PedanticDan PedanticDan

July 25, 2007

Levitical Priests

Filed under: Booze In The Bible — PedanticDan @ 9:25 am

There seems to be some remaining confusion about what exactly the Levitical priests were forbidden to do, thanks to some prohibitionists’ poor handling of Leviticus 10:8-9. The passage is referenced in an attempt to show that God forbade all alcohol consumption by the priests.

Let’s look at the passage:

And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, 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

It’s quite obvious from this passage that the priests were in fact not forbidden all alcohol consumption. They were only prohibited from drinking alcoholic beverages while serving in “the tabernacle of the congregation” (the tent of meeting), which was an enclosed area inside the tabernacle. This is significant. The prohibition did not apply even in the rest of the tabernacle.

It is unmistakable that the prohibition only applied in a specific place and time. There was never a general prohibition for priests.

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