Add parallel Print Page Options

[a]Do not take food with unwilling hosts,
    and do not desire their delicacies;
For like something stuck in the throat is that food.
“Eat and drink,” they say to you,
    but their hearts are not with you;
The little you have eaten you will vomit up,
    and you will have wasted your agreeable words.

Read full chapter


  1. 23:6–8 Some humorous advice on not trading on the courtesy of unwilling hosts who, for convention’s sake, use the language of welcome. Amenemope, chap. 11, gives similar advice: “Do not intrude on a man in his house, / Enter when you have been called; / He may say ‘Welcome’ with his mouth, / Yet deride you in his thoughts.” “Unwilling,” lit., “evil of eye,” is usually translated “stingy,” but the context suggests unwilling. In v. 8, the unwanted guest vomits up the food, thus destroying the desired good impression. Proverbs regards the uninvited banqueters as thieves who will suffer the consequences of their theft. Amenemope, chap. 11, is relevant: “Do not covet a poor man’s goods,…A poor man’s goods are a block in the throat, / It makes the gullet vomit.”