Bible says be sober again and again

Leviticus 10:8-11

Lev 10:8 Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying:

Lev 10:9 “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations,

Lev 10:10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean,

Lev 10:11 and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”


Deuteronomy 21:18-21

Deu 21:18 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them,

Deu 21:19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city.

Deu 21:20 And they shall say to the elders of his city, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’

Deu 21:21 Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.


1 Samuel 1:14-16

1Sa 1:14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”

1Sa 1:15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.

1Sa 1:16 Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”


Proverbs 20:1

Pro 20:1 Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.


Proverbs 23:20-35

Pro 23:20 Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;

Pro 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.

Pro 23:23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

Pro 23:24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.

Pro 23:25 Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.

Pro 23:26 My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways.

Pro 23:27 For a harlot is a deep pit, And a seductress is a narrow well.

Pro 23:28 She also lies in wait as for a victim, And increases the unfaithful among men.

Pro 23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?

Pro 23:30 Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine.

Pro 23:31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly;

Pro 23:32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper.

Pro 23:33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things.

Pro 23:34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:

Pro 23:35 “They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”


Isaiah 5:11-13

Isa 5:11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them!

Isa 5:12 The harp and the strings, The tambourine and flute, And wine are in their feasts; But they do not regard the work of the LORD, Nor consider the operation of His hands.

Isa 5:13 Therefore my people have gone into captivity, Because they have no knowledge; Their honorable men are famished, And their multitude dried up with thirst.


Isaiah 22:12-14

Isa 22:12 And in that day the Lord GOD of hosts Called for weeping and for mourning, For baldness and for girding with sackcloth.

Isa 22:13 But instead, joy and gladness, Slaying oxen and killing sheep, Eating meat and drinking wine: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

Isa 22:14 Then it was revealed in my hearing by the LORD of hosts, “Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you, Even to your death,” says the Lord GOD of hosts.


See note: 1 Cor. 15:32-34

Isaiah 28:1-13

Isa 28:1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower Which is at the head of the verdant valleys, To those who are overcome with wine!

Isa 28:2 Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, Like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, Like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand.

Isa 28:3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, Will be trampled underfoot;

Isa 28:4 And the glorious beauty is a fading flower Which is at the head of the verdant valley, Like the first fruit before the summer, Which an observer sees; He eats it up while it is still in his hand.

Isa 28:5 In that day the LORD of hosts will be For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty To the remnant of His people,

Isa 28:6 For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

Isa 28:7 But they also have erred through wine, And through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, They are swallowed up by wine, They are out of the way through intoxicating drink; They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

Isa 28:8 For all tables are full of vomit and filth; No place is clean.

Isa 28:9 “Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?

Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.”

Isa 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people,

Isa 28:12 To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear.

Isa 28:13 But the word of the LORD was to them, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little,” That they might go and fall backward, and be broken And snared and caught.


Jeremiah 35:1-19

Jer 35:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying,

Jer 35:2 “Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.”

Jer 35:3 Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites,

Jer 35:4 and I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door.

Jer 35:5 Then I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine.”

Jer 35:6 But they said, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, “You shall drink no wine, you nor your sons, forever.

Jer 35:7 You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, nor have any of these; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are sojourners.’

Jer 35:8 Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters,

Jer 35:9 nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; nor do we have vineyard, field, or seed.

Jer 35:10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.

Jer 35:11 But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, “Come, let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and for fear of the army of the Syrians.’ So we dwell at Jerusalem.”

Jer 35:12 Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying,

Jer 35:13 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not receive instruction to obey My words?” says the LORD.

Jer 35:14 “The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; for to this day they drink none, and obey their father’s commandment. But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not obey Me.

Jer 35:15 I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, “Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me.

Jer 35:16 Surely the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them, but this people has not obeyed Me.”‘

Jer 35:17 “Therefore thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the doom that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them but they have not heard, and I have called to them but they have not answered.”‘

Jer 35:18 And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you,

Jer 35:19 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.’


Matthew 24:44-51

Mat 24:44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Mat 24:45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?

Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

Mat 24:47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.

Mat 24:48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, “My master is delaying his coming,’

Mat 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,

Mat 24:50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,

Mat 24:51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Luke 12:35-49

Luk 12:35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;

Luk 12:36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.

Luk 12:37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.

Luk 12:38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Luk 12:39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

Luk 12:40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Luk 12:41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”

Luk 12:42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?

Luk 12:43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

Luk 12:44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.

Luk 12:45 But if that servant says in his heart, “My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk,

Luk 12:46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

Luk 12:47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

Luk 12:48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

Luk 12:49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!


Luke 21:34

Luk 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with {kraipalē} surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.


Kraipalē: headache from drinking

Romans 13:11-14

Rom 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Rom 13:13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

Rom 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.


1 Corinthians 5:11

1 Cor 5:11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person.


1 Corinthians 6:9-11

1 Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

1 Cor 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Cor 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.


1 Cor. 15:32-34

1 Cor 15:32 If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE. [Isa. 22:12-14]

1 Cor 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

1 Cor 15:34 Become {eknēphō} sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.


1 Cor 15:32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

1 Cor 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

1 Cor 15:34 {eknēphō} Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.


1 Cor 15:34 “Sober up, as is right and stop sinning…”

(C.B. Williams Version)

This word eknēphō also used in the Septuagint: Gen. 9:24 and 1 Sam. 25:37 after men sobered up from the effects of drinking.

