Proverbs 23
Contemporary English Version


1When you are invited

to eat with a king,

use your best manners.

2Don't go and stuff yourself!

That would be just the same

as cutting your throat.

3Don't be greedy for all

of that fancy food!

It may not be so tasty.


4Give up trying so hard

to get rich.

5Your money flies away

before you know it,

just like an eagle

suddenly taking off.


6Don't accept an invitation

to eat a selfish person's food,

no matter how good it is.

7People like that take note

of how much you eat.+

They say, “Take all you want!”

But they don't mean it.

8Each bite will come back up,

and all your kind words

will be wasted.


9Don't talk to fools—

they will make fun of you.


10Don't move a boundary marker+

or take the land

that belongs to orphans.

11God All-Powerful is there

to defend them against you.


12Listen to instruction

and do your best to learn.


13Don't fail to correct

your children.

You won't kill them

by being firm,

14and it may even

save their lives.


15My children,

if you show good sense,

I will be happy,

16and if you are truthful,

I will really be glad.


17Don't be jealous of sinners,

but always honor the Lord.

18Then you will truly have hope

for the future.


19Listen to me, my children!

Be wise and have enough sense

to follow the right path.

20Don't be a heavy drinker

or stuff yourself with food.

21It will make you feel drowsy,

and you will end up poor

with only rags to wear.


22Pay attention to your father,

and don't neglect your mother

when she grows old.

23Invest in truth and wisdom,

discipline and good sense,

and don't part with them.

24Make your father truly happy

by living right and showing

sound judgment.

25Make your parents proud,

especially your mother.


26My son, pay close attention,

and gladly follow

my example.

27Bad women and unfaithful wives

are like a deep pit—

28they are waiting to attack you

like a gang of robbers

with victim after victim.


29Who is always in trouble?

Who argues and fights?

Who has cuts and bruises?

Whose eyes are red?

30Everyone who stays up late,

having just one more drink.

31Don't even look

at that colorful stuff

bubbling up in the glass!

It goes down so easily,

32but later it bites

like a poisonous snake.

33You will see weird things,

and your mind

will play tricks on you.

34You will feel tossed about

like someone trying to sleep

on a ship in a storm.

35You will be bruised all over,

without even remembering

how it all happened.

And you will lie awake asking,

“When will morning come,

so I can drink some more?”


23.7 People … eat: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
23.10 marker: See the note at 22.28.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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