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Does Scripture prohibit alcoholic beverages?

The bottom line is the Bible only tells us not to be DRUNK on wine; it never says we can't drink it. Mention of wine is throughout, and here are but a few examples (in random order) - which all lead to the idea that YHWH cautions us against getting drunk and thus temporarily forgetting His Word. Nowhere does it say that we can't drink wine or "strong drink." As a matter of fact, this scripture proves otherwise:

1 Timothy 5:23 "And from now don't (only) drink water, but drink a little wine on account of your stomach and your continuing infirmities."

Those who have taken Nazirite vows are told they can't touch anything fermented until the end of their vow, but this does not extend to everyone, just those who have taken a vow:

Leviticus 10: 9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations... (This was for the holy Tribe of Levi only - those who worked ONLY on provided God's Word and taking care of the Temple.)

Numbers 6: 3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. (Refers to those who have taken a Nazirite vow!)

1 Samuel 1:14-15: And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.

Proverbs 3: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (Doesn't prohibit wine!)

Proverbs 9:1-5: Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. (Doesn't prohibit wine!)

Proverbs 20: 1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Proverbs 21: 17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

Proverbs 23:20-1: Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. (The above three scriptures are talking of those who drink too much!)

Proverbs 31:4-6: It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. (Here we see a warning of what might happen whenever we drink too much alcohol!)

From the Aramaic English New Testament:

John 2: 1. And on the third day there was a wedding feast in Qatneh, a city of Galeela. And the mother of Y'shua was there. 2. And Y'shua and his disciples were also invited to the wedding feast. 3. And the wine was running out and his mother said to Y'shua, "They have no wine!" 4. Y'shua said to her, What to you and to me, woman? My hour has not yet arrived. 5. His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he says to you." 6. And there were there six jars of stone that were set for the purification of the Yehudeans, which held two or three measures.

7. Y'shua said to them, Fill the jars with water. And they filled them up to the very top. 8. He said to them, Now draw some and take it to the master of ceremonies. 9. And they took it, and when that master of ceremonies tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it was from (but the servants did know because they had filled the water) the master of ceremonies called to the groom. 10. And he said to him, "Everyone first brings good wine, and when they have drunk, then (they drink) that which is inferior, but you have kept the good wine until now." 11. This was the first sign that Y'shua did in Qatneh of Galeela. And he made known his glory and his disciples believed in him.

Let's never forget that Y'sua turned WATER into WINE; it was a celebration! So...Consumption of wine or "strong drink" is not actually condemned; we are simply told to not be DRUNK on it.

The only thing one can draw about wine and alcohol from scripture is that (1) it is not forbidden, and (2) should be consumed in moderation and the drinker should not get drunk.

"Malki-Tzedek king of Shalem brought out bread and wine" (Genesis 14:18a) when Avram had returned from rescuing Lot and those captive by K'dorla'omer. Malki-Tzedek was cohen of El 'Elyon [God Most High] (Genesis 14:18b). If the cohen can bring out wine, then it is not forbidden.

Psalm 104:13-15 says: 13 You water the mountains from your palace; the earth is satisfied with how you provide 14 You grow grass for the cattle; and for people you grow the plants they need to bring forth bread from the earth, 15 wine that gladdens the human heart, oil to make faces glow, and food to sustain their strength. Again, nothing about it being a sin or forbidden.

In Deuteronomy 14 we read: 22 "Every year you must take one tenth of everything your seed produces in the field, 23 and eat it in the presence of ADONAI your God. In the place where he chooses to have his name live you will eat the tenth of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your cattle and sheep, so that you will learn to fear ADONAI your God always. 24 But if the distance is too great for you, so that you are unable to transport it, because the place where ADONAI chooses to put his name is too far away from you; then, when ADONAI your God prospers you, 25 you are to convert it into money, take the money with you, go to the place which ADONAI your God will choose, 26 and exchange the money for anything you want - cattle, sheep, wine, other intoxicating liquor, or anything you please - and you are to eat there in the presence of ADONAI your God, and enjoy yourselves, you and your household."

Wine and/or liquor is used in the drink offering: "Its drink offering is to be one-quarter hin for one lamb; in the Holy Place you are to pour out a drink offering of intoxicating liquor to ADONAI." (Numbers 28:7).

Those who keep YHWH's mitzvoth are blessed: "He will love you, bless you and increase your numbers; he will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground - your grain, wine, olive oil and the young of your cattle and sheep - in the land he swore to your ancestors that he would give you." (Deuteronomy 7:13)

Again, those who listen carefully to YHWH and obey are blessed in abundance: 13 "So if you listen carefully to my mitzvot which I am giving you today, to love ADONAI your God and serve him with all your heart and all your being; 14 then, [says ADONAI,] 'I will give your land its rain at the right seasons, including the early fall rains and the late spring rains; so that you can gather in your wheat, new wine and olive oil; (Deuteronomy 11:13-14).

Wine/Alcohol was a regular part of the drink offering twice a day, and for the Sabbath offering - Numbers 28:7-10.

The Messiah clearly drank alcohol, Matthew 11:18. For Yochanan came not eating or drinking, and they said that there was a demon in him. 19. The Son of man came eating and drinking and they said behold a gluttonous man, and he drinks and is a friend of tax collectors and of sinners, but wisdom is justified by its works.

At the wedding, John 2, the wine had run out and Yeshua made more! It was the "best wine" - John 2:10. It was bread and wine that became a part of the ceremony to remember Yeshua and the covenant - Luke 22. At the same time, there are ample scriptures warning people to not drink wine in excess or to get drunk: Drunkenness is listed as one of the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21.

Yeshua warned his followers not to be drunk: "But beware in yourselves that your hearts never become heavy by extravagance and by drunkenness and by distress of the world, and that day should come suddenly upon you." (Luke 21:34).

We are warned not to be a drunkard or a glutton: Proverbs 23:20-21, Isaiah 28:1-8. When used unwisely, wine is a mocker and deceiver: Proverbs 20:1. And again in Proverbs 23:29-30 we are warned not to drink too much and spend a great deal of time drinking.

There are MANY other scriptures which warn of the dangers of drinking to excess. Thus the conclusion is that YHWH provided wine for us, we are blessed with it when we have pleased YHWH and obeyed Him, and that we can consume it. At the same time, we are to recognize its dangers and not over consume or get drunk.