Proverbs 23
1If you sit down to eat with a ruler,
notice the food that is in front of you.
2Control yourself
if you have a big appetite.
3Don’t be greedy for his fine foods.
He might use that rich food to trick you.
4Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.
Be wise enough to control yourself.
5Wealth can vanish in the wink of an eye.
It seems to grow wings
and fly away like an eagle in the sky.
6Don’t eat the food of a selfish person.
Don’t be greedy for his fine foods.
7A selfish person is always worrying
about how much the food costs.
He tells you, “Eat and drink.”
But he doesn’t really mean it.
8So you will feel like throwing up the little bit you have eaten.
And you will have wasted your kind words.
9Don’t speak to a foolish person.
He will only ignore your wise words.
10Don’t move an old stone that shows where somebody’s land is.
And don’t take fields that belong to orphans.
11God, their defender, is strong.
He will take their side against you.
12Remember what you are taught.
And listen carefully to words of knowledge.
13Don’t fail to punish a child.
If you spank him, you will keep him from dying.
14If you punish him with a spanking,
you will save him from a fool’s death.
15My child, if you are wise,
then I will be happy.
16I will be so pleased
if you speak what is right.
17Don’t envy sinners.
But always respect the Lord.
18If you do, you will have hope for the future.
Your wishes will come true.
19Listen, my child, and be wise.
Keep your mind on what is right.
20Don’t be one of those who drink too much wine
or who eat too much food.
21Those who drink too much and eat too much become poor.
They sleep too much and end up wearing rags.
22Listen to your father, who gave you life.
And do not forget your mother when she is old.
23Learn the truth and never reject it.
Get wisdom, self-control and understanding.
24The father of a good child is very happy.
The person who has a wise son is glad because of him.
25Make your father and mother happy.
Give your mother a reason to be glad.
26My son, pay attention to me.
And watch closely what I do.
27A prostitute is as dangerous as a deep pit.
And an unfaithful wife is like a narrow well.
28They ambush you like robbers.
And they cause many men to be unfaithful to their wives.
29-30Some people drink too much wine.
They try out all the different kinds of drinks.
So they have trouble. They are sad.
They fight. They complain.
They have unnecessary bruises.
They have bloodshot eyes.
31Don’t stare at the wine’s pretty, red color.
It may sparkle in the cup.
It may go down your throat smoothly.
32But later it bites like a snake.
Like a snake, it poisons you.
33Your eyes will see strange sights.
And your mind will be confused.
34You will feel dizzy, as if you’re out on the stormy ocean.
You will feel as if you’re on top of a ship’s sails.
35You will think, “They hit me, but I’m not hurt!
They have beaten me up, but I don’t remember it.
I wish I could wake up.
Then I would get another drink.”
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