What the Bible Says about Wine/Alcohol

What the Bible Says about Wine

The Bible speaks of wine quite frequently, especially in the Old Testament. There are four primary contexts in which God’s word speaks of wine.


First, wine is called, “a blessing.”

There are many references to wine in the Bible speak of it as a blessing and of its absence as a curse. One example is Psalm 104:14-15: “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth, 15 and wine that makes glad the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengthens man’s heart.” For additional examples, please see Gen 27:28, 37; Deut 7:12-13; Deut 11:13-14; Deut 28:39, 51; Deut 32:13-14; 1 Chron 12:40; 2 Chron 31:5; Neh 5:18-19; Prov 3:9-10; Isa 25:6-9; Isa 55:1-3; Isa 62:8-9; Jer 31:10-12; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13-15; Zech 9:17.


Second, there are warnings about the use of wine.

the Bible also frequently warns against the sinful misuse of wine, such as Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” For additional examples, please see Gen 9:21; Gen 19:32-35; 1 Sam 25:36-37; 2 Sam 11:13; 1 Kings 16:9; 1 Kings 20:16; Prov 23:29-35; Isa 28:1, 7; Jer 13:13-14; Rom 13:13; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Eph 5:18. These instances speak of the dangers of drunkenness from lack of self control.


Third, Wine is used in worship.

The Bible speaks of the use of wine in worship. For example, wine was required as an accompaniment to the offerings to the LORD, such as in Leviticus 23:13, “Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin.” For additional examples, please see Gen 14:18-20; Gen 49:10-11; Ex 29:38-40; Num 18:30-32; Deut 12:17-18; Deut 14:26; Deut 16:13-14; 2 Chron 31:5; Ezra 6:9; Neh 10:35-37; Neh 13:5; Rev 19:11-13 (compare with Gen 49:10-11).

Fourth, Jesus drank wine.

the Bible makes it clear that Jesus Himself and His disciples drank wine, “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” (Matt 11:18-19). Further, it was lawful in the eyes of the Lord and of the inspired Apostle Paul for wedding attendees, disciples, local church elders and saints to drink wine (John 2:1-11; Matt 26:26-29; 1 Tim 5:23; Titus 2:3; 1 Cor 11:20-33).

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