The Bible in Its Traditions

Proverbs 23:1–24:22

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When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider well him that is before thee;

If thou sit to sup at the table of a prince, consider attentively the things set before thee

When you sit down to eat with a leader, pay close attention to what has been set before your face,

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

and put a knife to your throat, if, in such a way, you could hold your soul in your own power.

That you may not put poison in your mouth. And if you are a man given to excessive appetite,

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Be not desirous of his dainties; seeing they are deceitful food.

desire not his provisions; for these belong to a false life.

Do not desire his foods, in which is the bread of deceit.

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Weary not thyself to be rich; cease from thine own wisdom.

If thou art poor, measure not thyself with a rich man; but refrain thyself in thy wisdom.

Do not be willing to labor so that you may be enriched. But set limits by your prudence.

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Wilt thou set thine eyes upon it? it is gone; for riches certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flieth toward heaven.

For if you should fix your eye on him, you cannot see him; for he makes for himself wings like an eagle and flies away toward the sky.

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Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainties;

Sup not with an envious man, neither desire thou his meats

Do not eat with an envious man, and do not desire his foods.

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For as one that hath reckoned within himself, so is he: 'Eat and drink', saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

so he eats and drinks as if any one should swallow a hair, and do not bring him in to thyself, nor eat thy morsel with him

For he is like him that swallows pitch; in like manner you will eat and drink with him, but his heart is not with you.

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

for he will vomit it up, and spoil thy fair words.

The foods that you had eaten, you will vomit up. And you will lose the beauty in your words.

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

Say nothing in the ears of a fool, lest at any time he sneer at thy wise words.

Do not speak into the ears of the unwise. They will despise the doctrine of your eloquence.

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

10  Do not touch the boundaries of little ones, and do not enter into the field of the fatherless.

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11  For their Redeemer is strong; He will plead their cause with thee.

11  For their close relative is strong, and he will judge their case against you.

11  For their saviour is mighty; he will plead their cause with you.

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

12  Apply thine heart to instruction, and prepare thine ears for words of discretion.

12  Let your heart enter into doctrine, and let your ears enter into words of knowledge.

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13  Withhold not correction from the child; for though thou beat him with the rod, he will not die.

13  Do not be willing to take away discipline from a child. For if you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

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14  Thou beatest him with the rod, and wilt deliver his soul from the nether-world.

14  For thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from death.

14  You will strike him with the rod, and so shall you deliver his soul from Hell.

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15  My son, if thy heart be wise, my heart will be glad, even mine;

15  Son, if thy heart be wise, thou shalt also gladden my heart;

15  My son, if your soul will become wise, my heart will be glad with you.

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

16  and thy lips shall converse with my lips, if they be right.

16  And my temperament will exult, when your lips will have spoken what is upright.

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17  Let not thy heart envy sinners, but be in the fear of YHWH all the day;

17  Let not your heart compete with sinners. But be in the fear of the Lord all day long.

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18  For surely there is a future; and thy hope shall not be cut off.

18  For if thou shouldest keep these things, thou shalt have posterity; and thine hope shall not be removed.

18  For you will have hope in the end, and your expectation will not be taken away.

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

19  Hear, my son, and be wise, and rightly direct the thoughts of thine heart.

19  Listen, my son, and be wise, and direct your soul along the way.

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20  Be not among winebibbers; among gluttonous eaters of flesh;

20  Do not be willing to be in the feasts of great drinkers, nor in the carousings of those who gather to feed on flesh.

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

21  for every drunkard and whoremonger shall be poor; and every sluggard shall clothe himself with tatters and ragged garments.

21  For those who waste time drinking, and who surrender themselves to symbols, will be consumed. And those who sleep will be clothed in rags.

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

22  Hearken, my son, to thy father which begot thee, and despise not thy mother because she is grown old.

22  Listen to your father, who conceived you. And do not despise your mother, when she is old.

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

23  Purchase truth, and do not sell wisdom, or doctrine, or understanding.

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

24  A righteous father brings up his children well; and his soul rejoices over a wise son.

24  The father of a righteous man shall greatly rejoice; and he who begets a wise child shall be glad.

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25  Let thy father and thy mother be glad, and let her that bore thee rejoice.

25  Let your father and your mother be joyful, and may she who conceived you exult.

25  Your father and your mother shall rejoice in you; and the one who bore you shall be happy.

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

26  My son, offer me your heart, and let your eyes keep to my ways.

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27  For a harlot is a deep ditch; and an alien woman is a narrow pit.

27  For a strange house is a vessel full of holes; and a strange well is narrow.

27  For a loose woman is a deep pit, and a foreign woman is a constricted well.

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28  She also lieth in wait as a robber, and increaseth the faithless among men.

28  For such a one shall perish suddenly; and every transgressor shall be cut off.

28  She destroys men suddenly, and increases iniquity among men.

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29  Who crieth: 'Woe'? who: 'Alas'? who hath contentions? who hath raving? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

29  Who has woe? who trouble? who has quarrels? and who vexations and disputes? who has bruises without a cause? whose eyes are livid?

29  Who has woe? Who has trouble? Who has contentions? Who has hardships? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?

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

30  Are not those of them that stay long at wine? are not those of them that haunt the places where banquets are? Be not drunk with wine; but converse with just men, and converse with them openly.

30  Is it not those who linger over wine, and who strive to be drinking from their cups?

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31  Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it glideth down smoothly;

31  For if thou shouldest set thine eyes on bowls and cups, thou shalt afterwards go more naked than a pestle.

31  Do not gaze into the wine when it turns gold, when its color shines in the glass. It enters pleasantly,

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

32  But at last such a one stretches himself out as one smitten by a serpent, and venom is diffused through him as by a horned serpent.

