Chapter 23

"Personal Character [1-21]."
"Call to Hear [22-25]."
"Personal Conduct [26-33]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by 

Proverbs 23:1 "When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, Consider diligently what is before thee: "

When you are invited to sit and eat with a person of importance, consider closely who you are eating with. Many people if asked to sit at the head table of a banquet would feel very important. However, when you are there, every move that you make will be judged by all those present, including the ruler or person of importance. In other words, watch your manners.

Proverbs 23:2 "And put a knife to thy throat, If thou be a man given to appetite."

If you are place in a place of importance, and you pig out at the table, you are cutting your own throat, and losing the respect of not only the ruler but all those present. This is also the time to learn to keep your mouth shut, for they will never judge what you are thinking, if those words don't come out of your mouth.

Proverbs 23:3 "Be not desirous of his dainties: For they are deceitful meat."

This verse is likened to a fire, and it depends on what is there and how it is used. If you have a fire and it is cold, you can keep warm, yet if it gets out of control the whole place can go up in flames. The same is true with your words you say, as you eat with this man of authority. If you use the proper words, it can be a benefit to you, but if you shoot your mouth off in every direction, so to speak, just like the uncontrolled flame can take the house down. Your words can bring you down. That is the way it is with a ruler or the one over you at your vocation; watch out what you say in the presence of one with authority. Your words can get you into trouble.

Proverbs 23:4 "Labour not to be rich: Cease from thine own wisdom.

Don't seek after riches the way that the world gets their riches. Sure, seek riches, but do it in a manner that will have God's blessings. You do that by seeking God's wisdom and following the knowledge within His Word. Then use your common sense in your business dealings. It becomes a mistake to seek any direction without asking Father for His direction and His blessings. The point here is to seek God's help no matter what you do.

Proverbs 23:5 "Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not: For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away as an eagle toward heaven."

Father watches where your eyes are set, while living in these flesh bodies. Just like the old eagle that flies at a safe distance as he protects her young, our Father watches down to see what is important to you. When you seek protection under the wings of your wealth, it is a false protection, but under the wings of the Almighty Father is sure protection. Father cares for His own, and His love will hold you up in those times when nothing else will. His promise is "I will never leave you nor forsake you..." and that is a promise you can count on.

Proverbs 23:6 "Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, Neither desire thou his dainty meats:"

Don't be envious or jealous of somebody that has more than you. Be thankful for them, that God blessed them. Because of their faithfulness to follow God's way, God bestowed those riches on them. God fulfilled His promises to them. Those that are envious of another will also be envious of you. The things of this world will not give you peace of mind. Seek the things of God first and then the things of this world age will follow after, and those riches will not fly away.

Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: "Eat and drink," saith he to thee; But his heart is not with thee.

This verse is saying that whatever you think of yourself, that is the status that you will become. You will not increase greater than you set your goals for. This is how you discern people, for they set the limits for themselves. It doesn't matter what the person eats or drinks, or what he says, but you will discern the character of that person by watching what he does; what is priority in his mind. Is it the property, the bank account, the job, or serving the Father. If he or she is a jealous, evil person is a troublemaker, and we are to discern this and stay away from them. Again we are to watch the personal character of those we chose to run with. This chapter deals with personal Character, and how to discern those we are with. Once you determine that person, you know to what degree you want them around your family.

Proverbs 23:8 "The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, And lose thy sweet words."

This verse is a idiom, that means that if you don't watch out who you run with, you are going to lose the wealth that God has given you. The expression here is no matter what kind of meal a man has, once he vomits that meal up, he has lost the nourishment of the entire meal. It simply doesn't matter what kind of meal it was. So God is telling you in this way that He will see to it that you will lose what ever you have.

Proverbs 23:9 "Speak not in the ears of a fool: For he will despise the wisdom of thy words."

Stop and think for a moment on this verse; and lets look at each side of the gender. Throughout the bible it is taught that a woman must submit herself to a man, however if that man is a fool, then this verse releases her from that bondage. So Those New Testament verses are nullified by this verse. "Speak not in the ears of a fool." You have to be mature and know the intent of God's word before anyone would ever tell a wise woman to submit herself to a fool. Where men's tradition says that the woman has to submit to this fool, God is telling her here not to even speak to that fool.

