23 When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what[a] is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. 3 Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.
4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
6 Do not eat the food of a begrudging host, do not crave his delicacies; 7 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. 8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten and will have wasted your compliments.
9 Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.
10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, 11 for their Defender is strong; he will take up their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
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.
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.
17 Do not let your heart envy 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.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: 20 Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, 21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23 Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well. 24 The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. 25 May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!
26 My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways, 27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit, and a wayward wife is a narrow well. 28 Like a bandit she lies in wait and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
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, 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?”
24 Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; 2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.
3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; 4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
5 The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength. 6 Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.
7 Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.
8 Whoever plots evil will be known as a schemer. 9 The schemes of folly are sin, and people detest a mocker.
10 If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! 11 Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. 12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?
13 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. 14 Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
15 Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous, do not plunder their dwelling place; 16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked, 20 for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21 Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials, 22 for those two will send sudden destruction on them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?
Further Sayings of the Wise
23 These also are sayings of the wise:
To show partiality in judging is not good: 24 Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations. 25 But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them.
26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.
27 Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.
28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause— would you use your lips to mislead? 29 Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.”
30 I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; 31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. 32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 34 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
More Proverbs of Solomon
25 These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. 3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.
4 Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel; 5 remove wicked officials from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness.
6 Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among his great men; 7 it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.
What you have seen with your eyes 8 do not bring[c] hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 If you take your neighbor to court, do not betray another’s confidence, 10 or the one who hears it may shame you and the charge against you will stand.
11 Like apples[d] of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. 12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.
13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master. 14 Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given.
15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
16 If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit. 17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house— too much of you, and they will hate you.
18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor. 19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble. 20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. 22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.
23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.
24 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
25 Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. 26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.
27 It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.
28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
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