Proverbs 23
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Things to Avoid in Life

1Whenever you sit down to dine with a ruler,

carefully think about what is before you.

2Put a knife to your own throat,

if you have a big appetite.a

3Don’t crave his delicacies,

because the meal is deceptive.

4Don’t exhaust yourself acquiring wealth;

be smart enough to stop.

5When you fix your gaze on it, it’s gone,

for it sprouts wings for itself

and flies to the sky like an eagle.

6Don’t consume food provided by a miserlyb person,

and don’t desire his delicacies,

7for as he thinks within himself, so he is.

“Eat and drink!” he’ll say to you,

but his heart won’t be with you.

8You’ll vomit up what little you’ve eaten,

and your compliments will have been wasted.

9Don’t speak when a fool is listening,

because he’ll despise your wise words.

10Don’t move ancient boundaries

or invade fields belonging to orphans;

11for strong is their Redeemer

who will take up their case against you.

12Learn diligently,

and listen to words of knowledge.

13Don’t withhold discipline from a child;

if you punish him with a rod,

he won’t die.

14Punish him with a rod,

and you will rescue his soul from Sheol.c

On Listening to Your Parents

15My son, if your heart is wise,

my own heart will greatly rejoice.

16My innermost being will be glad

when your lips speak what is right.

17Never let yourself envy sinners;

instead, remaind in fear of the LORD every day,

18for there is surely a future life,

and what you hope for will not be cut off.

19Listen, my son, and be wise,

commit yourself to live God’se way.

20Don’t associate with heavy drinkers

or dine with gluttons,

21because drunks and gluttons tend to become poor,

and drowsiness will clothe them in rags.

22Listen to the one who fathered you,

and don’t despise your mother in her old age.

23Purchase truth, but don’t sell it;

store upf wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

24The father of a righteous person will greatly rejoice;

whoever fathers a wise son will be glad because of him.

25Let your father and mother rejoice;

make the one who gave birth to you happy.

26Give me your heart, my son,

and keep your eyes fixed on my ways,

27because a prostitute is a deep pit,

and the adulterousg woman a narrow well.

28Surely she lies in wait like a bandit,

increasing those who are faithless among mankind.

On Sobriety

29Who has woe? Who has grief?

Who has contention? Who has complaints?

Who has wounds without cause?

Who has bloodshot eyes?

30Those who linger over their wine,

who consume mixed drinks.

31Don’t stare into red wine,

when it sparkles in the cup

and goes down smoothly.

32Eventually it will bite like a snake

and sting like a serpent.

33Your eyes will see strange things,

and with slurred words you’ll speak what you really believe.

34You will be like someone who lies down in the sea,

or like someone who sleeps on top of a mast.

35“They struck me,” you will say,h

“but I never felt it.

They beat me,

but I never knew it

When will I wake up?

I want another drink.”

a 23:2 Lit. a master of an appetite
b 23:6 Lit. by the evil eyed
c 23:14 i.e. the realm of the dead.
d 23:17 The Heb. lacks remain
e 23:19 Lit. live in the
f 23:23 The Heb. lacks store up
g 23:27 Lit. foreign
h 23:35 The Heb. lacks you will say

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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