Proverbs 23

1When you sit and eat with an important man, remember who you are with. 2Never eat too much, even if you are very hungry. 3And don’t eat too much of the fine food he serves. It might be a trick. 4Don’t ruin your health trying to become rich. If you are wise, you will be patient. 5Money goes very quickly, as if it grows wings and flies away like a bird. 6Don’t eat with a selfish person. And stay away from the special foods he likes. 7He is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost. He might say to you, “Eat and drink.” But that is not really what he wants. 8And if you eat his food, then you will become sick. And you will be embarrassed. 9Don’t try to teach a fool. He will make fun of your wise words. 10Never move an old property line. And never take land that belongs to orphans. 11The Lord will be against you. The Lord is powerful and he defends those orphans. 12Listen to your teacher and learn all you can. 13Always punish a child if it needs it. It will not hurt him to spank him. 14If you spank him, you may save his life. 15My son, if you become wise, then I will be very happy. 16I will be happy in my heart if I hear you say things that are right. 17Don’t be jealous of evil people. But always try as hard as you can to respect the Lord. 18There is always hope. And that hope will never be gone. 19So listen, my son, and be wise. Always be careful to live the right way. 20Don’t be friends with people who drink too much wine and eat too much food. 21People who drink too much and eat too much become poor. All they do is eat, drink, sleep, and soon they have nothing. 22Listen to the things your father tells you. Without your father, you would never have been born. And respect your mother, even when she is old. 23Truth, wisdom, learning, and understanding are worth paying money for. And they are worth far too much to ever sell. 24The father of a good person is very happy. If a person has a wise child, then that child brings joy. 25So let your father and mother be happy with you. Let your mother have joy. 26My son, listen closely to what I am saying. Let my life be your example. 27Prostitutes and bad women are a trap. They are like a deep well that you can’t get out of. 28A bad woman waits for you like a thief. And she causes many men to become sinners. 29- 30It will be very bad for people who drink too much wine and strong drinks. Those people have many fights and arguments. Their eyes are red and they stumble and hurt themselves. They could have avoided all those troubles! 31So be careful with wine. It is pretty and red. It sparkles in the cup. And it goes down so smooth when you drink it. 32But in the end it bites like a snake. 33Wine will cause you to see strange things. Your mind will be confused. 34When you lie down, you will think you are on a rough sea. You feel like you are lying on a ship. 35You will say, “They hit me but I never felt it. They beat me but I don’t remember it. Now I can’t wake up. I need another drink.”

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