32  but in the end, it will bite like a snake, and it will spread poison like a king of snakes.

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33  Thine eyes shall behold strange things, and thy heart shall utter confused things.

33  Your eyes will see women who are outsiders, and your heart will utter perversities.

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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.

34  And thou shalt lie as in the midst of the sea, and as a pilot in a great storm.

34  And you will be like someone sleeping in the middle of the sea, and like a pilot, fast asleep, who has lost his hold on the helm.

35  'They have struck me, and I felt it not, they have beaten me, and I knew it not; when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.'

35  And thou shalt say, They smote me, and I was not pained; and they mocked me, and I knew it not: when will it be morning, that I may go and seek those with whom I may go in company?

35  And you will say: “They have beaten me, but I did not feel pain. They have dragged me, and I did not realize it. When will I awaken and find more wine?”

24:1  Be not thou envious of evil men, neither desire to be with them.

My son, envy not bad men, nor desire to be with them.

Do not imitate evil men, nor desire to be among them.

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24:2  For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

For their mind meditates on robberies, and their lips speak deceptions.

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24:3  Through wisdom is a house builded; and by understanding it is established;

A house is built by wisdom, and is set up by understanding.

By wisdom shall a house be built, and by prudence shall it be strengthened.

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24:4  And by knowledge are the chambers filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

By doctrine, the storerooms shall be filled with every substance that is precious and most beautiful.

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24:5  A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

A wise man is better than a strong man; and a man who has prudence than a large estate.

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24:6  For with wise advice thou shalt make thy war; and in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

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24:7  Wisdom is as unattainable to a fool as corals; he openeth not his mouth in the gate.

Wisdom and good understanding are in the gates of the wise: the wise turn not aside from the mouth of the Lord,

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24:8  He that deviseth to do evil, men shall call him a mischievous person.

but deliberate in council. Death befalls uninstructed men.

Whoever intends to do evil shall be called foolish.

24:9  The thought of foolishness is sin; and the scorner is an abomination to men.

The fools also dies in sins; and uncleanness attaches to a pestilent man.

The intention of the foolish is sin. And the detractor is an abomination among men.

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24:10  If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small indeed.

10  He shall be defiled in the evil day, and in the day of affliction, until he be utterly consumed.

10  The wicked shall be driven away by evil in the day of affliction.

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24:11  Deliver them that are drawn unto death; and those that are ready to be slain wilt thou forbear to rescue?

11  Rescue those who are led away to death. And do not cease from delivering those who are dragged away to a violent death.

11  Deliver those who are led away to death, and spare not to redeem those who are held to be slain.

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24:12  If thou sayest: 'Behold, we knew not this', doth not He that weigheth the hearts consider it? And He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? And shall not He render to every man according to his works?

12  But if thou shouldest say, I know not this man; know that the Lord knows the hearts of all; and he that formed breath for all, he knows all things, who renders to every man according to his works.

12  If you would say: “I do not have sufficient strength.” He who inspects the heart, the same one understands, and nothing slips past the one who preserves your soul. And he shall repay a man according to his works.

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24:13  My son, eat thou honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to thy taste;

13  My son, eat honey, because it is good, and the honeycomb, because it is so sweet to your throat.

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24:14  So know thou wisdom to be unto thy soul; if thou hast found it, then shall there be a future, and thy hope shall not be cut off.

14  Thus shall wisdom find your soul; and you will have good prospects, and your hope shall not be cut off.

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24:15  Lie not in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous, spoil not his resting-place;

15  Bring not an ungodly man into the dwelling of the righteous: neither be deceived by the feeding of the belly.

15  Do not lie in wait, and do not seek impiety in the house of the just, nor spoil his rest.

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24:16  For a righteous man falleth seven times, and riseth up again, but the wicked stumble under adversity.

16  For the just one will fall seven times, and he shall rise again. But the impious will fall into evil.

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24:17  Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thy heart be glad when he stumbleth;

17  If thine enemy should fall, rejoice not over him, neither be elated at his overthrow.

17  When your enemy will fall, do not be glad, and do not let your heart exult in his ruin,

24:18  Lest YHWH see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.

18  For the Lord will see it, and it will not please him, and he will turn away his wrath from him.

18  lest perhaps the Lord see, and it displease him, and he may take away his wrath from him.

24:19  Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious at the wicked;

19  Rejoice not in evil-doers, neither be envious of sinners.

19  Do not contend with the most wicked, and do not be a rival to the impious.

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24:20  For there will be no future to the evil man, the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

20  For the evil man shall have no posterity: and the light of the wicked shall be put out.

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24:21  My son, fear thou YHWH and the king, and meddle not with them that are given to change;

21  My son, fear God and the king; and do not disobey either of them.

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24:22  For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin from them both?

22  For they will suddenly punish the ungodly, and who can know the vengeance inflicted by both? A son that keeps the commandment shall escape destruction; for such an one has fully received it. Let no falsehood be spoken by the king from the tongue; yea, let no falsehood proceed from his tongue. The king’s tongue is a sword, and not one of flesh; and whosoever shall be given up to it shall be destroyed: for if his wrath should be provoked, he destroys men with cords, and devours men’s bones, and burns them up as a flame, so that they are not even fit to be eaten by the young eagles. My son, reverence my words, and receive them, and repent.

22  For their perdition shall up rise suddenly. And who knows what ruin will be for each of them?