English Standard Version
Words of the Wise
17 (A)Incline your ear, and hear (B)the words of the wise,
(C)and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20 Have I not written for you (D)thirty sayings
of counsel and knowledge,
21 to (E)make you know what is right and true,
that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22 (F)Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
or (G)crush the afflicted at (H)the gate,
23 for (I)the Lord will plead their cause
and rob of life those who rob them.
24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
25 lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
26 Be not one of those who (J)give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should (K)your bed be taken from under you?
28 Do not move the ancient (L)landmark
that your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will (M)stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men.
23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what[a] is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
3 (N)Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
4 (O)Do not toil to acquire wealth;
(P)be discerning enough to desist.
5 When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
(Q)for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
6 (R)Do not eat the bread of a man who is (S)stingy;[b]
(T)do not desire his delicacies,
7 for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.[c]
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his (U)heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.
10 (V)Do not move an ancient landmark
or enter the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their (W)Redeemer is strong;
he will (X)plead their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold (Y)discipline from a child;
(Z)if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike him with the rod,
you will (AA)save his soul from Sheol.
15 (AB)My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
16 My (AC)inmost being[d] will exult
when your lips speak (AD)what is right.
17 Let not your heart (AE)envy sinners,
but continue in (AF)the fear of the Lord all the day.
18 Surely (AG)there is a future,
and your (AH)hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and (AI)be wise,
and (AJ)direct your heart in the way.
20 Be not among (AK)drunkards[e]
or among (AL)gluttonous eaters of meat,
21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and (AM)slumber will clothe them with rags.
22 (AN)Listen to your father who gave you life,
(AO)and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 (AP)Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24 (AQ)The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25 (AR)Let your father and mother be glad;
let (AS)her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe[f] my ways.
27 For a prostitute is (AT)a deep pit;
(AU)an adulteress[g] is a narrow (AV)well.
28 (AW)She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the traitors among mankind.
29 (AX)Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has (AY)wounds without cause?
Who has (AZ)redness of eyes?
30 Those who (BA)tarry long over wine;
those who go to try (BB)mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
32 In the end it (BC)bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter (BD)perverse things.
34 You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.[h]
35 “They (BE)struck me,” you will say,[i] “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I (BF)must have another drink.”
24 Be not (BG)envious of evil men,
nor desire to be (BH)with them,
2 for their hearts (BI)devise violence,
and their lips (BJ)talk of trouble.
3 By (BK)wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
4 by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all (BL)precious and pleasant riches.
5 (BM)A wise man is full of strength,
and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
6 for by (BN)wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in (BO)abundance of counselors there is victory.
7 Wisdom is (BP)too high for a fool;
in (BQ)the gate he does not open his mouth.
10 If you (BU)faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
11 (BV)Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
(BW)does not he who (BX)weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who (BY)keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man (BZ)according to his work?
13 My son, (CA)eat honey, for it is good,
and (CB)the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be (CC)a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
15 (CD)Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
do no violence to his home;
16 (CE)for the righteous falls (CF)seven times and rises again,
but (CG)the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
17 (CH)Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
18 lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.
21 My son, (CM)fear the Lord and the king,
and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22 for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?
More Sayings of the Wise
23 These also are sayings of (CN)the wise.
(CO)Partiality in judging is not good.
24 Whoever (CP)says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
(CQ)will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
26 Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.
27 (CR)Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.
28 (CS)Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, (CT)“I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
30 (CU)I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man (CV)lacking sense,
31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone (CW)wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and (CX)considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
33 (CY)A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
- Proverbs 23:1 Or who
- Proverbs 23:6 Hebrew whose eye is evil
- Proverbs 23:7 Or for as he calculates in his soul, so is he
- Proverbs 23:16 Hebrew My kidneys
- Proverbs 23:20 Hebrew those who drink too much wine
- Proverbs 23:26 Or delight in
- Proverbs 23:27 Hebrew a foreign woman
- Proverbs 23:34 Or of the rigging
- Proverbs 23:35 Hebrew lacks you will say
- Proverbs 24:9 Or scheming