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A Study of Proverbs 23

November 25, 2007

One of our members requested a study of Proverbs.  This chapter repeats some points already made and introduces new ones. Avoid whores and adulteresses. Listen to your father. Support your mother. Don't be greedy. Don't abuse the poor.

Bernie Parsons

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Proverbs Chapter 23


by Bernie Parsons


Presented to the Load church of Christ 11-25-2007



Proverbs 23:1: “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: for they are deceitful meat.”


Mark 4:19: “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”


1 Timothy 6:17: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”


A warning against both greed and delicate living, as well as how to behave in the presence of royalty. Don’t show yourself to be greedy in the presence of the king. Also, do not crave that which riches bring, because riches can be deceitful.


Proverbs 23:4: “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.”


Ecclesiastes 5:10: “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

11: When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

12: The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

13: There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

14: But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.”


James 5:1: “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

2: Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

3: Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.”


Sometimes riches can’t help us out of our problems. Instead, they become a burden, as when the Romans cut open escaping Jews during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD.


Proverbs 23:6: “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.”


Don’t envy those who get wealth through evil means. Be careful what he offers you—you know his reputation, and he may well have an ulterior motive!


Proverbs 23:9: “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.”


It is a waste to speak wisdom to a fool—he will only despise what you say to him.


Proverbs 23:10: “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.”


Don’t try to cheat people out of what is rightfully theirs. God will take up their cause.


Proverbs 23:12:” Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.”


Seek knowledge and accept instruction.


Proverbs 23:13: “Withhold not correction 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.”


By correcting a child’s errors, you can save him from ruin. Spankings serve to get his attention, and once you have it, the lesson can be delivered.


Proverbs 23:15: “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.”


If you learn wisdom and live by it, your father’s heart will rejoice.


Proverbs 23:17: “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.

19: Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.”


Don’t envy sinners, but fear God. God punishes the evil and assists the righteous.


Proverbs 23:20: “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.”


Drunkards and gluttons waste their resources and are reduced to poverty and rags.


Proverbs 23:22: “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”


Listen to your father and respect and support your elderly mother.


Proverbs 23:23: Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”


Matthew 13:44: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

45: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

46: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”


Truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding are treasures. Treat them as such.


Proverbs 23:24: “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.”


A wise and righteous child brings joy to his parents.


Proverbs 23:26: “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”


Learn wisdom and righeousness from you father. He has much to teach you.


Proverbs 23:27: “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.”


A whore is a deep pit and an adulteress is a narrow pit. The deep pit is too deep to climb out, and the narrow pit is too narrow to climb out. Both are destructive traps.


Proverbs 23:29: “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.”


Drunkards hurt themselves and those around them. They cause fights and talk too much. They hurt themselves for no good reason. As I said before, drinking is not condemned but drunkeness is. To tarry at the wine means to drink too much.


Proverbs 23:33: “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.”


Drunkards get involved with adulteresses, and they say things that are twisted and evil. A drunkard is like a sailor, tossed on the sea. The drunkard is anesthetized physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. People abuse him and he can’t feel it. Yet, when he recovers from his drunken state, he soon seeks to immerse himself in its ill effects again.


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