It seems a little strange that young children, crying out to their mothers, would ask for wine, rather than water.
3:6 -במחשכים הושיבני כמתי עולם
This phrasing – “they placed me in darkness” - is not just metaphoric, but rather quite literal. There is a pit in the city of
3:30 - יתן למכהו לחי ישבע בחרפה
This is not to be confused with the Christian doctrine of “turn the other cheek”. That doctrine, so far as I can tell, was intended for all times and all seasons, whereas this was only meant for certain dark periods in
For a completely novel interpretation, see the Nachal Eshkol. He understands the verse to be giving advice concerning how to deal with those who would attack us. The best way, according to this understanding of the verse, is to deliberately allow yourself to be hit. This will then turn the desire of the attacker into a sense of shame, and he will thus desist. Whether this philosophy is correct or not, in light of the events of the 20th century, is open for question. In general, of course, the correct Jewish response to gentile aggression has always been debated, just as any country argues internally over the best response to foreign aggression. As others have pointed out, the stories of Chanukah and Purim indicate that sometimes military fighting is called for, sometimes prayer, and sometimes diplomacy. Of course, our forefather Jacob combined all three when preparing to confront Esau.