Proverbs 23

Proverbs 23

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1 When dining with a ruler, pay attention to what is put before you.

2 If you are a big eater, put a knife to your throat,

3 and don't desire all the delicacies--deception may be involved.

4 Don't weary yourself trying to get rich. Why waste your time?

5 For riches can disappear as though they had the wings of a bird!

6 Don't eat with people who are stingy; don't desire their delicacies.

7 "Eat and drink," they say, but they don't mean it. They are always thinking about how much it costs.

8 You will vomit up the delicious food they serve, and you will have to take back your words of appreciation for their "kindness."

9 Don't waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.

10 Don't steal the land of defenseless orphans by moving the ancient boundary markers,

11 for their Redeemer is strong. He himself will bring their charges against you.

12 Commit yourself to instruction; attune your ears to hear words of knowledge.

13 Don't fail to correct your children. They won't die if you spank them.

14 Physical discipline may well save them from death.*1

15 My child,* how I will rejoice if you become wise.2

16 Yes, my heart will thrill when you speak what is right and just.

17 Don't envy sinners, but always continue to fear the LORD.

18 For surely you have a future ahead of you; your hope will not be disappointed.

19 My child, listen and be wise. Keep your heart on the right course.

20 Do not carouse with drunkards and gluttons,

21 for they are on their way to poverty. Too much sleep clothes a person with rags.

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don't despise your mother's experience when she is old.

23 Get the truth and don't ever sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and discernment.

24 The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure it is to have wise children.*3

25 So give your parents joy! May she who gave you birth be happy.

26 O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes delight in my ways of wisdom.

27 A prostitute is a deep pit; an adulterous woman is treacherous.*4

28 She hides and waits like a robber, looking for another victim who will be unfaithful to his wife.

29 Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?

30 It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks.

31 Don't let the sparkle and smooth taste of wine deceive you.

32 For in the end it bites like a poisonous serpent; it stings like a viper.

33 You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things.

34 You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast.

35 And you will say, "They hit me, but I didn't feel it. I didn't even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can have another drink?"

Read Proverbs 24


1: Hebrew from Sheol.

2: Hebrew My son; also in 23:19.

3: Hebrew a wise son.

4: Hebrew is a narrow well.

New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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