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23

When you sit down to eat with a ruler,

observe carefully what is before you,

2

and put a knife to your throat

if you have a big appetite.

3

Do not desire the ruler’s delicacies,

for they are deceptive food.

4

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;

be wise enough to desist.

5

When your eyes light upon it, it is gone;

for suddenly it takes wings to itself,

flying like an eagle toward heaven.

6

Do not eat the bread of the stingy;

do not desire their delicacies;

7

for like a hair in the throat, so are they.

“Eat and drink!” they say to you;

but they do not mean it.

8

You will vomit up the little you have eaten,

and you will waste your pleasant words.

9

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,

who will only despise the wisdom of your words.

10

Do not remove an ancient landmark

or encroach on the fields of orphans,

11

for their redeemer is strong;

he will plead their cause against you.

12

Apply your mind to instruction

and your ear to words of knowledge.

13

Do not withhold discipline from your children;

if you beat them with a rod, they will not die.

14

If you beat them with the rod,

you will save their lives from Sheol.

15

My child, if your heart is wise,

my heart too will be glad.

16

My soul will rejoice

when your lips speak what is right.

17

Do not let your heart envy sinners,

but always continue in the fear of the Lord.

18

Surely there is a future,

and your hope will not be cut off.

 

19

Hear, my child, and be wise,

and direct your mind in the way.

20

Do not be among winebibbers,

or among gluttonous eaters of meat;

21

for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,

and drowsiness will clothe them with rags.

 

22

Listen to your father who begot you,

and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23

Buy truth, and do not sell it;

buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

24

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;

he who begets a wise son will be glad in him.

25

Let your father and mother be glad;

let her who bore you rejoice.

 

26

My child, give me your heart,

and let your eyes observe my ways.

27

For a prostitute is a deep pit;

an adulteress is a narrow well.

28

She lies in wait like a robber

and increases the number of the faithless.

 

29

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has strife? Who has complaining?

Who has wounds without cause?

Who has redness of eyes?

30

Those who linger late over wine,

those who keep trying mixed wines.

31

Do not look at wine when it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup

and goes down smoothly.

32

At the last it bites like a serpent,

and stings like an adder.

33

Your eyes will see strange things,

and your mind utter 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.

35

“They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;

they beat me, but I did not feel it.

When shall I awake?

I will seek another drink.”


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Pr 23:1-35.

1. Avoid the dangers of gluttony.

2. put a knife—an Eastern figure for putting restraint on the appetite.

3. are deceitful meat—though well tasted, injurious.

4, 5. (Compare 1Ti 6:9, 10).

thine own wisdom—which regards riches intrinsically as a blessing.

5. Wilt … eyes—As the eyes fly after or seek riches, they are not, that is, either become transitory or unsatisfying; fully expressed by their flying away.

6-8. Beware of deceitful men, whose courtesies even you will repent of having accepted.

evil eye—or purpose (Pr 22:9; De 15:9; Mt 6:23).

8. The morsel … words—that is, disgusted with his true character, all pleasant intercourse will be destroyed.

9. (Compare Pr 9:8). "Cast not your pearls before swine" (Mt 7:6).

10, 11. (Compare Pr 22:22, 23).

11. redeemer—or avenger (Le 25:25, 26; Nu 35:12), hence advocate (Job 19:25).

plead … thee—(Compare Job 31:21; Ps 35:1; 68:5).

12. Here begins another series of precepts.

13, 14. While there is little danger that the use of the "divine ordinance of the rod" will produce bodily harm, there is great hope of spiritual good.

15, 16. The pleasure afforded the teacher by the pupil's progress is a motive to diligence.

16. my reins—(Compare Ps 7:9).

17, 18. (Compare Margin). The prosperity of the wicked is short.

18. an end—or, "hereafter," another time, when apparent inequalities shall be adjusted (compare Ps 37:28-38).

19-21. guide … way—or direct thy thoughts to a right course of conduct (compare Pr 4:4; 9:6).

20. riotous … flesh—prodigal, or eating more than necessary. Instead of "their flesh" (compare Margin), better, "flesh to them," that is, used for pleasure.

21. drowsiness—the dreamy sleep of the slothful.

22. Hearken—that is, obey (Pr 1:8; Eph 6:1).

despise … old—Adults revere the parents whom, as children, they once obeyed.

23. Buy—literally, "get" (Pr 4:5).

truth—generally and specially as opposed to errors of all kinds.

24, 25. (Compare Pr 10:1; 17:21, 25).

26-35. A solemn warning against whoredom and drunkenness (Ho 4:11).

give me—This is the address of that divine wisdom so often presented (Pr 8:1; 9:3, &c.).

heart—confidence.

observe—keep.

my ways—such as I teach you (Pr 3:17; 9:6).

27, 28. deep ditch—a narrow pit, out of which it is hard to climb.

lieth in wait—to ensnare men into the pit, as hunters entrap game (compare Pr 22:14).

28. increaseth … transgressors—(Pr 5:8-10). The vice alluded to is peculiarly hardening to the heart.

29, 30. This picture is often sadly realized now.

mixed wine—(Compare Pr 9:2; Isa 5:11).

31. when … red—the color denoting greater strength (compare Ge 49:11; De 32:14).

giveth … cup—literally, "gives its eye," that is, sparkles.

moveth … aright—Perhaps its foaming is meant.

32. The acute miseries resulting from drunkenness contrasted with the temptations.

33, 34. The moral effects: it inflames passion (Ge 19:31, 35), lays open the heart, produces insensibility to the greatest dangers, and debars from reformation, under the severest sufferings.

35. awake—that is, from drunkenness (Ge 9:24). This is the language rather of acts than of the tongue.




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