1 When you sit to eat with a ruler,
consider diligently what is before you;
2 put a knife to your throat,
if you are a man given to appetite.
3 Don’t be desirous of his dainties,
since they are deceitful food.
4 Don’t weary yourself to be rich.
In your wisdom, show restraint.
5 Why do you set your eyes on that which is not?
For it certainly sprouts wings like an eagle and flies in the sky.
6 Don’t eat the food of him who has a stingy eye,
and don’t crave his delicacies:
7 for as he thinks about the cost, so he is.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
8 The morsel which you have eaten you shall vomit up,
and lose your good words.
9 Don’t speak in the ears of a fool,
for he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Don’t move the ancient boundary stone.
Don’t encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong.
He will plead their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction,
and your ears to the words of knowledge.
13 Don’t withhold correction from a child.
If you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Punish him with the rod,
and save his soul from Sheol.*
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad, even mine.
16 Yes, my heart will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
17 Don’t let your heart envy sinners,
but rather fear Yahweh all day long.
18 Indeed surely there is a future hope,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path!
20 Don’t be among ones drinking too much wine,
or those who gorge themselves on meat:
21 for the drunkard and the glutton shall become poor;
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
22 Listen to your father who gave you life,
and don’t despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth, and don’t sell it.
Get wisdom, discipline, and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous has great joy.
Whoever fathers a wise child delights in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad!
Let her who bore you rejoice!
26 My son, give me your heart;
and let your eyes keep in my ways.
27 For a prostitute is a deep pit;
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Yes, she lies in wait like a robber,
and increases the unfaithful among men.
29 Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has strife?
Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises?
Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who stay long at the wine;
those who go to seek out mixed wine.
31 Don’t look at the wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly.
32 In the end, it bites like a snake,
and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34 Yes, you will be as he who lies down in the middle of the sea,
or as he who lies on top of the rigging:
35 “They hit me, and I was not hurt!
They beat me, and I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up? I can do it again.
I can find another.”
*23:14 Sheol is the place of the dead.