The Proverbs

Chapter 23

Various observations of moral virtues, and their contrary vices, 1-35.

When you sit to eat with a ruler,/
consider diligently what is before you,

And put a knife to your throat,/
if you are a man given to appetite.

Do not be desirous of his dainties,/
for they are deceitful food.

Do not labor to be rich./
Cease from your own wisdom.

Will you set your eyes upon that which is not?/
For riches certainly make for themselves wings./
They fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Do not eat the bread of him who has an evil eye,/
neither desire his dainties,

For as he thinks in his heart, so he is./
"Eat and drink," he says to you, but his heart is not with you.

You shall vomit up the morsel which you have eaten/
and lose your sweet words.

Do not speak in the ears of a fool,/
for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not remove the old landmark,/
and do not enter into the fields of the fatherless,

11 For their redeemer is mighty./
He will plead their cause with you.

12 Apply your heart to instruction/
and your ears to the words of knowledge.

13 Do not withhold correction from the child,/
for if you beat him with the rod, he shall not die.

14 You shall beat him with the rod/
and shall deliver his soul from hell.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,/
my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

16 Indeed, my heart shall rejoice/
when your lips speak right things.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,/
but be in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

18 For surely there is an end,/
and your expectation shall not be cut off.

19 Hear, my son, and be wise,/
and guide your heart in the way.

20 Do not be among drunkards,/
among riotous eaters of flesh,

21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty,/
and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

22 Listen to your father who begot you,/
and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth and do not sell it,/
even wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice./
And he who begets a wise child shall have joy of him.

25 Your father and your mother shall be glad,/
and she who bore you shall rejoice.

26 My son, give me your heart,/
and let your eyes observe my ways.

27 For a lewd woman is a deep ditch,/
and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

28 She also lies in wait as for prey/
and increases the transgressors among men.

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions?/
Who has babbling? Who has wounds without cause?/
Who has redness of eyes?

30 Those who stay long at the wine,/
and those who go to seek mixed wine.

31 Do not look upon the wine when it is red,/
when it gives its color in the cup,/
when it moves itself aright.

32 At the last it bites like a serpent/
and stings like an adder.

33 Your eyes shall behold strange women,/
and your heart shall utter perverse things.

34 And you shall be as he who lies down in the midst of the sea,/
or as he who lies upon the top of a mast.

35 "They have stricken me," you will say, "and I was not sick./
They have beaten me, and I did not feel it./
When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Proverbs, Chapter 23[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

From the tenth chapter to the twenty-fifth are various proverbial sentences without any very apparent connection or coherence with each other, describing righteous and wicked men, setting forth their different temper, conduct, and actions, and the fruits and effects of them. It should be observed, that frequently in the preceding chapters two persons are represented as women: one goes by the name of "Wisdom," the other is called the "foolish" woman and a "harlot," the former is clearly to be understood of Christ, and the latter, being opposed to him, must be antichrist, the whore of Rome and mother of harlots. Now in the following part of this book two sorts of persons are spoken of, the one as wise, righteous, good, etc., and the other as foolish, wicked, etc., who are no other than the followers of Christ and antichrist, which observation is a key to the whole book.