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23 When sitting down to eat with a ruler,
    take a moment to think about who you are with and what you are doing.
If you are the type who eats too much too fast,
    do whatever is necessary to curb your enthusiasm for food.
Also, do not eye the ruler’s delicacies,
    for the food may not be what it seems.
Do not overwork yourself just to become wealthy;
    have enough sense to know when to quit.
As soon as you become fixed on riches, they vanish.
    For suddenly they sprout wings
    and become like a soaring eagle flying high in the sky.
Do not sit down and eat the bread of a tight-fisted fellow
    or desire any of his delicacies,
For deep down he’s keeping track of the cost.
    He may say, “Eat up! Drink your fill!”
    but he does not mean a word of it.
You’ll be sick and lose what little you did eat,
    and you’ll waste your breath carrying on a pleasant conversation.
Do not waste your wisdom on a fool,
    for he doesn’t care for anything you have to say.
10 Do not shift the property line by moving the boundary markers your ancestors established
    or try to steal property from orphans
11 Because their Redeemer is strong,
    and He will plead their case against you.
12 Develop a disciplined life.
    Be attentive so you can be well informed.
13 Do not withhold discipline from children,
    since corporal punishment will not kill them.
14 In fact, it may be that kind of punishment
    that will save them from an early grave.
15 My son, if you live wisely,
    then my life will be fulfilled.
16 My very soul will jump for joy
    when you speak what is true and right.
17 Don’t be envious of those wrapped up in sin,
    but always maintain a healthy respect for the Eternal.
18 Your future with Him will be certain,
    and you will not have hoped in vain.
19 Listen, my son, be wise,
    and steer your life on the right course.
20 Do not spend time with heavy wine drinkers
    or those who gorge themselves on meat.
21 For both the drunk and the glutton will end up broke,
    sleeping life away, and clothed in rags.

22 Pay attention to your father—after all, he gave you life—
    and don’t ignore your mother in her old age.
23 Invest in truth, sock it away!
    Never cash in wisdom, guidance, or insight.
24 The parents of the right-living will celebrate;
    yes, parents of children who make wise choices are happy.
25 So make your parents happy;
    delight your mother—after all, she brought you into this world.

26 My son, devote yourself to me fully.
    Observe my ways, and follow my directions:
27 Being drawn to a prostitute is like falling down into a deep well,
    and being involved with a wicked woman is like descending into a narrow well.
    You may never get out alive.
28 She waits for you, ready to ambush you like a thief
    and ready to multiply unfaithfulness among men.

29 Who is wallowing in anguish? Who is full of sorrow?
    Who has conflicts? Who has complaints?
Who has bruises and can’t remember where they came from?
    Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 You know who: those who stay up late finishing off the wine,
    those who can’t stop savoring spiced wines.
31 Look away from the enticing beauty of wine, the deep red hue;
    ignore how it shimmers in the cup
    and glides down your throat.
32 Eventually, when you least expect it, it strikes like a snake;
    it stings like viper venom.
33 Your vision will blur, and you’ll imagine strange things;
    you will say crazy, hurtful things and regret it later.
34 You will reel and stagger as if caught on a wave of seasickness,
    as a sailor who holds on to a mast for dear life.
35 You will say, “They slapped me, but it didn’t hurt.
    They beat me, and I didn’t feel a thing!
Whenever I wake up from this stupor,
    I’ll have another drink!”

Saying 7

23 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
    note well what[a] is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
    if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies,(A)
    for that food is deceptive.

Saying 8

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
    do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,(B)
    for they will surely sprout wings
    and fly off to the sky like an eagle.(C)

Saying 9

Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
    do not crave his delicacies;(D)
for he is the kind of person
    who is always thinking about the cost.[b]
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
    but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the little you have eaten
    and will have wasted your compliments.

Saying 10

Do not speak to fools,
    for they will scorn your prudent words.(E)

Saying 11

10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone(F)
    or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender(G) is strong;(H)
    he will take up their case against you.(I)

Saying 12

12 Apply your heart to instruction(J)
    and your ears to words of knowledge.

Saying 13

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
    and save them from death.(K)

Saying 14

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
    then my heart will be glad indeed;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
    when your lips speak what is right.(L)

Saying 15

17 Do not let your heart envy(M) sinners,
    but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off.(N)

Saying 16

19 Listen, my son,(O) and be wise,
    and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine(P)
    or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,(Q)
    and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Saying 17

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
    and do not despise your mother when she is old.(R)
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.(S)
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
    a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.(T)
25 May your father and mother rejoice;
    may she who gave you birth be joyful!(U)

Saying 18

26 My son,(V) give me your heart
    and let your eyes delight in my ways,(W)
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,(X)
    and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait(Y)
    and multiplies the unfaithful among men.

Saying 19

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaints?
    Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,(Z)
    who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup,
    when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
    and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights,
    and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
    lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
    They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
    so I can find another drink?”(AA)


  1. Proverbs 23:1 Or who
  2. Proverbs 23:7 Or for as he thinks within himself, / so he is; or for as he puts on a feast, / so he is