23 If you sit down to eat with a ruler, notice the food that is in front of you. 2 Control yourself if you have a big appetite. 3 Don’t be greedy for his fine foods, because that food might be a trick.
4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich; be wise enough to control yourself. 5 Wealth can vanish in the wink of an eye. It can seem to grow wings and fly away like an eagle.
6 Don’t eat the food of selfish people; don’t be greedy for their fine foods. 7 Selfish people are always worrying about how much the food costs. They tell you, “Eat and drink,” but they don’t really mean it. 8 You will throw up the little you have eaten, and you will have wasted your kind words.
9 Don’t speak to fools; they will only ignore your wise words.
10 Don’t move an old stone that marks a border, and don’t take fields that belong to orphans. 11 God, their defender, is strong; he will take their side against you.
12 Remember what you are taught, and listen carefully to words of knowledge.
13 Don’t fail to punish children. If you spank them, they won’t die. 14 If you spank them, you will save them from death.
15 My child, if you are wise, then I will be happy. 16 I will be so pleased if you speak what is right.
17 Don’t envy sinners, but always respect the Lord. 18 Then you will have hope for the future, and your wishes will come true.
19 Listen, my child, and be wise. Keep your mind on what is right. 20 Don’t drink too much wine or eat too much food. 21 Those who drink and eat too much become poor. They sleep too much and end up wearing rags.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not forget your mother when she is old. 23 Learn the truth and never reject it. Get wisdom, self-control, and understanding. 24 The father of a good child is very happy; parents who have wise children are glad because of them. 25 Make your father and mother happy; give your mother a reason to be glad.
26 My son, pay attention to me, and watch closely what I do. 27 A prostitute is as dangerous as a deep pit, and an unfaithful wife is like a narrow well. 28 They ambush you like robbers and cause many men to be unfaithful to their wives.
29 Who has trouble? Who has pain? Who fights? Who complains? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? 30 It is people who drink too much wine, who try out all different kinds of strong drinks. 31 Don’t stare at the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly. 32 Later it bites like a snake with poison in its fangs. 33 Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will be confused. 34 You will feel dizzy as if you’re in a storm on the ocean, as if you’re on top of a ship’s sails. 35 You will think, “They hit me, but I’m not hurt. They beat me up, but I don’t remember it. I wish I could wake up. Then I would get another drink.”
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