There are thirty verses in this chapter and many offer great wisdom, but I keep coming back to verse one:
“Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”
This is not a proverb of contrast like many others or even one of instruction. It is though one of reflection and wisdom. There is no prohibition here but there is a clear and compelling warning. Alcohol can change a person. The tendency to mock and to brawl increase.
Mock – to tease or laugh at in a scornful manner. Brawl – to fight or quarrel in a rough or noisy way.
Alcohol can ‘lead a person astray’. It can and will lead. It can and often will take control even when that was not the intent.
Again, this is not a prohibition – but wisdom screams “CAUTION!”