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Proverbs 23

True Riches
(1 Timothy 6:17–19; James 5:1–6)

Saying 7

1 When you sit down to dine with a ruler,

consider carefully what is set before you, a 

2 and put a knife to your throat

if you possess a great appetite.

3 Do not crave his delicacies,

for that food is deceptive.

Saying 8

4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;

be wise enough to restrain yourself.

5 When you glance at wealth, it disappears,

for it makes wings for itself

and flies like an eagle to the sky.

Saying 9

6 Do not eat the bread of a stingy man, b 

and do not crave his delicacies;

7 for he is keeping track,

inwardly counting the cost. c 

“Eat and drink,” he says to you,

but his heart is not with you.

8 You will vomit up what little you have eaten

and waste your pleasant words.

Saying 10

9 Do not speak to a fool,

for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

Saying 11

10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone

or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,

11 for their Redeemer is strong;

He will take up their case against you.

Saying 12

12 Apply your heart to instruction

and your ears to words of knowledge.

Saying 13

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;

although you strike him with a rod, he will not die.

14 Strike him with a rod,

and you will deliver his soul from Sheol.

Saying 14

15 My son, if your heart is wise,

my own heart will indeed rejoice.

16 My inmost being d will rejoice

when your lips speak what is right.

Saying 15

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,

but always continue in the fear of the LORD.

18 For surely there is a future,

and your hope will not be cut off.

Saying 16

19 Listen, my son, and be wise,

and guide your heart on the right course.

20 Do not join those who drink too much wine

or gorge themselves on meat.

21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,

and drowsiness will clothe them in rags.

Saying 17

22 Listen to your father who gave you life,

and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Invest in truth and never sell it—

in wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24 The father of a righteous man will greatly rejoice,

and he who fathers a wise son will delight in him.

25 May your father and mother be glad,

and may she who gave you birth rejoice!

Saying 18

26 My son, give me your heart,

and let your eyes delight in my ways.

27 For a prostitute is a deep pit,

and an adulteress e is a narrow well.

28 Like a robber she lies in wait

and multiplies the faithless among men.

Saying 19

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has contentions? Who has complaints?

Who has needless wounds? Who has bloodshot eyes?

30 Those who linger over wine,

who go to taste mixed drinks.

31 Do not gaze at wine while it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup

and goes down smoothly.

32 In the end it bites like a snake

and stings like a viper.

33 Your eyes will see strange things,

and your mind will utter perversities.

34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas

or lying on the top of a mast:

35 “They struck me, but I feel no pain!

They beat me, but I did not know it!

When can I wake up

to search for another drink?”



1 a Or who is before you
6 b Literally of him whose eye is evil
7 c Or for as he calculates in his soul, so is he
16 d Hebrew My kidneys
27 e Or a foreign woman or a wayward wife

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