Judaic Viewpoint

"Drunken Noah," after Genesis 9.12
Holkham Bible
circa A.D. 1325

Roman commentators were by no means the only ones to recognize the perils of excessive wine consumption. Jewish lawmakers faulted its consequences just assertively, particularly among women.

"One cup is becoming to a woman, two are degrading [and if she has] three she solicits publicly [but if she has four], she solicits even as an ass in the street and cares not." (Talmud of Babylonia: Ketubot V)

Within the Jewish faith, however, the notion of drunkenness prodded at far more deep-rooted emotions. Adam's temptation by Eve had been the first fall of man. But no sooner had God rid the earth of all the sons of Adam except the family of Noah than this man too fell to the first temptation he faced—his own wine.

"And the sons of Noah that went forth from the ark were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, and of these was the whole earth overspread. And Noah began to be a husbandman, and planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine, and was drunken." (Genesis IX.20)

Wine also was the root of the incestuous downfall of the daughters of Lot (see Genesis XIX.31).