On Life and Conduct
1 When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you,
2 And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man of great appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.
4 Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.
5 When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.
6 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, "Eat and drink!"
But his heart is not with you.
8 You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your compliments.
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not move the ancient boundary
Or go into the fields of the fatherless,
11 For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to discipline
And your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad;
16 And my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the fear F325 of the LORD always.
18 Surely there is a future, F327
And your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
And direct your heart in the way.
20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.
22 Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.
25 Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.
26 Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight F328 in my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit
And an adulterous F329 woman is a narrow well.
28 Surely she lurks as a robber,
And increases the faithless among men.
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long over wine,
Those who go to taste mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it goes down smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things
And your mind will utter perverse things.
34 And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.
35 "They struck me, but I did not become ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink."