Proverbs 23

1When you sit down to dine with a ruler,

consider carefully what is before you,

2and put a knife to your throat

if you have a big appetite;

3don’t desire his choice food,

for that food is deceptive.

4Don’t wear yourself out to get rich;

because you know better, stop!

5As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears,

for it makes wings for itself

and flies like an eagle to the sky.

6Don’t eat a stingy person’s bread,

and don’t desire his choice food,

7for it’s like someone calculating inwardly.

“Eat and drink,” he says to you,

but his heart is not with you.

8You will vomit the little you’ve eaten

and waste your pleasant words.

9Don’t speak to a fool,

for he will despise the insight of your words.

10Don’t move an ancient boundary marker,

and don’t encroach on the fields of the fatherless,

11for their Redeemer is strong,

and he will champion their cause against you.

12Apply yourself to discipline

and listen to words of knowledge.

13Don’t withhold discipline from a youth;

if you punish him with a rod, he will not die.

14Punish him with a rod,

and you will rescue his life from Sheol.

15My son, if your heart is wise,

my heart will indeed rejoice.

16My innermost being will celebrate

when your lips say what is right.

17Don’t let your heart envy sinners;

instead, always fear the Lord.

18For then you will have a future,

and your hope will not be dashed.

19Listen, my son, and be wise;

keep your mind on the right course.

20Don’t associate with those who drink too much wine

or with those who gorge themselves on meat.

21For the drunkard and the glutton will become poor,

and grogginess will clothe them in rags.

22Listen to your father who gave you life,

and don’t despise your mother when she is old.

23Buy — and do not sell — truth,

wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

24The father of a righteous son will rejoice greatly,

and one who fathers a wise son will delight in him.

25Let your father and mother have joy,

and let her who gave birth to you rejoice.

26My son, give me your heart,

and let your eyes observe my ways.

27For a prostitute is a deep pit,

and a wayward woman is a narrow well;

28indeed, she sets an ambush like a robber

and increases the number of unfaithful people.

29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has conflicts? Who has complaints?

Who has wounds for no reason?

Who has red eyes?

30Those who linger over wine;

those who go looking for mixed wine.

31Don’t gaze at wine because it is red,

because it gleams in the cup

and goes down smoothly.

32In the end it bites like a snake

and stings like a viper.

33Your eyes will see strange things,

and you will say absurd things.

34You’ll be like someone sleeping out at sea

or lying down on the top of a ship’s mast.

35“They struck me, but I feel no pain!

They beat me, but I didn’t know it!

When will I wake up?

I’ll look for another drink.”