Proverbs 23
New American Bible Revised Edition

1* When you sit down to dine with a ruler,

mark well the one who is before you;

2Stick the knife in your gullet*

if you have a ravenous appetite.

3Do not desire his delicacies;

it is food that deceives.

4Do not wear yourself out to gain wealth,

cease to be worried about it;

5When your glance flits to it, it is gone!

For assuredly it grows wings,

like the eagle that flies toward heaven.*

6* Do not take food with unwilling hosts,

and do not desire their delicacies;

7For like something stuck in the throat is that food.

“Eat and drink,” they say to you,

but their hearts are not with you;

8The little you have eaten you will vomit up,

and you will have wasted your agreeable words.

9Do not speak in the hearing of fools;

they will despise the wisdom of your words.a

10Do not remove the ancient landmark,b

nor invade the fields of the fatherless;*

11For their redeemer is strong;

he will defend their cause against you.c

12Apply your heart to instruction,

and your ear to words of knowledge.

13* Do not withhold discipline from youths;

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

14Beat them with the rod,e

and you will save them from Sheol.

15My son, if your heart is wise,

my heart also will rejoice;

16And my inmost being will exult,

when your lips speak what is right.

17Do not let your heart envy sinners,f

but only those who always fear the Lord;*

18For you will surely have a future,

and your hope will not be cut off.g

19Hear, my son, and be wise,

and guide your heart in the right way.

20Do not join with wine bibbers,

nor with those who glut themselves on meat.

21For drunkards and gluttons come to poverty,

and lazing about clothes one in rags.

22* Listen to your father who begot you,

do not despise your mother when she is old.

23Buy truth and do not sell:

wisdom, instruction, understanding!

24The father of a just person will exult greatly;

whoever begets a wise son will rejoice in him.h

25Let your father and mother rejoice;

let her who bore you exult.

26* My son, give me your heart,

and let your eyes keep to my ways,

27For the harlot is a deep pit,

and the foreign woman a narrow well;

28Yes, she lies in wait like a robber,i

and increases the number of the faithless.

29* Who scream? Who shout?

Who have strife? Who have anxiety?

Who have wounds for nothing?

Who have bleary eyes?

30Whoever linger long over wine,

whoever go around quaffing wine.j

31Do not look on the wine when it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup.

It goes down smoothly,

32but in the end it bites like a serpent,

and stings like an adder.

33Your eyes behold strange sights,

and your heart utters incoherent things;

34You are like one sleeping on the high seas,

sprawled at the top of the mast.

35“They struck me, but it did not pain me;

they beat me, but I did not feel it.

When can I get up,

when can I go out and get more?”*

Book Introduction


Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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