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,
because that food might be a trick.
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 can seem to grow wings
and fly away like an eagle.
6Don’t eat the food of selfish people;
don’t be greedy for their fine foods.
7Selfish people are always worrying
about how much the food costs.
They tell you, “Eat and drink,”
but they don’t really mean it.
8You will throw up the little you have eaten,
and you will have wasted your kind words.
9Don’t speak to fools;
they will only ignore your wise words.
10Don’t move an old stone that marks a border,
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 children.
If you spank them, they won’t die.
14If you spank them,
you will save them from 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.
18Then you will have hope for the future,
and your wishes will come true.
19Listen, my child, and be wise.
Keep your mind on what is right.
20Don’t drink too much wine
or eat too much food.
21Those who drink 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;
parents who have wise children are glad because of them.
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 cause many men to be unfaithful to their wives.
29Who has trouble? Who has pain?
Who fights? Who complains?
Who has unnecessary bruises?
Who has bloodshot eyes?
30It is people who drink too much wine,
who try out all different kinds of strong drinks.
31Don’t stare at the wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly.
32Later it bites like a snake
with poison in its fangs.
33Your eyes will see strange sights,
and your mind will be confused.
34You will feel dizzy as if you’re in a storm on the ocean,
as if you’re on top of a ship’s sails.
35You will think, “They hit me, but I’m not hurt.
They beat me up, but I don’t remember it.
I wish I could wake up.
Then I would get another drink.”
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.