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What does the Bible say about drinking wine or alcohol?


Strongs Definitions

wine:3196   יין yayin yah'-yin From an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication: - banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].

wine:3631   oy'-nos a prim. word; (or perh. of Heb, or. [3196]; " wine" (lit. or fig.); - wine.

wine:8492   תּירשׁ תּירושׁ tı̂yrôsh tı̂yrôsh tee-roshe', tee-roshe'  From H3423 in the sense of expulsion; must or fresh grape juice (as just squeezed out); by implication (rarely) fermented wine: - (new, sweet) wine.

strong drink,7941 שׁכר shêkâr shay-kawr' From H7937; an intoxicant, that is, intensely alcoholic liquor: - strong drink, + drunkard, strong wine.

liquor 4952 משׁרה mishrâh mish-raw' From H8281 in the sense of loosening; maceration, that is, steeped juice: - liquor.

Scripture Says;

Genesis 14:18 " And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine:3196 and he was the priest of the most high God."

Genesis 27:28 " Therefore God give thee of the dew, of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:8492"

Genesis 27:25 " And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison,  that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine,3196 and he drank"

Wine is viewed as a divine blessing.

Exodus 29:40 "And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of a hin of wine3196 for a drink offering."

Leviticus 23:13 "And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savor: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine,3196 the fourth part of a hin."

Deuteronomy 14:26 "And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine,3196, or for strong drink,7941, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,"

Wine was a part of worship.

Deuteronomy 29:5 "And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine3196 or strong drink:7941 that ye might know that I am the LORD your God."

For those that would use the above mentioned to show the Lord did not want us to drink alcohol, you would then have to accept that we are not to eat bread as well.
Note below that the Lord only forbid out right the use of  liquor when taking a vow, and during the days of his separation only that of a Nazarite vow.

Numbers 6:1-20 "And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine 3196 and strong drink,7941 and shall drink no vinegar2558 of wine,3196 or vinegar2558 of strong drink,7941 neither shall he drink any liquor4952 of grapes,6025 nor eat moist grapes,6025 or dried. All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine3196 tree, from the kernels, even to the husk.2085 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.3196"

Numbers 15:7 "And for a drink offering thou shalt offer the third part of a hin of wine,3196 for a sweet savor unto the LORD."

2Samuel 6:19 "And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house."

Judges 9:13 "Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and men, to hold sway over the trees?"

1Chronicles 12:40 "Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel."

1Chronicles 16:3 "And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine."

Psalms 104:15 "And wine3196 that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart."

Proverbs 31:6-7 "Give strong drink7941 unto him that is ready to perish, and wine3196 unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more."

The Book of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus Chapter31:30-42 "Challenge not them that love wine: for wine hath destroyed very many. Fire trieth hard iron: so wine drunk to excess shall rebuke the hearts of the proud. Wine taken with sobriety is equal lire to men: if thou drink it moderately, thou shalt be sober. What is his life, who is diminished with wine? What taketh away life? death. Wine was created from the beginning to make men joyful, and not to make them drunk. Wine drunken with moderation is the joy of the soul and the heart. Sober drinking is health to soul and body. Wine drunken with excess raiseth quarrels; and wrath, and many ruins. Wine drunken with excess is bitterness of the soul. The heat of drunkenness is the stumblingblock of the fool, lessening strength and causing wounds. Rebuke not thy neighbour in a banquet of wine: and despise him not in hip mirth."

It was encouraged for the poor and those sick unto death.

Isaiah 1:22 "Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:"

The prophet Isaiah condemns those who dilute their wine.

Isaiah 24:6-11 "Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone."

The lack of wine was a sign of Lordís blessings being removed.

Ecclesiastes 9:7 "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine3196 with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works."

Ecclesiastes 10:19 "A feast is made for laughter, and wine3196 maketh merry: but money answereth all things."

Amos 9:15 "And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God."

Matthew 11:19 "The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children."

Matthew 26:26-29 "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth, of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."

John 2:1-11 "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine3631, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine3631. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine3631, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine3631; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine3631 until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."

John 4:46 "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine.3631 And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum."

Luke 7:33-34 "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!"

1Timothy 5:23 "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine3631 for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities."

As shown above, Jesus came eating and drinking, and they called him a winebibber, why? He must have been drinking wine. Wine was often served at festive occasions, in fact, Jesus' own mother asked him to make more wine at a marriage feast and he obeyed her. Wine is even commanded in the passover observance. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, who was having stomach trouble, that he should drink a little wine for his stomach's sake, moderate consumption of wine has been proven to provide health benefits.

Many churches believe and teach that biblical wine is really unfermented grape juice. According to all indications, there is no possible way for this position to appear at all feasible. Noah could not possibly have gotten drunk on grape juice 

Genesis 9:21 "And he drank of the wine,3196 and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent." 

Neither could have Lot 

Genesis 19:32-35 "Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose"

Over and over again you can find the Lord stating that  an offering made with wine,3196 of a sweet savor

Drunkenness

Though scripture does not command against drinking alcohol, it does warn us against it's misuse or drunkenness. The first recorded case of drunkenness in scripture,

Genesis 9:21 "And he [Noah] drank of the wine,3196 and was drunken;"

Cautions against the dangers of drinking too much wine.

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

Proverbs 23:21 "For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."

Proverbs 23:29-35 "Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again."

Proverbs 31:1-5 "The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. 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."

Isaiah 5:22 "Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink"

Isaiah 28:7-8 "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean."

The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Judah) 14:1-8† "And now, my children, I say unto you, be not drunk with wine; for wine turns the mind away from the truth, and inspires the passion of lust, and leads the eyes into error. For the spirit of fornication hath wine as a minister to give pleasure to the mind; for these two also take away the mind of man. For if a man drink wine to drunkenness, it disturbs the mind with filthy thoughts leading to fornication, and heats the body to carnal union; and if the occasion of the lust be present, he works the sin, and is not ashamed. Such is the inebriated man, my children; for he who is drunken reverence no man. For, lo, it made me also to err, so that I was not ashamed of the multitude in the city, in that before the eyes of all I turned aside unto Tamar, and I wrought 6 a great sin, and I uncovered the covering of my sons' shame. After I had drunk wine I reverenced not the commandment of God, and I took a woman of Canaan to wife. For much discretion needs the man who drinks wine, my children; and herein is discretion in drinking wine a man may drink so long as he preserves modesty. But if he go beyond this limit the spirit of deceit attacks his mind, and it makes the drunkard to talk filthily, and to transgress and not to be ashamed, but even to glory in his shame, and to account himself honorable."

Kings and judges are warned about drinking wine before making judgments as this may cause them to pervert or make an error.

Isaiah 5:11-12 "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands."

Ephesians 5:18 "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;"

Romans 13:13 "Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."

Based on the Bible, drinking alcohol is of itself not a sin or harmful, but of course, the Bible does condemn drunkenness. As long as we drink moderately, the Bible states it is good for us, but drunkenness or alcoholism is definitely not to be a part of a Christian's life.

 

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