Proverbs 23

1 When you go out to dinner with an influential person, mind your manners:
2 Don't gobble your food, don't talk with your mouth full.
3 And don't stuff yourself; bridle your appetite.
4 Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich; restrain yourself
5 Riches disappear in the blink of an eye; wealth sprouts wings and flies off into the wild blue yonder.
6 Don't accept a meal from a tightwad; don't expect anything special.
7 He'll be as stingy with you as he is with himself; he'll say, "Eat! Drink!" but won't mean a word of it.
8 His miserly serving will turn your stomach when you realize the meal's a sham.
9 Don't bother talking sense to fools; they'll only poke fun at your words.
10 Don't stealthily move back the boundary lines or cheat orphans out of their property,
11 For they have a powerful Advocate who will go to bat for them.
12 Give yourselves to disciplined instruction; open your ears to tested knowledge.
13 Don't be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won't kill them.
14 A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death
15 Dear child, if you become wise, I'll be one happy parent.
16 My heart will dance and sing to the tuneful truth you'll speak.
17 Don't for a minute envy careless rebels; soak yourself in the Fear-of-God -
18 That's where your future lies. Then you won't be left with an armload of nothing.
19 Oh listen, dear child - become wise; point your life in the right direction
20 Don't drink too much wine and get drunk; don't eat too much food and get fat.
21 Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row, in a stupor and dressed in rags. Buy Wisdom, Education, Insigh
22 Listen with respect to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don't neglect her.
23 Buy truth - don't sell it for love or money; buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.
24 Parents rejoice when their children turn out well; wise children become proud parents.
25 So make your father happy! Make your mother proud!
26 Dear child, I want your full attention; please do what I show you.
27 A whore is a bottomless pit; a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.
28 She'll take you for all you've got; she's worse than a pack of thieves.
29 Who are the people who are always crying the blues? Who do you know who reeks of self-pity? Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all? Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
30 It's those who spend the night with a bottle, for whom drinking is serious business.
31 Don't judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor.
32 Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with - the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
33 Do you really prefer seeing double, with your speech all slurred,
34 Reeling and seasick, drunk as a sailor?
35 "They hit me," you'll say, "but it didn't hurt; they beat on me, but I didn't feel a thing. When I'm sober enough to manage it, bring me another drink!"

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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.

Chapter Summary


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