Proverbs 23
Appetite; alcoholism; honoring parents
 1 ¶ When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
 2  And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
 3  Be not desirous of his dainties [delicacies]: for they are deceitful meat [food].
   1 - Eat with a ruler Principles of health are easily forgotten at important social events. da0108.
   2 - Knife to thy throat Instead of to the plate. Solomon would have been advising the use of temperance rather than suicide.
   3 - Dainties ... deceitful The mouth says, How can something that tastes so good be bad? As a rule things that most please the appetite are the most harmful.
 4 ¶ Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
 5  Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
  4 - Labour not to be rich This charge is for the poor as well as the rich lu1234.
 6 ¶ Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
.7  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
 8  The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
   7 - Thinketh ... so is he Our characters depend on our aspirations and on what we feed our minds.
 9 ¶ Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. -
 10 ¶ Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
 11  For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
   10 - Landmark The advice may also be applied to spiritual landmarks as established in the Scriptures. We would not interpret this to advise following human tradition mt1506. The landmarks were set as shown in the OT and confirmed by Christ.
   10 - Fields of the fatherless How often money is taken from those who can easily be deceived.
.12 ¶ Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
.13  Withhold not correction [discipline] from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
 14  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
 15  My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
 16  Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
  13 - Withhold not correction Use of the whipping stick is better than the individual's loss of the eternal reward. Spanking is be more effective for young children than for older ones. When the child is able to reason, withholding of privileges is much better. If discipline for young children can be achieved without spanking, it is better and in harmony with Paul's advice col0321.
  14 - Hell Hebrew sheol or "grave." Here representing death.
 17 ¶ Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
.18  For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
  17 - Envy sinners Their pleasure is artificial and temporary.
  18 - An end Literally "an aftertime" or as in pr2414 a "reward." Our focus must be eternity.
 19 ¶ Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
 20  Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
 21  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
  19 - Guide thine heart We must suppress evil emotions contrary to popular psychology. Venting them only reinforces them. ro1203, v7.
  20 - Eaters of flesh Although a vegan diet was probably not the the intent of the counsel, flesh (meat) today is not only unhealthful but it is dangerous.
 22  Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
 23  Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
  23 - Buy the truth Why doesn't the verse read "accept the truth."? or "take the truth"? Because we need to pay for it. We give up things like being dishonest to make money or popularity. The church of Laodicea was asked to buy gold and other items. re0318. Compare is0118.
 24  The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
 25  Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
  24,25 - Father of ... righteous It is a joy for parents to see their children living by faith. Compare ex2012, ep0601-3.
 26  My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
 27  For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
 28  She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
  27 - Whore [prostitute] ... ditch It is easy to fall in be being too close to the edge.
.29 ¶ Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
.30  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
.31  Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
 32  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
 33  Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
 34  Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
 35  They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
= = = = = = = = = =
  30 - Wine The word, wine, means "grape juice" whether fermented or not. This verse clarifies that fermented wine is bad. The advice is in avoiding temptation. "Do not look at" it.
  34 - Lieth ... sea ... mast The intoxicated person imagines strange things.
  35 - Seek it yet again Using alcohol and other habit-forming practices is a trap of the devil. People in such habits need to be faced with reality and they need to make a choice between eternal life and eternal death. They need to pray.  image © corel.
Proverbs home
Commentary home
Get questions answered; go to topics list.