Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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"Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more" (Proverbs 31:6-7). I really do not understand why this verse is encouraging drowning one's sorrow and depression in strong drink.

Wine and strong drinks were often used for medicinal purposes. These verses may be referring to individuals with infirmities or other dire frailties that required consumption of such sorted, concocted remedies to relief pain. Also these inebriating drinks were mercifully given to condemned criminals, to reduce their feeling of the torture they were to endure before dying. Such was the drink offered to our Lord; but he refused to drink it. Lemuel, presumed to be King Solomon, is cautioned by his mother to preserve his sobriety so he may govern well and wisely. One of such a noble and royal position is advised to behave with exceptional dignity and wisdom and rise above the weaknesses of society. His mother was certainly aware of rulers who were stripped off of their honor by the misuse of wine, strong drinks and involvement with wicked women.
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