1When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
think carefully about who is before you.
2If you have a big appetite,
put a knife to your throat!
3Don’t be greedy for his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
4Don’t exhaust yourself in pursuit of wealth;
be smart enough to desist.
5If you make your eyes rush at it,
it’s no longer there!
For wealth will surely grow wings,
like an eagle flying off to the sky.
6Don’t eat the food of a stingy man;
don’t be greedy for his delicacies.
7For he is like someone who keeps accounts —
“Eat! Drink!” he says to you,
but he doesn’t really mean it.
8The little you eat you will vomit up,
and your compliments will have been wasted.
9Don’t speak in the ears of a fool,
for he will only despise the common sense in your words.
10Don’t move the ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the land of the fatherless;
11for their Redeemer is strong;
he will take up their fight against you.
12Apply your mind to discipline
and your ears to words of knowledge.
13Don’t withhold discipline from a child —
if you beat him with a stick, he won’t die!
14If you beat him with a stick,
you will save him from Sh’ol.
15My son, if your heart is wise,
then my own heart too is glad;
16my inmost being rejoices
when your lips say what is right.
17Don’t envy sinners, but follow the example
of those who always fear God;
18for then you will have a future;
what you hope for will not be cut off.
19You, my son: listen, be wise,
and set your mind on the right way.
20Don’t be one of those who guzzle wine
or of those who eat meat to excess,
21for both drunkard and glutton will become poor —
drowsiness will clothe them with rags.
22Listen to your father, who gave you life;
and don’t despise your mother when she gets old.
23Buy the truth, don’t sell it,
also wisdom, discipline and discernment.
24A righteous person’s father will be filled with joy;
yes, he whose son is wise will rejoice in him.
25So let your father and mother be glad;
let her who gave you birth rejoice.
26My son, give me your heart;
let your eyes observe my ways.
27A prostitute is a deep ditch,
and a forbidden woman like a narrow well.
28She lies in wait to snatch her prey
and adds to the number of faithless men.
29Who has misery? Who has regret?
Who fights and complains all the time?
Who gets bruised for no good reason?
Who has bloodshot eyes?
30Those who spend their time over wine,
those always trying out mixed drinks.
31Don’t gaze at the red wine
as it gives its color to the cup.
It may glide down smoothly now;
32but in the end, it bites like a serpent —
yes, it strikes like a poisonous snake.
33Your eyes will see peculiar things,
your mind will utter nonsense.
34You will feel as if lying on the waves of the sea
or sprawled on top of the mast —
35“They hit me, but I didn’t feel it!
They beat me up, and I didn’t even know it!
When will I wake up? . . .
I’ll go get another drink.”