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23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
pay close attention to what is put in front of you,
and put a knife to your throat if you have a big appetite.
Do not crave his delicious food.
That food is deceptive.

Do not wear yourself out getting rich.
Have the good judgment to know when to stop.
Will your eyes get a glimpse of wealth before it is gone?
No, it will sprout wings for itself.
Like an eagle it will fly away into the sky.

Do not eat the food of a miser.
Do not crave his delicious food,
because he is calculating how much things cost him.
So when he says to you, “Eat and drink,”
he does not mean it.
You will vomit up the little bit you ate
and spoil your pleasant conversation.

Do not speak within earshot of a fool,
because he will despise your sensible words.

10 Do not move an ancient boundary marker,
and do not enter the fields of the fatherless,
11 because their Redeemer is strong.
He will defend their cause against you.

12 Apply your heart to discipline
and your ear to words that give knowledge.

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child,
for if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14 Strike him yourself with a rod,
and you will rescue his soul from death.

15 My son, if your mind[a] is wise,
my mind will rejoice as well.
16 My heart[b] will celebrate
when your lips speak upright things.

17 Do not allow your heart to envy sinners.
Instead, always fear the Lord.
18 Indeed, there is a future,
and your hope will never be cut off.

19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the straight way.
20 Do not be among those who drink too much wine,
or those who eat too much meat,
21 because a drunk and a glutton will become poor,
and drunken stupor dresses a person in rags.

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth and do not sell it.
Buy wisdom, discipline, and knowledge.
24 The father of a righteous child will celebrate greatly.
One who fathers a wise son will find joy in him.
25 Your father and your mother will find joy,
and she who gave birth to you will celebrate.

26 My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes be pleased with my ways,
27 because a prostitute is a deep pit,
and an immoral woman is a narrow well.
28 She is also like a robber waiting to ambush someone,
and she multiplies unfaithful men among the people.

29 Who has trouble? Who has misery?
Who has quarrels? Who has complaints?
Who has wounds for no reason? Who has glazed eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
those who go to search for mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly.
32 Later it bites like a snake,
and it strikes like a venomous viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
and your mind will say senseless things.
34 You will be like someone who tries to sleep in the middle of the sea,
like someone who tries to sleep at the top of a ship’s mast.
35 “They struck me, but I felt no pain.
They beat me, but I was not aware of it.
When will I wake up, so that I can try it again?”

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 23:15 Literally heart
  2. Proverbs 23:16 Literally kidneys

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