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7 02 2007

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Okay, I can think of sources for each one of the categories in the second paragraph bar one: “use of drugs and alcohol”. Disregarding for the moment the theories of John Allegro, can anyone think of an example of drug and alcohol abuse in Tanakh?

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6 responses

8 02 2007
Duane

Noah’s drunkenness (Gen 5:20-27) provides one example of alcohol abuse. Isa 28:2 tells of the drunkenness of priests and prophets. There are several other examples.

8 02 2007
Conrad

Noah was the obvious one. It’s funny though, when I read this I was sure I could think of lots of instances, but they all turned out to be drink free, eg. Tamar seducing Judah, and the death of Eglon in Judges. It’s more difficult than I thought. (There must be some drinking in Daniel…!)

8 02 2007
Simon Holloway

Ooh, nice one, Duane! I forgot about Noah. The Isaiah quote is excellent too – in my Tanakh that’s Isaiah 28:1. I suppose that Lot is another good example, especially seeing as he drank again the following night despite the consequences of the first (although Richard Dawkins rather humorously questions his state of inebriation, given that he was capable of impregnating his daughters).

As for Daniel, hmm. Does the fact that the author might have been on something count? Actually there is lots of drinking in Daniel (and in Esther, within the same context of royal feasting) and King Belshazzar is said to have made his proclamation concerning the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone, under the influence of wine (5:2).

Something else that also suddenly comes to mind is that whole business with the mandrakes (the דודאים) in Genesis 30. Not sure if I’m getting my psychotropic plants confused, but is the root of the mandrake not a hallucinogen?

8 02 2007
Conrad H. Roth

Oh, LOT! That’s what I was thinking of, not Tamar. I knew there was some inebriated daughter-humping somewhere in there.

9 02 2007
Robert Mileham

Don’t the Ten Commandments tell you how to treat your slaves? (On the presumption that is, that you keep slaves!)

9 02 2007
Gawain

When David danced around the temple filled with the joy of god, was he sober?

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