Proverbs 23
New American Standard Bible►► 

On Life and Conduct

1When you sit down to dine with a ruler,

Consider carefully [a]what is before you,

2And put a knife to your throat

If you are a person of great appetite.

3Do not desire his delicacies,

For it is deceptive food.

4Do not weary yourself to gain wealth;

[b]Stop dwelling on it.

5[c]When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.

For wealth certainly makes itself wings

Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

6Do not eat the bread of [d]a selfish person;

Or desire his delicacies;

7For as he [e]thinks within himself, so he is.

He says to you, “Eat and drink!”

But his heart is not with you.

8You will vomit up [f]the morsel you have eaten

And waste your [g]compliments.

9Do not speak [h]to be heard by a fool,

For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10Do not move the ancient boundary

Or go into the fields of the fatherless,

11For their Redeemer is strong;

He will plead their case against you.

12Apply your heart to discipline,

And your ears to words of knowledge.

13Do not withhold discipline from a child;

Though you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

14You shall strike him with the rod

And rescue his soul from Sheol.

15My son, if your heart is wise,

My own heart also will be glad,

16And my [i]innermost being will rejoice

When your lips speak what is right.

17Do not let your heart envy sinners,

But live in [j]the fear of the LORD [k]always.

18Certainly there is a [l]future,

And your hope will not be cut off.

19Listen, my son, and be wise,

And direct your heart in the way.

20Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,

Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;

21For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,

And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.

22Listen to your father, who fathered you,

And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23Buy truth, and do not sell it,

Get wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,

And he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

25Let your father and your mother be glad,

And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

26Give me your heart, my son,

And let your eyes [m]delight in my ways.

27For a prostitute is a deep pit,

And a [n]strange woman is a narrow well.

28Certainly she lurks as a robber,

And increases the treacherous among mankind.

29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has contentions? Who has complaining?

Who has wounds without cause?

Who has red eyes?

30Those who linger long over wine,

Those who go to [o]taste mixed wine.

31Do not look at wine when it is red,

When it [p]sparkles in the cup,

When it goes down smoothly;

32In the end it bites like a snake

And stings like a viper.

33Your eyes will see strange things

And your [q]mind will say perverse things.

34And you will be like one who lies down in the [r]middle of the sea,

Or like one who lies down on the top of a [s]mast.

35“They struck me, but I did not become [t]ill;

They beat me, but I did not know it.

When will I awake?

I will seek [u]another drink.”

[a] 1 Or who
[b] 4 Lit Refrain from your understanding of it
[c] 5 Lit Will your eyes fly upon it and it is not?
[d] 6 Lit an evil eye
[e] 7 Lit reckons in his soul
[f] 8 Lit your
[g] 8 Lit pleasant words
[h] 9 Lit in the ears of a
[i] 16 Lit kidneys
[j] 17 Or reverence for
[k] 17 Lit all the day
[l] 18 Lit latter end
[m] 26 Another reading is observe
[n] 27 Lit foreign
[o] 30 Or search out
[p] 31 Lit gives its eye
[q] 33 Lit heart
[r] 34 Lit heart
[s] 34 Or lookout
[t] 35 I.e., from the effect of wounds
[u] 35 Lit it yet again

New American Standard Bible
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by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.
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