On Life and Conduct

23 When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully [a]what is before you,
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a (A)man of great appetite.
Do not (B)desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.

(C)Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
(D)Cease from your [b]consideration of it.
[c]When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For (E)wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

(F)Do not eat the bread of [d]a (G)selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he [e]thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But (H)his heart is not with you.
You will (I)vomit up [f]the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your [g]compliments.

(J)Do not speak in the [h]hearing of a fool,
For he will (K)despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not move the ancient boundary
Or (L)go into the fields of the fatherless,
11 For their (M)Redeemer is strong;
(N)He will plead their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to discipline
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13 (O)Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you [i]strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall [j]strike him with the rod
And (P)rescue his soul from Sheol.

15 My son, if your heart is (Q)wise,
My own heart also will be glad;
16 And my [k]inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak (R)what is right.

17 (S)Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the [l](T)fear of the Lord [m]always.
18 Surely there is a [n](U)future,
And your (V)hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and (W)be wise,
And (X)direct your heart in the way.
20 Do not be with (Y)heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with (Z)gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the (AA)heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And (AB)drowsiness will clothe one with rags.

22 (AC)Listen to your father who begot you,
And (AD)do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 (AE)Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And (AF)he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your (AG)father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

26 (AH)Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes [o](AI)delight in my ways.
27 For a harlot is a (AJ)deep pit
And an [p](AK)adulterous woman is a narrow well.
28 Surely she (AL)lurks as a robber,
And increases the [q]faithless among men.

29 Who has (AM)woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who (AN)linger long over wine,
Those who go to [r]taste (AO)mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it [s]sparkles in the cup,
When it (AP)goes down smoothly;
32 At the last it (AQ)bites like a serpent
And stings like a (AR)viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things
And your [t]mind will (AS)utter perverse things.
34 And you will be like one who lies down in the [u]middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a [v]mast.
35 “They (AT)struck me, but I did not become [w]ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When shall I awake?
I will (AU)seek [x]another drink.”


  1. Proverbs 23:1 Or who
  2. Proverbs 23:4 Or understanding
  3. Proverbs 23:5 Lit Will your eyes fly upon it and it is not?
  4. Proverbs 23:6 Lit an evil eye
  5. Proverbs 23:7 Lit reckons in his soul
  6. Proverbs 23:8 Lit your
  7. Proverbs 23:8 Lit pleasant words
  8. Proverbs 23:9 Lit ears
  9. Proverbs 23:13 Lit smite
  10. Proverbs 23:14 Lit smite
  11. Proverbs 23:16 Lit kidneys
  12. Proverbs 23:17 Or reverence
  13. Proverbs 23:17 Lit all the day
  14. Proverbs 23:18 Lit latter end
  15. Proverbs 23:26 Another reading is observe
  16. Proverbs 23:27 Lit strange
  17. Proverbs 23:28 Lit treacherous
  18. Proverbs 23:30 Or search out
  19. Proverbs 23:31 Lit gives its eye
  20. Proverbs 23:33 Lit heart
  21. Proverbs 23:34 Lit heart
  22. Proverbs 23:34 Or lookout
  23. Proverbs 23:35 I.e. from the effect of wounds
  24. Proverbs 23:35 Lit it yet again

Bible Gateway Recommends

The Plan of Life: NASB Gospel of John, pack of 10
The Plan of Life: NASB Gospel of John, pack of 10
Retail: $7.50
Our Price: $5.99
Save: $1.51 (20%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
Ryrie NAS Study Bible Hardback, Red Letter
Ryrie NAS Study Bible Hardback, Red Letter
Retail: $44.99
Our Price: $30.99
Save: $14.00 (31%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
Ryrie NAS Study Bible Genuine Leather Black, Red Letter, Indexed
Ryrie NAS Study Bible Genuine Leather Black, Red Letter, Indexed
Retail: $99.99
Our Price: $69.99
Save: $30.00 (30%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars

Bible Gateway Sponsors