Proverbs 23:31

31 Don't gaze at wine when it is red, when it gleams in the cup and goes down smoothly.[a]

Proverbs 23:31 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 23:31

Look not thou upon the wine when it is red
Or, "because it is red" F18; or shows itself red. Which was the only wine used in the land of Canaan, or, however, the most esteemed of, and that most of art which had the best colour; when it had a good, bright, red colour, or sparkled, and looked bright and beautiful, so the word signifies; and then it should not be looked upon: not that it is unlawful to look upon the colour of wine, and thereby judge of its goodness; but it should not be looked upon with a greedy eye, so as vehemently to desire it, which will lead to an intemperate use of it; just as looking upon a woman, so as to lust after her, is forbidden, ( Matthew 5:28 ) ; when it giveth his colour in the cup:
or, its eye in the cup F19; such a bright, brisk, and beautiful colour, as is like a bright and sparkling eye. Here is a various reading; it is written in the text, "in the purse" F20; it is read in the margin, "in the cup"; and Jarchi's note takes in both,

``he that drinks wine sets his eye on the cup; and the vintner sets his on his purse;''
[when] it moveth itself aright;
sparkles in the glass, or goes down the throat pleasantly; or rather looks well to the eye, and appears right and good, and promises a great deal of satisfaction and delight.

F18 (yk) "quia", some in Mercerus, Gejerus.
F19 (wnye) "oculum suum", Montanus, Gejerus, Michaelis.
F20 (oykb) "in crumena, vel marsupio", Mercerus.

Proverbs 23:31 In-Context

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has conflicts? Who has complaints? Who has wounds for no reason? Who has red eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine, those who go looking for mixed wine.
31 Don't gaze at wine when it is red, when it gleams in the cup and goes down smoothly.
32 In the end it bites like a snake and stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things, and you will say absurd things.

Footnotes 1

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