Reading for September 12th

Proverbs 23-25 (Listen) 

When you sit down to eat with a ruler,

observe carefully what is before you,

and put a knife to your throat

if you are given to appetite.

Do not desire his delicacies,

for they are deceptive food.

Do not toil to acquire wealth;

be discerning enough to desist.

When your eyes light on it, it is gone,

for suddenly it sprouts wings,

flying like an eagle toward heaven.

Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;

do not desire his delicacies,

for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.

“Eat and drink!” he says to you,

but his heart is not with you.

You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,

and waste your pleasant words.

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,

for he will despise the good sense of your words.

Do not move an ancient landmark

or enter the fields of the fatherless,

for their Redeemer is strong;

he will plead their cause against you.

Apply your heart to instruction

and your ear to words of knowledge.

Do not withhold discipline from a child;

if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.

If you strike him with the rod,

you will save his soul from Sheol.

My son, if your heart is wise,

my heart too will be glad.

My inmost being will exult

when your lips speak what is right.

Let not your heart envy sinners,

but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.

Surely there is a future,

and your hope will not be cut off.

 

Hear, my son, and be wise,

and direct your heart in the way.

Be not among drunkards

or among gluttonous eaters of meat,

for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,

and slumber will clothe them with rags.

 

Listen to your father who gave you life,

and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Buy truth, and do not sell it;

buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;

he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

Let your father and mother be glad;

let her who bore you rejoice.

 

My son, give me your heart,

and let your eyes observe my ways.

For a prostitute is a deep pit;

an adulteress is a narrow well.

She lies in wait like a robber

and increases the traitors among mankind.

 

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?

Who has strife? Who has complaining?

Who has wounds without cause?

Who has redness of eyes?

Those who tarry long over wine;

those who go to try mixed wine.

Do not look at wine when it is red,

when it sparkles in the cup

and goes down smoothly.

In the end it bites like a serpent

and stings like an adder.

Your eyes will see strange things,

and your heart utter perverse things.

You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,

like one who lies on the top of a mast.

“They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;

they beat me, but I did not feel it.

When shall I awake?

I must have another drink.”

Be not envious of evil men,

nor desire to be with them,

for their hearts devise violence,

and their lips talk of trouble.

 

By wisdom a house is built,

and by understanding it is established;

by knowledge the rooms are filled

with all precious and pleasant riches.

A wise man is full of strength,

and a man of knowledge enhances his might,

for by wise guidance you can wage your war,

and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Wisdom is too high for a fool;

in the gate he does not open his mouth.

 

Whoever plans to do evil

will be called a schemer.

The devising of folly is sin,

and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.

 

If you faint in the day of adversity,

your strength is small.

Rescue those who are being taken away to death;

hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.

If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”

does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?

Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,

and will he not repay man according to his work?

 

My son, eat honey, for it is good,

and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.

Know that wisdom is such to your soul;

if you find it, there will be a future,

and your hope will not be cut off.

 

Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;

do no violence to his home;

for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,

but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

 

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,

and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,

lest the Lord see it and be displeased,

and turn away his anger from him.

 

Fret not yourself because of evildoers,

and be not envious of the wicked,

for the evil man has no future;

the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

 

My son, fear the Lord and the king,

and do not join with those who do otherwise,

for disaster will arise suddenly from them,

and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

 

More Sayings of the Wise

These also are sayings of the wise.

 

Partiality in judging is not good.

Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”

will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,

but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,

and a good blessing will come upon them.

Whoever gives an honest answer

kisses the lips.

 

Prepare your work outside;

get everything ready for yourself in the field,

and after that build your house.

 

Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,

and do not deceive with your lips.

Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;

I will pay the man back for what he has done.”

 

I passed by the field of a sluggard,

by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,

and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;

the ground was covered with nettles,

and its stone wall was broken down.

Then I saw and considered it;

I looked and received instruction.

A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,

and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and want like an armed man.

 

More Proverbs of Solomon

These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.

 

It is the glory of God to conceal things,

but the glory of kings is to search things out.

As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,

so the heart of kings is unsearchable.

Take away the dross from the silver,

and the smith has material for a vessel;

take away the wicked from the presence of the king,

and his throne will be established in righteousness.

Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence

or stand in the place of the great,

for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”

than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

 

What your eyes have seen

do not hastily bring into court,

for what will you do in the end,

when your neighbor puts you to shame?

Argue your case with your neighbor himself,

and do not reveal another's secret,

lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,

and your ill repute have no end.

 

A word fitly spoken

is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold

is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest

is a faithful messenger to those who send him;

he refreshes the soul of his masters.

Like clouds and wind without rain

is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.

 

With patience a ruler may be persuaded,

and a soft tongue will break a bone.

If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,

lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.

Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house,

lest he have his fill of you and hate you.

A man who bears false witness against his neighbor

is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.

Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble

is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.

Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart

is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,

and like vinegar on soda.

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,

and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,

for you will heap burning coals on his head,

and the Lord will reward you.

The north wind brings forth rain,

and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop

than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

Like cold water to a thirsty soul,

so is good news from a far country.

Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain

is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

It is not good to eat much honey,

nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.

A man without self-control

is like a city broken into and left without walls.