam. Ross concludes that he indeed represents the "Second Adam" who initiates a new phase in human history through the invention of wine"it indicates a new freedom and a new responsibility for humanity.

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