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US scholar says Israelites drank beer as well as wine

Ancient Israelites drank not only wine but also beer, according to a biblical scholar at Xavier University, a Roman Catholic school in Louisiana, reports Ecumenical News International.

"Ancient Israelites, with the possible exception of a few teetotaling Nazirites and their moms, proudly drank beer - and lots of it," said Michael Homan, in his article for the September/October issue Biblical Archaeology Review, Religion News Service reports.

While English translations of the Bible do not mention beer, the original Hebrew does, he said. Homan, an archaeologist, said the Hebrew word "shekhar" has been mistranslated as "liquor," "strong drink" and "fermented drink," but it translates as "beer" based on linguistic and archaeological research.

Confusion over whether the ancient Israelites drank beer also stems from the difficulty of identifying and finding archaeological remains of beer production in Israelite artefacts.

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