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23 When you sit to eat with a ruler,
    you shall surely observe what is before you,
and you shall put a knife to your throat
    if you have a big appetite.[a]
Do not desire his delicacies,
    for[b] it is food of deception.
Do not tire in order to become rich;
    out of your understanding, may you desist.
Your eyes will alight[c] on it, but there is nothing to it,
    for suddenly it will make for itself wings
    like an eagle and it will be exhausted in the heavens.
Do not eat the bread of the stingy,[d]
    and do not desire his delicacies.
For, like hair in his throat,[e] so it is.[f]
    “Eat and drink!” he will say to you,
    but his heart will not be with you.
Your morsel you have eaten, you will vomit it up,
    and you will waste your pleasant words.
In the ears of a fool do not speak,
    for he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not remove an ancient boundary marker,
    and on the fields of orphans do not encroach;
11 For their redeemer is strong,
    he himself will plead their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart[g] to instruction,
    and your ear to sayings of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child,
    if you will beat him with the rod, he will not die.
14 As for you, with the rod you shall beat him,
    and his life[h] you will save from Sheol.[i]
15 My child, if your heart[j] is wise,
    my heart will be glad—even me!
16 And my insides[k] will rejoice
    when your lips speak what is upright.
17 May your heart[l] not envy the sinners,
    but live in fear of Yahweh all day.[m]
18 Surely[n] there is a future,
    and your hope will not be cut off.
19 You, my child, hear and be wise,
    and direct your heart[o] on the road.
20 Do not be among drinkers of wine,
    among gluttonous eaters of their meat.[p]
21 For the drunkard and gluttonous, they will become poor,
    and with rags, drowsiness will clothe them.
22 Listen to your father—he who gave you life,[q]
    and do not despise your mother when[r] she is old.
23 Buy truth and do not sell it,
    wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will surely rejoice;
    he who bears a wise person will be happy with him.
25 May your father and your mother be glad,
    and may she who bore you rejoice.
26 My child, may you give your heart[s] to me,
    and may your eyes delight in my ways.
27 For a deep pit is a prostitute,[t]
    and a narrow well is an adulteress.[u]
28 She is also like a robber lying in wait,
    and the faithless among mankind she increases.
29 To whom is woe? To whom is sorrow? To whom are quarrels? To whom is complaint?
    To whom are wounds without cause? To whom is redness of the eyes?
30 To those who linger over wine,
    to those who come to try mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles[v] on the cup,
    going down smoothly.
32 In the end,[w] it will bite like a serpent,
    and it will sting like an adder.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
    and your heart[x] will speak perverse things.
34 And you will be like him who lies down in the heart of the sea,
    and like him who lies down on top of a mast.
35 “They struck me; I was not hurt. They beat me; I did not know it.
    When I will awake, I will continue; I will seek it again.”


  1. Proverbs 23:2 Literally “lord/master of life”
  2. Proverbs 23:3 Hebrew “and”
  3. Proverbs 23:5 Literally “cause to fly”
  4. Proverbs 23:6 Literally “stingy of eye”
  5. Proverbs 23:7 Literally “soul,” or “inner self”
  6. Proverbs 23:7 Or “is he”
  7. Proverbs 23:12 Or “mind”
  8. Proverbs 23:14 Or “soul,” or “inner self”
  9. Proverbs 23:14 A term for the place where the dead reside, i.e., the Underworld
  10. Proverbs 23:15 Or “mind”
  11. Proverbs 23:16 Literally “kidneys”
  12. Proverbs 23:17 Or “mind”
  13. Proverbs 23:17 Literally “all the day”
  14. Proverbs 23:18 Literally “For if”
  15. Proverbs 23:19 Or “mind”
  16. Proverbs 23:20 Literally “meat for them”
  17. Proverbs 23:22 Literally “caused you to be born”
  18. Proverbs 23:22 Or “for, because”
  19. Proverbs 23:26 Or “mind”
  20. Proverbs 23:27 Or “whore”
  21. Proverbs 23:27 Literally “a foreign woman”
  22. Proverbs 23:31 Literally “gives its eye”
  23. Proverbs 23:32 Literally “end him”
  24. Proverbs 23:33 Or “mind”