‘…Paul told the Corinthians to “awake to soberness and sin not.” A single word translates awake to soberness (eknepho) and this term is found only here in the New Testament. This term may be defined as “become sober” or “come to one’s senses.” Just as an intoxicated person needs to “sober up” and return to his senses, so the Corinthians needed to sober up from the false doctrine and beliefs that they had learned or were learning from others (verse 33). Brown (1:515) defined awake to soberness as having “clarity of mind” and noted how it is similar to what is “required” in 2 Tim 4:5. Since this awakening is expressed with the aorist sense, the Corinthians were to do this quickly and once for all (Vine, 2:112).’

(First Corinthians Bible Commentary – a Bible commentary on First Corinthians, Brad Price, 2010)

‘Awake eknepho (1594), primarily “to return to one’s sense from drunkenness, to become sober,” is so used in the Sept., e.g. Gen. 9:24; metaphorically, in Joel 1:5; Hab. 2:7; lit. in 2:19, of the words of an idolater to an image; in the NT in 1 Cor. 15:34, “Awake up righteously and sin not” (RV), suggesting a return to soberness of mind from the stupor consequent upon the influence of evil doctrine.”’

(W. E. Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures: Romans to Revelation)

Galatians 5:21; 6:1

Gal 5:21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God…

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.


Ephesians 5:17-18

Eph 5:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Eph 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is {asōtia} dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit


Asotia: no salvation

1 Thessalonians 5:6-9, 12

1 Thess 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be {nephō} sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.

1 Thess 5:8 But let us who are of the day be {nephō} sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

1 Thess 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…

1 Thess 5:12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you


Nephō: “to be free from the influence of intoxicants.” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)

This passage is in a general letter (not a pastoral letter); it is addressed to laymen as we are reminded in verse 12.

Paul repeatedly says be sober– repeatedly when addressing laymen (1 Thess. 5:6,8) and repeatedly in his pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus.

1 Timothy 3:1-3

1 Tim 3:1 This is a faithful saying, “If any man is seeking the office of a minister he is aspiring to a noble task.”

1 Tim 3:2 The minister should be a man of blameless character; he should be husband of but one wife; he should live a {nēphaleos} sober, self-restrained, orderly life; he should be hospitable, skilled in teaching;

1 Tim 3:3 no {paroinos} drinker or brawler; but forbearing, peaceable, and no money- lover

(Centenary Translation New Testament)

1 Tim 3:3 … not a wine-drinker… (Emphatic Diaglott New Testament)
1 Tim 3:3 … not a drinker… (J.P. Green Literal Translation 1985)
1 Tim 3:3 … not a drinker… (World English Bible)
1 Tim 3:3 … not a drinker… (William Pickering New Testament)

Nēphaleos: “of drink, unmixed with wine… sober … of persons” (Liddell and Scott Lexicon)

Paroinos: near wine.

Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus are addressed to them as pastors who would select people for church positions. When Paul said a bishop (a minister) must not be violent and no money-lover, who would say he implied permission for deacons or laymen to do so?

Paul repeatedly says be sober– repeatedly when addressing laymen (1 Thess. 5:6,8) and repeatedly in his pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus.

1 Timothy 3:8, 11

1 Tim 3:8 {me oinō pollō prosechontas} μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ προσέχοντας

[1 Tim 3:8 means: Deacons must have regard for no more wine! ]

1 Tim 3:11 Even so must their wives [women] be grave, not slanderers, {nēphaleos} sober, faithful in all things.

Sister Phoebe and brother Timothy (Rom. 16:1; 1 Thess. 3:2) doubtless both would faithfully refuse to drink.

2 Timothy 4:5

2 Tim 4:5 But you be {nepho} watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.


2 Tim 4:5 … always be sober …


2 Tim 4:5 … be sober in all things …


2 Tim 4:5 … keep your head in all situations …

(NIV 2011)

Titus 1:7

Tit 1:7 For as God’s steward a bishop must be a man of unimpeachable character. He must not be overbearing or short-tempered; he must be no {paroinos} drinker, no brawler, no money-grubber.

(New English Bible)

Tit 1:7 … not a wine drinker …

(Emphatic Diaglott New Testament)

Titus 2:2-3

Tit 2:2 That the aged men be {nēphaleos} sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.


Nēphaleos: “of drink, unmixed with wine… sober … of persons” (Liddell and Scott Lexicon)

The male presbyters (male elders) must abstain!

Tit 2:3 … {mēde oinō pollō dedoulomenas} μηδὲ οἴνῳ πολλῷ δεδουλωμένας

[Titus 2:3 means: female presbyters likewise must neither be controlled by any more wine!]

1 Peter 1:13 -17

1 Pet 1:13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and {nephō teleiōs} fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

1 Pet 1:14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

1 Pet 1:15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

1 Pet 1:16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” [Lev. 20:7]

1 Pet 1:17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

(NIV 2011)

Nephō teleiōs: Abstain perfectly.

1 Peter 4:3-5

1 Pet 4:3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

1 Pet 4:4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

1 Pet 4:5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (NKJV)

1 Peter 4:7

1 Pet 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore {nephō} sober, and watch unto prayer.


Nephō: “to be sober, drink no wine” (Liddell and Scott Lexicon)

1 Peter 5:8

1 Pet 5:8 Be {nepho} sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.


Nepho: “to abstain from wine (keep sober), that is, (figuratively) be discreet: – be sober, watch.” (Strong)

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