Proverbs 23

Listen to Proverbs 23
1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
5 Wilt thou set[a]#stm8686 thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away#stm8799 as an eagle toward heaven.
6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
10 Remove not the old landmark;[b] and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
18 For surely there is an end;[c] and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
20 Be not among winebibbers*; among riotous eaters of flesh:[d]
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe* my ways.
27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions*? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup*, when it moveth itself aright.
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth[e] like an adder.
33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst[f] of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt[g] it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

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Proverbs 23 Commentary

Chapter 23

Verses 1-3 God's restraints of the appetite only say, Do thyself no ( proverbs 23:4-5 ) this world are not happiness and a portion for a soul; those that hold them ever so fast, cannot hold them always, cannot hold them long. ( 6-8 ) . Do not make thyself burdensome to any, especially those not sincere. When we are called by God to his feast, and to let our souls delight themselves, Isa. 25:6 Isa. 55:2 |, we may safely partake of the Bread of life. Verse 9 . It is our duty to take all fit occasions to speak of Divine things; but if what a wise man says will not be heard, let him hold his ( proverbs 23:10-11 ) protection. He is their Redeemer, who will take their part; and he is mighty, almighty.

Verses 12-16 Here is a parent instructing his child to give his mind to the Scriptures. Here is a parent correcting his child: accompanied with prayer, and blessed of God, it may prove a means of preventing his destruction. Here is a parent encouraging his child, telling him what would be for his good. And what a comfort it would be, if herein he answered his ( proverbs 23:17-18 ) disappointed; the end of his trials, and of the sinner's prosperity, is at hand.

Verses 19-28 The gracious Saviour who purchased pardon and peace for his people, with all the affection of a tender parent, counsels us to hear and be wise, and is ready to guide our hearts in his way. Here we have an earnest call to young people, to attend to the advice of their godly parents. If the heart be guided, the steps will be guided. Buy the truth, and sell it not; be willing to part with any thing for it. Do not part with it for pleasures, honours, riches, or any thing in this world. The heart is what the great God requires. We must not think to divide the heart between God and the world; he will have all or none. Look to the rule of God's word, the conduct of his providence, and the good examples of his people. Particular cautions are given against sins most destructive to wisdom and grace in the soul. It is really a shame to make a god of the belly. Drunkenness stupifies men, and then all goes to ruin. Licentiousness takes away the heart that should be given to God. Take heed of any approaches toward this sin, it is very hard to retreat from it. It bewitches men to their ruin.

Verses 29-35 Solomon warns against drunkenness. Those that would be kept from sin, must keep from all the beginnings of it, and fear coming within reach of its allurements. Foresee the punishment, what it will at last end in, if repentance prevent not. It makes men quarrel. Drunkards wilfully make woe and sorrow for themselves. It makes men impure and insolent. The tongue grows unruly; the heart utters things contrary to reason, religion, and common civility. It stupifies and besots men. They are in danger of death, of damnation; as much exposed as if they slept upon the top of a mast, yet feel secure. They fear no peril when the terrors of the Lord are before them; they feel no pain when the judgments of God are actually upon them. So lost is a drunkard to virtue and honour, so wretchedly is his conscience seared, that he is not ashamed to say, I will seek it again. With good reason we were bid to stop before the beginning. Who that has common sense would contract a habit, or sell himself to a sin, which tends to such guilt and misery, and exposes a man every day to the danger of dying insensible, and awaking in hell? Wisdom seems in these chapters to take up the discourse as at the beginning of the book. They must be considered as the words of Christ to the sinner.

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. set...: Heb. cause thine eyes to fly upon
  • [b]. landmark: or, bound
  • [c]. end: or, reward
  • [d]. of flesh: Heb. of their flesh
  • [e]. an...: or, a cockatrice
  • [f]. the midst...: Heb. the heart of the sea
  • [g]. I felt...: Heb. I knew it not

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 11

This chapter relates the false steps Solomon took, notwithstanding all his wisdom, in marrying strange wives, and worshipping other gods, 1Ki 11:1-8 upon which the Lord threatens him to rend the kingdom in his son's time, 1Ki 11:9-13 and he raised up adversaries against him, Hadad, Rezon, and Jeroboam, 1Ki 11:14-26 of which last an account is given, and of his being assured by Ahijah the prophet of his having ten of the tribes of Israel given to him; which Solomon having notice of sought to slay him, 1Ki 11:27-40 and the chapter is concluded with an account of Solomon's death and burial, 1Ki 11:41-43.

Proverbs 23 Commentaries

The King James Version is in the public domain.