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Proverbs 23 The Passion Translation (TPT)

23 When you’ve been invited to dine with a very important leader,

consider your manners and keep in mind who you’re with.
Be careful to curb your appetite and catch yourself
before you fall into the trap of wanting all you see.[a]
Don’t crave their delicacies,
for they may have another motive in having you sit at their table.
Don’t compare yourself to the rich.[b]
Surrender your selfish ambition and evaluate them properly.
For no sooner do you start counting your wealth
than it sprouts wings and flies away like an eagle in the sky—
here today, gone tomorrow!
Be sensible when you dine with a stingy man[c]
and don’t eat more than you should.[d]
For as he thinks within himself, so is he.[e]
He will grudgingly say, “Go ahead and eat all you want,”
but in his heart he resents the fact that he has to pay for your meal.
You’ll be sorry you ate anything at all,[f]
and all your compliments will be wasted.
A rebellious fool will despise your wise advice,
so don’t even waste your time—save your breath!
10 Never move a long-standing boundary line
or attempt to take land that belongs to the fatherless.
11 For they have a mighty protector,
a loving redeemer,[g] who watches over them,
and he will stand up for their cause.
12 Pay close attention to the teaching that corrects you,
and open your heart to every word of instruction.
13 Don’t withhold appropriate discipline from your child.
Go ahead and punish him when he needs it.[h]
Don’t worry—it won’t kill him!
14 A good spanking could be the very thing
that teaches him a lifelong lesson![i]
15 My beloved child, when your heart is full of wisdom,
my heart is full of gladness.
16 And when you speak anointed words,[j]
we are speaking mouth to mouth![k]
17 Don’t allow the actions of evil men
to cause you to burn with anger.[l]
Instead, burn with unrelenting passion
as you worship God in holy awe.
18 Your future is bright and filled with a living hope
that will never fade away.
19 As you listen to me, my beloved child,
you will grow in wisdom and your heart
will be drawn into understanding,
which will empower you to make right decisions.[m]
20 Don’t live in the excesses of drunkenness or gluttony,
or waste your life away by partying all the time,[n]
21 because drunkards and gluttons sleep their lives away
and end up broke!
22 Give respect to your father and mother,
for without them you wouldn’t even be here.
And don’t neglect them when they grow old.
23 Embrace the truth[o] and hold it close.
Don’t let go of wisdom, instruction, and life-giving understanding.
24 When a father observes his child living in godliness,
he is ecstatic with joy—nothing makes him prouder!
25 So may your father’s heart burst with joy
and your mother’s soul be filled with gladness because of you.
26 My son, give me your heart
and embrace fully what I’m about to tell you.
27 Stay far away from prostitutes
and you’ll stay far away from the pit of destruction.
For sleeping with a promiscuous woman is like falling into a trap
that you’ll never be able to escape!
28 Like a robber hiding in the shadows
she’s waiting to claim another victim—
another husband unfaithful to his wife.
29 Who has anguish? Who has bitter sorrow?
Who constantly complains and argues?
Who stumbles and falls and hurts himself?
Who’s the one with bloodshot eyes?
30 It’s the one who drinks too much
and is always looking for a brew.
Make sure it’s never you!
31 And don’t be drunk with wine[p]
but be known as one who enjoys the company
of the lovers of God,[q]
32 For drunkenness brings the sting of a serpent,
like the fangs of a viper[r] spreading poison into your soul.
33 It will make you hallucinate, mumble,
and speak words that are perverse.
34 You’ll be like a seasick sailor being tossed to and fro,
dizzy and out of your mind.
35 You’ll awake only to say, “What hit me?
I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck!”
Yet off you’ll go, looking for another drink!


  1. Proverbs 23:2 Or “put a knife to your throat.” When you spend time with an important person, think about his needs, not your own, and favor will come on your life.
  2. Proverbs 23:4 As translated from the Septuagint.
  3. Proverbs 23:6 The Hebrew here literally means “an evil eye,” which is a metaphor for a stingy man.
  4. Proverbs 23:6 Or “Don’t crave his delicacies.”
  5. Proverbs 23:7 The Aramaic, the Septuagint, and a few Hebrew manuscripts read “Eating with him is like eating with someone with a hair in his throat—his mind is not with you!”
  6. Proverbs 23:8 Or “You’ll vomit up the little you’ve eaten.”
  7. Proverbs 23:11 The Hebrew word here is goel, which means “kinsman-redeemer.” The Aramaic word means “Savior.” This shows powerfully how God will take up the grievances of the oppressed.
  8. Proverbs 23:13 The Hebrew is “strike them with the rod.”
  9. Proverbs 23:14 Or “rescues him from death.” The Hebrew word is Sheol.
  10. Proverbs 23:16 Or “speak what is right.”
  11. Proverbs 23:16 This is taken from the Septuagint, and it literally means “Your lips shall speak with my lips.” The Hebrew is “My kidneys [soul] will rejoice.” See Num. 12:6-8, which reveals that God spoke with Moses mouth to mouth (literal Hebrew).
  12. Proverbs 23:17 The Hebrew word used here describes an emotion of intense passion. Many translate it “envy” (“Do not envy the sinner”), but that does not describe it fully. Another possible translation would be “zeal.”
  13. Proverbs 23:19 The Aramaic is “Set up my doctrines in your heart.”
  14. Proverbs 23:20 Translated from the Aramaic and the Septuagint.
  15. Proverbs 23:23 The Hebrew word here literally means “create the truth” or “give birth to truth” or “possess the truth.” This Hebrew word is also used for God as the Creator. See Gen. 14:19 and 22.
  16. Proverbs 23:31 As translated from the Septuagint.
  17. Proverbs 23:31 As translated from the Septuagint and a marginal reading of the Hebrew. The Aramaic is “Meditate on righteousness.” The Septuagint adds a line not found in Hebrew or Aramaic that describes the unflattering life of a drunk: “You will walk around naked as a pestle!”
  18. Proverbs 23:32 Or “horned serpent” or “dragon.” This is the Hebrew word basilisk, which comes from a root word meaning “little king.” It becomes an emblem of the poison of demonic power that can cause addictions and rule over the soul like a “little king.”
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Proverbs 23 New International Version (NIV)

Saying 7

23 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
    note well what[a] is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
    if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies,
    for that food is deceptive.

Saying 8

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
    do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
    for they will surely sprout wings
    and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Saying 9

Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
    do not crave his delicacies;
for he is the kind of person
    who is always thinking about the cost.[b]
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
    but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the little you have eaten
    and will have wasted your compliments.

Saying 10

Do not speak to fools,
    for they will scorn your prudent words.

Saying 11

10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
    or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender 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;
    if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
    and save them from death.

Saying 14

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
    then my heart will be glad indeed;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
    when your lips speak what is right.

Saying 15

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
    but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off.

Saying 16

19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
    and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
    or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
    and drowsiness clothes 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 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
    a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
25 May your father and mother rejoice;
    may she who gave you birth be joyful!

Saying 18

26 My son, give me your heart
    and let your eyes delight in my ways,
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
    and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait
    and multiplies the unfaithful among men.

Saying 19

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaints?
    Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
    who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at 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 sights,
    and your mind will imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
    lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
    They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
    so I can find another drink?”


  1. Proverbs 23:1 Or who
  2. Proverbs 23:7 Or for as he thinks within himself, / so he is; or for as he puts on a feast, / so he is
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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