God is telling us that it is a sin for any wise person to speak to, act under the influence and attach themselves to a fool. So use a little common sense in putting yourself under any fool. In I Corinthians 7:10 -17 instructs us on this matter. Note specifically the 16th and 17th verse. It tells us what she should do if she is married to a fool. Sure, if possible set the example, but if not, then depart. So why submit to this fool when you aren't even to speak into the ears of that fool.

Proverbs 23:10 "Remove not the old landmark: And enter not into the fields of the fatherless:"

This is saying, when the father dies, don't you dare remove any of the landmarks, nor take advantage of the widows and orphans. Especially those that are fatherless. God protects his young ones, and He will get down on you for attacking his little ones. In the spiritual side of this, you orphan yourself from God by neglecting to talk and communicate with Father. He wants to bless you, but have you told Him you love Him lately. Don't forget that you true heritage and wealth comes from the blessings of God. He is the one that we must try to please.

Proverbs 23:11 "For their Redeemer is mighty; He shall plead their cause with thee."

We are speaking of the orphan here, this is a continuation of the prior verse. The warning here is that the Redeemer is mighty and He as their kinsman-redeemer will take care of their protection.

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

This is the greatest problems in the world today, for people have become so accustomed to everything done quick and in a hurry, that when it comes to hearing the Word of God, they also expect it to be like the tv dinner, or the 3 minute egg. They skip over the important instructions from the word, and latch on to the quick phrases and easy quick fixes in life. In the word "Apply" it takes action on your part If you want to retain the Word, you have to take time to read and study the Word, and make it part of your thinking process.

Proverbs 23:13 "Withhold not correction from the child: For if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

This sounds very harsh for what it is actually saying. You do not beat a child, but the punishment must be enough to get the child to think on the matter and not do it again. The punishment must be to discipline him appropriately for the child to want to make the correction himself. Don't let his cries stop you from doing what has to be done.

Proverbs 23:14 "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, And shalt deliver his soul from hell."

Discipline and family values taught at a very early age will cause the child to grow up in those values as part of his thinking, that sets the standards for his conscience in doing what is right or wrong. It gives him common sense to respond to those things in life automatically. However never correct a child while you are angry, and make sure that child knows why he or she is getting the punishment.

Proverbs 23:15 "My son, if thine heart be wise, My heart shall rejoice, even mine."

Father is very pleased when His children are seeking after wisdom. Father created each soul, and He also knows the limitation that you have for your mind. Though your teacher or preacher may mislead you, it is still your responsibility to seek the truth for yourself. On judgment day, only you stand and give account for your action. For if He led you wrong, he will be giving account for his own sins. Here again, don't sit under a fool that teaches other than the Word of God.

Proverbs 23:16 "Yea, my reins shall rejoice, When thy lips speak right things."

It pleases our Father when you learn to speak the right things. It shows Father that you are using common sense.

Proverbs 23:17 "Let not thine heart envy sinners: But be thou in the fear [reverence] of the Lord all the day long."

Watch out for those people that you seek to run around with, but keep your mind-set focused on the things and reverence of the Lord. Remember back in Proverbs 1:7; "The beginning of knowledge is to love God." There is a price that every sinner will pay for his sins, and that is when the envy should leave your mind.

Proverbs 23:18 "For surely there is an end; and thine expectations shall not be cut off."

"For surely there is a reward hereafter for those that do good things.

Proverbs 23:19 "Hear thou my, and be wise, And guide thine heart in the way."

Get in a habit of selecting the right way in all that you do, and the choices will become much easier. The guiding and choices are your for what paths you choose in life.

Proverbs 23:20 "Be not among winebibbers; Among riotous eaters of flesh: come to poverty: And drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."

The "winebibber" is a drunk that gets out of control, and the "riotous eaters of flesh" are those that simply cannot control their eating habits. In the end, you will be like them and the road to their ways is rags. You will lose what wealth you have. Let everything be in moderation, excess makes for waste.

Proverbs 23:21 "For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: And drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

this is just the way that it is, for the drunkard and the glutton shall lose everything, and in their foggy state, they will end up with nothing. Of course all they want to do is sleep, and in that condition, how can your mind be quick and alert to what is going on around you? Keep your mind sharp at all times.

