Modern English Version
23 When you sit to eat with a ruler,
consider diligently what is before you;
2 and put a knife to your throat,
if you are a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
4 Do not labor to be rich;
cease from your own wisdom.
5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
6 Do not eat the bread of him who has an evil eye,
neither desire his delicacies;
7 for as he thinks in his heart,
so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
and lose your sweet words.
9 Do not speak in the ears of a fool,
for he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not remove the old landmark,
nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 for their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause with you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction,
and your ears to the words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
for if you beat him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with the rod,
and deliver his soul from death.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart will rejoice—even mine.
16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak right things.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all day long;
18 for surely there is an end,
and your expectation will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
and guide your heart in the way.
20 Do not be among winebibbers,
among riotous eaters of meat;
21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
22 Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
and he who fathers a wise child will have joy of him.
25 Your father and your mother will be glad,
and she who bore you will rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a prostitute is a deep ditch,
and a seductress is a narrow pit.
28 She also lies in wait as for a prey,
and increases the transgressors among men.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has babbling?
Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who tarry long at the wine,
those who go to seek mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it 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 as he who lies down in the midst of the sea,
or as he who lies upon the top of a mast.
35 “They have stricken me,” you will say, “and I was not sick;
they have beaten me, and I did not feel it.
When will I awake?
I will seek it yet again.”