1 If thou sit to sup at the table of a prince, consider attentively the things set before thee: 2 and apply thine hand, knowing that it behoves thee to prepare such meats: but if thou art very insatiable, 3 desire not his provisions; for these belong to a false life.
4 If thou art poor, measure not thyself with a rich man; but refrain thyself in thy wisdom. 5 If thou shouldest fix thine eye upon him, he will disappear; for wings like an eagle's are prepared for him, and he returns to the house of his master. 6 Sup not with an envious man, neither desire thou his meats: 7 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: 8 for he will vomit it up, and spoil thy fair words.
9 Say nothing in the ears of a fool, lest at any time he sneer at thy wise words. 10 Remove not the ancient landmarks; and enter not upon the possession of the fatherless: 11 for the Lord is their redeemer; he is mighty, and will plead their cause with thee. 12 Apply thine heart to instruction, and prepare thine ears for words of discretion.
13 Refrain not from chastening a child; for if thou beat him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 For thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from death.
15 Son, if thy heart be wise, thou shalt also gladden my heart; 16 and thy lips shall converse with my lips, if they be right. 17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day. 18 For if thou shouldest keep these things, thou shalt have posterity; and thine hope shall not be removed.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise, and rightly direct the thoughts of thine heart. 20 Be not a wine-bibber, neither continue long at feasts, and purchases of flesh: 21 for every drunkard and whoremonger shall be poor; and every sluggard shall clothe himself with tatters and ragged garments.
22 Hearken, my son, to thy father which begot thee, and despise not thy mother because she is grown old. 24 A righteous father brings up his children well; and his soul rejoices over a wise son. 25 Let thy father and thy mother rejoice over thee, and let her that bore thee be glad.
26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. 27 For a strange house is a vessel full of holes; and a strange well is narrow. 28 For such a one shall perish suddenly; and every transgressor shall be cut off.
29 Who has woe? who trouble? who has quarrels? and who vexations and disputes? who has bruises without a cause? whose eyes are livid? 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 * Gr. in public walks.openly. 31 For if thou shouldest set thine eyes on bowls and cups, thou shalt afterwards go more naked than a pestle. 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.
33 Whenever thine eyes shall behold a strange woman, then thy mouth shall speak perverse things. 34 And thou shalt lie as in the midst of the sea, and as a pilot in a great storm. 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?
*23:30 Gr. in public walks.