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

This is saying that we should always respect our parents. Sometimes that is hard to do, but remember that they are the ones that brought you into the world so respect them for that.

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

Did you get that? "buy the truth", pay the cost to get the truth to you. You are not buying the truth, but paying for the material and the wage of the publishing of the material. The truth is free, and once you have it in your mind, it is your responsibility to get the truth out to other. Once you get the truth, in book form or however, keep it for reference. However share that wisdom and knowledge with others.

Proverbs 23:24 "The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: And he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him."

Of course the father will rejoice over his righteous child for he is the one that brought that child up. What ever that child does or way that he goes, it was set through the correction and discipline that was required of that father.

Proverbs 23:25 "Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, And she that bare thee shall rejoice."

Once you have grown up, your father and mother will rejoice and be glad for the effort that they gave to you, and proud to see you in your maturity. They will see your kindness and courtesy to other and know that the effort was worth it all.

Proverbs 23:26 "My son, give me thine heart, And let thine eyes observe my ways."

God is telling us to give Him our minds, and keep our eyes open and follow after His ways as set forth in the Word of God. Stop and look around you and see the examples in nature that God has given us. Look at what works for other that follow God's Word and see what works for them.

Proverbs 23:27 "For a whore is a deep ditch; And a strange woman is a narrow pit."

You want to follow lose morals, and fall into this ditch. This "strange woman" as used here is "Nakar", a foreign woman that does not follow the ways of God. There are many cultures that are not good for a Christian to marry into. This of course has many other meanings, and you can expand your study into this verse.

Proverbs 23:28 "She also lieth in wait as for a prey, And increaseth the transgressors among men."

This "whore" wants to rip you off for your money. She is in a moral business that goes against the teaching of the Word.

Proverbs 23:29 "Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions" Who hath babbling? who wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes?

This verse is a riddle, and started back in verse 21. So who and what are we speaking of here? The drunkard and the glutton are going to come to poverty. Now stop and look over these different questions, for they all deal with the drunkard and the glutton; each has their woes, their contentions, their babblings, their wounds without cause, and of course the redness of eyes. Get it? This is the results of being a drunkard or glutton.

Proverbs 23:30 "They that terry long at the wine: They that go to seek mixed wine.

Once the drunkard gets tanked up, when he runs out he is stumbling all over town looking for more wine. In the end he really doesn't care what it is that he is drinking, for he will drink anything, even mixed with rubbing alcohol. Get it?

Proverbs 23:31 "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, When it giveth his color in the cup, When it moveth itself aright."

So what this is saying is that when the wine is in the cup it looks so red and enticing. The color and smell is so inviting to the observer and it looks so good. Then when the wine is drunk, it goes down so smooth and tastes so good. So what this verse is saying, is when you have had that enticing sip, leave it alone and walk away from it. Don't keep looking at it to where you can't cleave it alone, but move on.

Proverbs 23:32 "At the last it biteth like a serpent, And stingeth like an adder."

So now we see what is going to happen to that person that can't leave that wine alone. At the end, it will bite as deadly as a serpent, and leave the person as stung as if he was bitten by a snake. This verse is just using common sense. Wine is for just a little sip at bed time, for the stomach, and to calm the nerves. That is what Paul advised us to do in I Timothy 5:23; "A little wine for the stomach." That beats the high cost of seeing a doctor for the high price prescriptions that you can get hooked on.

Proverbs 23:33 "Thine eyes shall behold strange women, And thine heart shall utter perverse things."

In that drunken condition, you have no common sense in your actions, and of course a strange woman can just walk over you and take you for everything you have. You just don't know what you are doing, and evil spirits from the bottle are entering into your mind giving you all sorts of ideas and even doing your thinking for you. Alcohol ruins families, and it should be tended to before it is to late.

Proverbs 23:34 "Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea,"

That old drunk can fall down where ever he passes out, and there is no fear of the danger he is in while he lies there in his drunken state.

Proverbs 23:35 "They have stricken me,"and I felt it not: When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again."

This drunk was so far gone that you could beat him or shake him and he has not idea where he is at. The wine had completely taken over his mind. This person is so stupid and taken over that when he does sober up, all he wants to do is go right back to his drunken condition. The end of this story has a real bad ending, for there are broken homes, broken lives, and lost fortunes and blessings that were once had.

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