25:1 O LORD, you are my God!
I will exalt you in praise, I will extol your fame.
For you have done extraordinary things,
and executed plans made long ago exactly as you decreed.
25:2 Indeed, you have made the city into a heap of rubble,
the fortified town into a heap of ruins;
the fortress of foreigners is no longer a city,
it will never be rebuilt.
25:3 So a strong nation will extol you;
the towns of powerful nations will fear you.
25:4 For you are a protector for the poor,
a protector for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm,
a shade from the heat.
Though the breath of tyrants is like a winter rainstorm,
25:5 like heat in a dry land,
you humble the boasting foreigners.
Just as the shadow of a cloud causes the heat to subside,
so he causes the song of tyrants to cease.
25:6 The LORD who commands armies will hold a banquet for all the nations on this mountain.
At this banquet there will be plenty of meat and aged wine—
tender meat and choicest wine.
Aged wine…choicest wine –
AV ‘wine on the lees’
NIV ‘aged wine…finest of wines’
NRSV ‘well-aged wines…well-aged wines strained clear’
Some advocates of total abstinence claim that the expression here describes a wine that has been preserved with a view to avoiding fermentation. The argument is then extended to apply to the wine used at the Last Supper, which may (it is suggested) have been preserved by this or another method.
Far from being unfermented (and therefore non-alcoholic), however, the wine described in this verse would have been stronger that usual:
‘This refers to wines that were kept long in kegs and had the dregs mixed with them, and were therefore old and strong. They were refined or filtered by being strained through a cloth sieve, thus separating the liquor from the lees. Most of their old wine was turbid and required straining before it was fit to drink. The NIV renders this passage as: “a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines.” This rendering presents the thought that the wine was not simply old but deliberately aged until it reached its peak of flavor.’ (New Manners and Customs of the Bible)