23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider who and what are before you;
2 For you will put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to desire.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties, for it is deceitful food [offered with questionable motives].
4 Weary not yourself to be rich; cease from your own [human] wisdom.(A)
5 Will you set your eyes upon wealth, when [suddenly] it is gone? For riches certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.
6 Eat not the bread of him who has a hard, grudging, and envious eye, neither desire his dainty foods;
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost].
8 The morsel which you have eaten you will vomit up, and your complimentary words will be wasted.
9 Speak not in the ears of a [self-confident] fool, for he will despise the [godly] Wisdom of your words.(B)
10 Remove not the ancient landmark and enter not into the fields of the fatherless,(C)
11 For their Redeemer is mighty; He will plead their cause against you.
12 Apply your mind to instruction and correction and your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Withhold not discipline from the child; for if you strike and punish him with the [reedlike] rod, he will not die.
14 You shall whip him with the rod and deliver his life from Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead).
15 My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will be glad, even mine;
16 Yes, my heart will rejoice when your lips speak right things.
17 Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord all the day long.
18 For surely there is a latter end [a future and a reward], and your hope and expectation shall not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your mind in the way [of the Lord].
20 Do not associate with winebibbers; be not among them nor among gluttonous eaters of meat,(D)
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
22 Hearken to your father, who begot you, and despise not your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and sell it not; not only that, but also get discernment and judgment, instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the [uncompromisingly] righteous (the upright, in right standing with God) shall greatly rejoice, and he who becomes the father of a wise child shall have joy in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe and delight in my ways,
27 For a harlot is a deep ditch, and a loose woman is a narrow pit.
28 She also lies in wait as a robber or as one waits for prey, and she increases the treacherous among men.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness and dimness of eyes?
30 Those who tarry long at the wine, those who go to seek and try mixed wine.(E)
31 Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the wineglass, when it goes down smoothly.
32 At the last it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.
33 [Under the influence of wine] your eyes will behold strange things [and loose women] and your mind will utter things turned the wrong way [untrue, incorrect, and petulant].
34 Yes, you will be [as unsteady] as he who lies down in the midst of the sea, and [as open to disaster] as he who lies upon the top of a mast.
35 You will say, They struck me, but I was not hurt! They beat me [as with a hammer], but I did not feel it! When shall I awake? I will crave and seek more wine again [and escape reality].
- Proverbs 23:4 : Prov. 28:20; I Tim. 6:9, 10.
- Proverbs 23:9 : Isa. 32:6.
- Proverbs 23:10 : Deut. 19:14; 27:17; Prov. 22:28.
- Proverbs 23:20 : Isa. 5:22; Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13; Eph. 5:18.
- Proverbs 23:30 : Prov. 20:1; Eph. 5:18.