Chapter 23

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1 When thou sittest to eate with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee.

2 And put a knife to thy throate, if thou be a man giuen to appetite.

3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitfull meate.

4 Labour not to bee rich: cease from thine owne wisedome.

5 Wilt thou set thine eyes vpon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselues wings, they fly away as an Eagle toward heauen.

6 Eate thou not the bread of him that hath an euill eye, neither desire thou his dainty meates.

7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eate, and drinke, sayth he to thee, but his heart is not with thee.

8 The morsell which thou hast eaten, shalt thou vomite vp, and loose thy sweete words.

9 Speake not in the eares of a foole: for hee will despise the wisedome of thy words.

10 Remoue not the old landmarke; and enter not into the fields of the fatherlesse.

11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.

12 Apply thine heart vnto instruction, and thine eares to the words of knowledge.

13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

14 Thou shalt beate him with the rod, and shalt deliuer his soule from hell.

15 My sonne, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall reioyce, euen mine.

16 Yea my reines shall reioyce, when thy lippes speake right things.

17 Let not thine heart enuy sinners, but be thou in the feare of the Lord all the day long.

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

19 Heare thou, my sonne, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

20 Be not amongst wine-bibbers; amongst riotous eaters of flesh.

21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to pouerty; and drousinesse shall cloath a man with ragges.

22 Hearken vnto thy father that begate thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

23 Buy the trueth, and sell it not; also wisedome and instruction and vnderstanding.

24 The father of the righteous shall greatly reioyce: and he that begetteth a wise child, shall haue ioy of him.

25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall reioyce.

26 My sonne, giue me thine heart, and let thine eyes obserue my wayes.

27 For an whore is a deepe ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

28 She also lyeth in wait as for a pray, and increaseth the transgressours among men.

29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath rednesse of eyes?

30 They that tarry long at the wine, they that goe to seeke mixt wine.

31 Looke not thou vpon the wine when it is red, when it giueth his colour in the cup, when it moueth it selfe 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 vtter peruerse things.

34 Yea thou shalt be as he that lyeth downe in the midst of the sea, or as he that lyeth vpon the top of a mast.

35 They haue striken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sicke: they haue beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seeke it yet againe.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Proverbs 23

1-3 God's restraints of the appetite only say, Do thyself no harm. #4,5|. Be not of those that will be rich. The things of this world are not happiness and a portion for a soul; those that hold them ever so fast, cannot hold them always, cannot hold them long. #6-8|. Do not make thyself burdensome to any, especially those not sincere. When we are called by God to his feast, and to let our souls delight themselves, #Isa 25:6; 55:2|, we may safely partake of the Bread of life. #9|. It is our duty to take all fit occasions to speak of Divine things; but if what a wise man says will not be heard, let him hold his peace. #10,11|. The fatherless are taken under God's special protection. He is their Redeemer, who will take their part; and he is mighty, almighty.

12-16 Here is a parent instructing his child to give his mind to the Scriptures. Here is a parent correcting his child: accompanied with prayer, and blessed of God, it may prove a means of preventing his destruction. Here is a parent encouraging his child, telling him what would be for his good. And what a comfort it would be, if herein he answered his expectation! #17,18|. The believer's expectation shall not be disappointed; the end of his trials, and of the sinner's prosperity, is at hand.

19-28 The gracious Saviour who purchased pardon and peace for his people, with all the affection of a tender parent, counsels us to hear and be wise, and is ready to guide our hearts in his way. Here we have an earnest call to young people, to attend to the advice of their godly parents. If the heart be guided, the steps will be guided. Buy the truth, and sell it not; be willing to part with any thing for it. Do not part with it for pleasures, honours, riches, or any thing in this world. The heart is what the great God requires. We must not think to divide the heart between God and the world; he will have all or none. Look to the rule of God's word, the conduct of his providence, and the good examples of his people. Particular cautions are given against sins most destructive to wisdom and grace in the soul. It is really a shame to make a god of the belly. Drunkenness stupifies men, and then all goes to ruin. Licentiousness takes away the heart that should be given to God. Take heed of any approaches toward this sin, it is very hard to retreat from it. It bewitches men to their ruin.

29-35 Solomon warns against drunkenness. Those that would be kept from sin, must keep from all the beginnings of it, and fear coming within reach of its allurements. Foresee the punishment, what it will at last end in, if repentance prevent not. It makes men quarrel. Drunkards wilfully make woe and sorrow for themselves. It makes men impure and insolent. The tongue grows unruly; the heart utters things contrary to reason, religion, and common civility. It stupifies and besots men. They are in danger of death, of damnation; as much exposed as if they slept upon the top of a mast, yet feel secure. They fear no peril when the terrors of the Lord are before them; they feel no pain when the judgments of God are actually upon them. So lost is a drunkard to virtue and honour, so wretchedly is his conscience seared, that he is not ashamed to say, I will seek it again. With good reason we were bid to stop before the beginning. Who that has common sense would contract a habit, or sell himself to a sin, which tends to such guilt and misery, and exposes a man every day to the danger of dying insensible, and awaking in hell? Wisdom seems in these chapters to take up the discourse as at the beginning of the book. They must be considered as the words of Christ to the sinner.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Proverbs 23

  • Steve morrow
    PROVERBS 22:15 foolishness is bound in the heart of a child but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him PROVERBS 23:12 apply thine heart unto instruction and thine ears to the words of knowledge --23:13-- withhold not correction from the child for if thou beatest him with the rod he shall not die --23:14-- THOU SHALT BEAT HIM WITH THE ROD AND SHALT DELIVER HIS SOUL --- FROM HELL ---
  • Skybounder
    27 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.

    Old saying: "Sin will take you FARTHER than you wanted to go; KEEP you longer than you

    wanted to stay, and COST you more than you wanted to pay." That is the true nature of sin.
  • BSP
    Verse 23: to obtain the truth found in God’s Word it takes hard work and sacrifice.
  • Steve morrow
    PROVERBS 23:6 eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye neither desire thou his dainty meats ISAIAH 55:2 wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread and your labor for that which satisfieth not hearken diligently unto ME and eat you that which is good and let your soul delight itself in fatness
  • Steve morrow
    PROVERBS 23:4 LABOR NOT TO BE RICH CEASE FROM THINE OWN WISDOM PROVERBS 18:21 death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof *** ISAIAH 2:22 CEASE YOU FROM MAN WHOSE BREATH IS IN HIS NOSTRILS FOR WHEREIN IS HE TO BE ACCOUNTED OF ISAIAH 33:22 for THE LORD is our judge THE LORD is our lawgiver THE LORD is our king --- HE WILL SAVE US ---
  • Pastor Pjewole Philip
    The Bible Proverbs 23:4 doesn't oppose hardwork. It rather wisely advice us not to stretch ourselves beyond limit in quest for wealthy else, one may worn out, becomes greedy, a miser, and above all one may have little or no time for God. It's important to note that it's not hardwork though it's a requirement that brings riches, but God's favour and opportunities Ecclesistes 9:11 .

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