WHAT IS “SURFEITING?”
by Shawn Brasseaux
We find the term only once in the Authorized Version, Luke 21:34 of the Olivet Discourse: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” The context, of course, is awaiting the “day” of Christ’s Second Coming: “ And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
In Greek, it is “kraipale”—literally, “the head tossing about”—the giddiness and headache resulting from intoxication (excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages). The Latin equivalent is “crapula.” According to The Oxford English Dictionary, to “surfeit” is to engage in any excess—overdoing or overindulgence in general. A more specific context, such as the case of Luke 21:34, is overeating or drunkenness. Read the verse once more: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” The nation Israel is admonished to avoid anything that would distract her from preparing for Jesus’ Second Coming—mind-altering substances, entertainment, materialism, other forms of false teaching, and the like.
Read Matthew 24:36–25:30, Mark 13:32-37, Luke 17:26-37, and Luke 21:34-36 for additional encouragements about the Jews maintaining watchfulness for Christ’s return to end Daniel’s 70th Week and commence the Millennium. The Great Flood of Noah’s day overtook and destroyed the inattentive unbelievers, just like Christ’s Second Coming will surprise and kill those caught up in the affairs of this world (sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit). Christ Jesus thus exhorted Israel to concentrate on sound Bible doctrine, that which pointed to His return and subsequent earthly kingdom.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).
» Why were the disciples discouraged from looking up in Acts chapter 1?
» Who will accompany Jesus at His Second Coming?
» Why did Jesus tell Israel they do not know the date of His return?
» Does “neither the Son” belong in Matthew 24:36?