23 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:

And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.

Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:

11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.

12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.

18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:

21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.

25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Listen to Your Father

23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.

(A)Do not overwork to be rich;
(B)Because of your own understanding, cease!
[a]Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

Do not eat the bread of (C)a[b] miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” (D)he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.

(E)Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not remove the ancient [c]landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 (F)For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.

12 Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13 (G)Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from [d]hell.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my [e]inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.

17 (H)Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But (I)be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18 (J)For surely there is a [f]hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.

19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
20 (K)Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

22 (L)Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 (M)Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 (N)The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight 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 my ways.
27 (O)For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 (P)She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.

29 (Q)Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who (R)has redness of eyes?
30 (S)Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of (T)mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it [g]swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the [h]midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 “They(U) have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall (V)I awake, that I may seek another drink?

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 23:5 Lit. Will you cause your eyes to fly upon it and it is not?
  2. Proverbs 23:6 Lit. one who has an evil eye
  3. Proverbs 23:10 boundary
  4. Proverbs 23:14 Or Sheol
  5. Proverbs 23:16 Lit. kidneys
  6. Proverbs 23:18 Future, lit. latter end
  7. Proverbs 23:31 goes around
  8. Proverbs 23:34 Lit. heart

Bible Gateway Sponsors