Beer / Wine

“…beverages in antiquity most often contained many ingredients: products solely composed of barley, grapes, or dates were rare”

Compounding the difficulty in identifying שֵׁכָר is the fact that beverages in antiquity most often contained many ingredients: products solely composed of barley, grapes, or dates were rare. Dates were among the most frequent additives to beer, though other fruits (especially grapes, sycamore, and figs), honey (fruit and bee), and spices were also common. Similarly, wine was often flavored with a variety of items, including dates, pomegranates, figs, terebinth, honey (fruit and bee), egg whites, and crushed barley. There are also ample cases in which beer and wine products were mixed together and then consumed.

Michael M. Homan, “Beer, Barley, and שֵׁכָר in the Hebrew Bible” in Le David Maskil: A Birthday Tribute for David Noel Freedman, eds. Richard Elliott Friedman and William H.C. Propp (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2004), 31-32.