1 When you sit to eat with a ruler,
you shall surely observe what is before you,
2and you shall put a knife to your throat
if you have a big appetite.#Literally “lord/master of life”
3Do not desire his delicacies,
for#Hebrew “and” it is food of deception.
4Do not tire in order to become rich;
out of your understanding, may you desist.
5Your eyes will alight#Literally “cause to fly” on it, but there is nothing to it,
for suddenly it will make for itself wings
like an eagle and it will be exhausted in the heavens.
6Do not eat the bread of the stingy,#Literally “stingy of eye”
and do not desire his delicacies.
7For, like hair in his throat,#Literally “soul,” or “inner self” so it is.#Or “is he”
“Eat and drink!” he will say to you,
but his heart will not be with you.
8Your morsel you have eaten, you will vomit it up,
and you will waste your pleasant words.
9In the ears of a fool do not speak,
for he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10Do not remove an ancient boundary marker,
and on the fields of orphans do not encroach;
11For their redeemer is strong,
he himself will plead their cause against you.
12Apply your heart#Or “mind” to instruction,
and your ear to sayings of knowledge.
13Do not withhold discipline from a child,
if you will beat him with the rod, he will not die.
14As for you, with the rod you shall beat him,
and his life#Or “soul,” or “inner self” you will save from Sheol.#A term for the place where the dead reside, i.e., the Underworld
15My child, if your heart#Or “mind” is wise,
my heart will be glad—even me!
16And my insides#Literally “kidneys” will rejoice
when your lips speak what is upright.
17May your heart#Or “mind” not envy the sinners,
but live in fear of Yahweh all day.#Literally “all the day”
18Surely#Literally “For if” there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19You, my child, hear and be wise,
and direct your heart#Or “mind” on the road.
20Do not be among drinkers of wine,
among gluttonous eaters of their meat.#Literally “meat for them”
21For the drunkard and gluttonous, they will become poor,
and with rags, drowsiness will clothe them.
22Listen to your father—he who gave you life,#Literally “caused you to be born”
and do not despise your mother when#Or “for, because” she is old.
23Buy truth and do not sell it,
wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24The father of the righteous will surely rejoice;
he who bears a wise person will be happy with him.
25May your father and your mother be glad,
and may she who bore you rejoice.
26My child, may you give your heart#Or “mind” to me,
and may your eyes delight in my ways.
27For a deep pit is a prostitute,#Or “whore”
and a narrow well is an adulteress.#Literally “a foreign woman”
28She is also like a robber lying in wait,
and the faithless among mankind she increases.
29To whom is woe? To whom is sorrow? To whom are quarrels? To whom is complaint?
To whom are wounds without cause? To whom is redness of the eyes?
30To those who linger over wine,
to those who come to try mixed wine.
31Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles#Literally “gives its eye” on the cup,
going down smoothly.
32In the end,#Literally “end him” it will bite like a serpent,
and it will sting like an adder.
33Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart#Or “mind” will speak perverse things.
34And you will be like him who lies down in the heart of the sea,
and like him who lies down on top of a mast.
35“They struck me; I was not hurt. They beat me; I did not know it.
When I will awake, I will continue; I will seek it again.”