Study Guide

Proverbs Chapter 23

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Chapter 23

Enjoying a little Mezze with the King 

  • Instead of being a disjointed set of proverbs, the opening part of this chapter sticks to a certain theme.
  • You should restrain your appetite—don't pig out if you're dining with the king, and don't desire the delicacies the wealthy can afford to eat. The things you desire disappear as soon as you get them.
  • Again, don't remove ancient landmarks your ancestors put down—and make sure you take care of orphans, too.
  • Like the previous set of sayings, this set gets way into corporal punishment: beat your kids and they'll be better people. They won't die and go to Sheol, the underworld.
  • As long as you do what's right, the sayings promise, you'll have a future.

Drink Responsibly 

  • Avoid people who love drinking wine and don't associate with gluttonous eaters of meat.
  • Buy truth for yourself, says the book, but don't sell it to others—keep it close. (We better not see any of your truth on eBay, Shmoopers.)
  • In line with earlier observations, the book says to continue to obey your parents and avoid adulteresses and prostitutes.
  • The chapter ends with a passage poetically condemning heavy wine drinking. It leads to woe, strife, "redness of eyes," and making you babble on about strange and perverse topics. In the end, you'll just feel like you want to keep drinking to drown your sorrows.

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