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23 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler,
Consider diligently [a]him that is before thee;
[b]And put a knife to thy throat,
If thou be a man given to appetite.
Be not desirous of his dainties;
Seeing they are deceitful food.
Weary not thyself to be rich;
Cease [c]from thine own wisdom.
[d]Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings,
Like an eagle that flieth toward heaven.
Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye,
Neither desire thou his dainties:
For [e]as he thinketh within himself, so is he:
Eat and drink, saith he to thee;
But his heart is not with thee.
The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up,
And lose thy sweet words.
Speak not in the hearing of a fool;
For he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
10 Remove not the ancient landmark;
And enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
11 For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their cause against thee.
12 Apply thy heart unto [f]instruction,
And thine ears to the words of knowledge.
13 Withhold not correction from the child;
For [g]if thou beat him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod,
And shalt deliver his soul from Sheol.
15 My son, if thy heart be wise,
My heart will be glad, even mine:
16 Yea, my [h]heart will rejoice,
When thy lips speak right things.
17 Let not thy heart envy sinners;
But be thou in the fear of Jehovah all the day long:
18 For surely there is a [i]reward;
And thy hope shall not be cut off.
19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise,
And guide thy heart in the way.
20 Be not among winebibbers,
Among gluttonous eaters of flesh:
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty;
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee,
And despise not thy mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and sell it not;
Yea, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
And he that begetteth a wise child will have joy of him.
25 Let thy father and thy mother be glad,
And let her that bare thee rejoice.
26 My son, give me thy heart;
And let thine eyes [j]delight in my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep ditch;
And a foreign woman is a narrow pit.
28 Yea, she lieth in wait [k]as a robber,
And increaseth the treacherous among men.
29 Who hath [l]woe? who hath [m]sorrow? who hath contentions?
Who hath complaining? who hath wounds without cause?
Who hath [n]redness of eyes?
30 They that tarry long at the wine;
They that go to [o]seek out mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red,
When it sparkleth in the cup,
When it [p]goeth down smoothly:
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent,
And stingeth like an adder.
33 Thine eyes shall behold [q]strange things,
And thy heart shall utter perverse things.
34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea,
Or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, and I felt it not:
When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.


  1. Proverbs 23:1 Or, what
  2. Proverbs 23:2 Or, For thou wilt put
  3. Proverbs 23:4 Or, by reason of thine own understanding
  4. Proverbs 23:5 Or, Wilt thou set thine eyes upon it? it is gone: Hebrew Shall thine eyes fly upon it, and it is not?
  5. Proverbs 23:7 Or, as one that reckoneth
  6. Proverbs 23:12 Or, correction
  7. Proverbs 23:13 Or, though
  8. Proverbs 23:16 Hebrew reins.
  9. Proverbs 23:18 Or, sequel. Or, future. Hebrew latter end.
  10. Proverbs 23:26 Another reading is, observe
  11. Proverbs 23:28 Or, as for a prey
  12. Proverbs 23:29 Hebrew Oh!
  13. Proverbs 23:29 Hebrew Alas!
  14. Proverbs 23:29 Or, darkness
  15. Proverbs 23:30 Or, try
  16. Proverbs 23:31 Or, moveth itself aright
  17. Proverbs 23:33 Or, strange women

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