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Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. [1882], at


1. The forty-ninth question is that you ask thus: If they should sell wine unto foreigners and infidels what is then the decision about it?

p. 177

2. The reply is this, that there is very vehement danger of grievous sin, and it would be an evil occupation. 3. But if through the operation of that wine-selling of theirs the wine is kept more away from those who become worse through immoderate drinking of wine, and comes to those who drink wine in moderation 1--whom they cause to become better through drinking the wine--more than when they shall not practise that selling of the wine, then through that selling of theirs the power which is in the wealth 2, by their keeping away of which a man is confirmed (padayînîdŏ) in the good religion and diverted from going into infidelity, the progress of sin is impeded and good works are promoted, becomes the assistance of the good and protection of religion, the hindrance of sin and aid of good works, which, when they shall not practise that wine-selling, do not arise, and which are much more promoted than the various sins that might have arisen from the unlawfully drinking of wine. 4. Or, otherwise, the greater decision--and great are the good works which are assured therein--is thus: 'They who shall sell wine 3 to foreigners, infidels, and others from whom unlawful conduct arises through drunkenness, act very sinfully and not authorisedly.'


177:1 That is, when the supply of wine is so limited that by selling it to moderate drinkers they keep it away from drunkards.

177:2 The wealth they acquire by selling wide, which would have produced evil in the hands of the buyers, and ought to produce good in their own.

177:3 K35 has vinâs, 'sin,' instead of âs, 'wine,' which is clearly wrong.

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