1When you sit down for a meal with a ruler, look carefully at what is placed before you,
2and cut down if you have a big appetite.
3Don't be greedy for his fancy food, for it's offered with deceptive motives.
4Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich—be wise enough not to bother!
5It disappears in the blink of an eye, suddenly growing wings and flying off into the sky like an eagle.
6Don't accept meal invitations from miserly people; don't be greedy for their fancy food,
7for what they're thinking inside is what they really are. They say, “Come on, eat and drink!”—but in their minds they don't really care about you.
8You'll vomit up the little pieces you've eaten, and your kind words of appreciation will be wasted.
9Don't talk to stupid people because they'll ridicule your wise words.
10Don't move ancient boundary markers, and don't encroach on fields belonging to orphans,
11for their Protector is powerful and he will plead their case against you.
12Focus your mind on instruction; listen intently to words of knowledge.
13Don't keep from disciplining your children—a beating won't kill them.
14If you use physical correction you can save them from death.
15My son, if you think wisely then I'll be happy;
16I'll be delighted when you say what's right.
17Don't think enviously of sinners, but always remember to honor the Lord,
18for there's definitely a future for you, and your hope will not be crushed.
19Pay attention, my son, and be wise; make sure your mind concentrates on following the right way.
20Don't join in with people who drink too much wine or who stuff themselves with meat.
21For people who get drunk and overeat lose all they've got, and they spend so much time dozing that all they have left to wear is rags.
22Pay attention to your father, and don't disregard your mother when she's old.
23Invest in truth—and don't sell it! Invest in wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24Children who do right make their fathers very happy; a wise son brings joy to his father.
25Make your father and mother happy; bring joy to her who gave birth to you.
26My son, give me your undivided attention, and cheerfully follow my example.
27A prostitute is like being trapped in a pit; an immoral woman is like getting stuck a narrow well,
28Like a robber, she lies in wait ready to ambush men and make more of them unfaithful to their wives.
29Who's in trouble? Who's in pain? Who's arguing? Who's complaining? Who's injured for no reason? Who's got bloodshot eyes?
30—those who spend a long time drinking wine, those who are always trying some new cocktail.
31Don't let the look of wine tempt you—how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smooth it feels as it goes down.
32In the end it bites like a serpent, it stings like a snake.
33You'll hallucinate, seeing strange things, and your confused mind will make you say all kinds of craziness.
34You'll stumble around like you're on the rolling ocean, you'll be tossed about like someone lying down at the top of a ship's mast, saying,
35“People punched me, but it didn't hurt me; they beat me, but I didn't feel a thing. I've got to get up because I need another drink.”