Bible IndexContentsHome...Saved?..Pray...Free...Bible...Shop...Learn...Worship...U.S.B.S...Contact UsProverbs 29Proverbs 30Proverbs 31

Dave Burnette's Commentary

Proverbs Chapter 23

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Solomon, Agur, and Lemuel
Date Penned: (970-931 BC)
Overview: Wisdom to Teach People to Live Godly (c 1-31)
Theme: Wisdom for All People (c 10-24)
Message: Wisdom's Warnings (v 1-35)

Proverbs 23 Commentary 

(23:1-3) Being Influenced - The point of this proverb is to be careful when eating with an important or influential person because he or she may try to influence or bribe you. Unwary meetings over meals can lead to undermined convictions. No good will come from such occasions. Don't be fooled by the glamour of a free meal. 

(23:4:5) Store Up Treasures in Heaven - We have all heard of people who have won millions of dollars and then lost it all. Even the average person can spend an inheritance--or a paycheck--with lightning speed and have little to show for it. Don't spend your time chasing fleeting earthly treasures. Instead, store up treasures in heaven, for such treasures will never be lost. (See Matthew 6:19-24 and Luke 12:33-34 for Jesus' teaching on this.) 

(23:6-8) Flattery - In graphic language, the writer warns us not to envy the lives of those who have become rich by being stingy and usury or not to gain the favor of the wealthy by fawning over them. Their "friendship" is phony--they will just use you for their own gain. 

(23:10-11) Redeemer - The term redeemer referred to someone who bought back a family member who had fallen into slavery or someone who had accepted the obligation to marry the widow of a family member (see Ruth 4:3-10). God is also called our redeemer (Exodus 6:6; Job 19:25). Paul wrote that Christians were bought at a high price by God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 7:23). (For an explanation of ancient boundary markers, see the note on Proverbs 22:28.) 

(23:12) Listening - The people most likely to gain knowledge are those who are willing to listen. It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to pay attention to what others have to say. People who are eager to listen continue to learn and grow throughout their lives. When we refuse to become set in our ways, we can always expand the limits of our knowledge. 

(23:13-14) Loving Discipline - The strong statements about correction here are offset by the affection expressed in 23:15-16. However, many parents are reluctant to discipline their children at all. Some fear that they will lose their children's love, that their children will resent them, or that they will stifle their children's development. But proper correction helps children thrive, and it can help prevent them from following a destructive or even deadly path. 

(23:17-18) Following Christ - How easy it is to envy those who get ahead unhampered by conscience or moral responsibility. For a time they do seem to prosper even though they disregard what God wants, but they have no real future. To those who follow him, God promises hope and a wonderful future. even if it isn't achieved in this life. 

(23:29-35) Blessings Balance - Israel was a wine-producing country. In the Old Testament, wine presses bursting with new wine were considered a sign of blessing (3:10). Wisdom is even said to have set her table with wine (9:2,5). But the Old Testament writers were alert to the dangers of overindulging in wine. Too much wine dulls the senses and limits clear judgment (31:1-9). It lowers the capacity for self-control (4:17) and impairs a person's efficiency (21:17). To make wine an end in itself, a means of self-indulgence, or an escape from life is to misuse it and invite the consequences suffered by drunkards. 

(23:29-39) Alcohol is Medicine - The soothing comfort of alcohol provides only temporary relief to those struggling with anxiety, anguish, or sorrow. Real relief comes from dealing with the cause of the anguish and sorrow and turning to God for peace. Elsewhere in the Bible, wine is described as a blessing from God (Psalm 104:24=15), and Jesus used it as a symbol of his new covenant with us (1 Corinthians 1125-26). These verses are not trying to make a blanket statement about the evils of alcohol but rather the abuse of alcohol. Like any gift from God (food, sex, work, money), using it as he intended brings happiness and blessing, but abusing it brings great sorrow and sometimes devastating consequences.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Seeking Wealth

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue with the Book of Proverbs with Chapter 23. In our text today, we continue in words of Wisdom from proverbs, from alcohol to relationships, and everything in between. What catches my eye is how we do not seek wealth as it can come and go but seek the Lord in making an application to see that money is simply a means of exchange for goods and services. We are to work, not to seek wealth, but to seek the Lord as He is our Provider. Today, many think that wealth will make you happy, but the truth is that wealthy people are among the most unhappy people today. Those who have the Lord and follow His Word are genuinely full of Joy. How about you? Are you full of Joy? Let us learn from our text today that wealth does not bring lasting happiness, and our Joy is in the Lord.


Proverbs 23

Proverbs 23

 1When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:

 2And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.

 3Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

 4Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

 5Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

 6Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:

 7For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

 8The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

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

 10Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:

 11For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.

 12Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

 13Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

 14Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

 15My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

 16Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

 17Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

 18For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

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

 20Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:

 21For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

 22Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

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

 24The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.

 25Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

 26My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

 27For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

 28She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

 29Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

 30They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

 31Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

 32At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

 33Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

 34Yea, 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.

 35They 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.