Proverbs 23

1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler, Consider carefully what is before you;
2 And put a knife to your throat If you are a man given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies, For they are deceptive food.
4 Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease
5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
6 Do not eat the bread of a miser, Nor desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. "Eat and drink!" he says to you, But his heart is not with you.
8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, And waste your pleasant words.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not remove the ancient landmark, Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 For their Redeemer is mighty; He will plead their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction, And your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.
15 My son, if your heart is wise, My heart will rejoice--indeed, I myself;
16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice When your lips speak right things.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise; And guide your heart in the way
20 Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags
22 Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.
26 My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit, And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim, And increases the unfaithful among men.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 "They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek 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.

Footnotes 2

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