The Rechabites

Some prohibitionists cite Jeremiah 35:1-19 as an example of people being praised for abstaining from alcoholic beverages.

In that passage God told Jeremiah to give wine to the Rechabites, but when Jeremiah does so, the Rechabites refuse to drink. They explain that their father commanded them to drink no wine, build no houses, sow no seed, and plant no vineyard. The Rechabites obeyed their father in all things and remained nomads. Jeremiah praised the Rechabites for obeying their father, in contrast to the sons of Judah who ignored God’s commands.

So, the Rechabites were not praised for abstaining from alcohol, but for obeying their father.

As with several other passages, the prohibitionist interpretation is refuted by reading the passage.

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