A son who rebelled with gluttony and drunkenness

Deuteronomy Bible Background

03.13.2017 – Old Testament: Deu 21.18–21

To read the Bible in a year, read Deuteronomy 20–22 on March 13, In the year of our Lord 2017

By Don Ruhl

Israel, like any group of people, would have problem children, who would need discipline. If a son, who as the context indicates was grown or close to it, rebelled against his parents, the Law showed the final punishment. What I want you to notice is how the Lord pictured a rebellious son in this passage,

“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard. Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear” (Deuteronomy 21.18–21). 

Did you see the form of the son’s rebellion in this passage? This particular son showed a problem spirit by his gluttony and his drunkenness. First, this is why I suggest that the passage refers to a grown son or one close to it. A six-year old does not have these problems, and if so, such a child would be handled in other ways.

However, this son had lost all self-control and had completely abandoned all godly teaching from the Scriptures.


  • What is gluttony?
  • Have you thought of it as a sin?

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