Proverbs 23
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
23:1 Ruler - With a great man.
And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
23:2 Put a knife - Restrain thine appetite, as if a man stood with a knife at thy throat.
Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
23:3 Deceitful - They do not yield thee that satisfaction which thou didst expect from them.
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
23:4 Thine own wisdom - From worldly wisdom, which persuades men to use all possible means to get riches.
Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
23:5 Set thine eyes - Look upon it with earnestness and desire. Is not - Which has no solid and settled being. Eagle - Swiftly, strongly, and irrecoverably.
Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
23:6 Evil eye - Of the envious or covetous man.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
23:7 So is he - You are not to judge of him by his words, but by the constant temper of his mind.
The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
23:8 Vomit up - When thou perceivest his churlish disposition, his meat will be loathsome to thee. Sweet words - Thy pleasant discourse wherewith thou didst design to delight and profit him.
Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
23:9 Of a fool - Cast not away good counsels upon incorrigible sinners.
Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
23:10 Enter not - To possess their lands.
For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.
23:11 Redeemer - Heb. their near kinsman, to whom it belongs to avenge their wrongs, and to recover and maintain their rights.
Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
23:13 Shall not die - It is a likely way to prevent his destruction.
Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.
Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
23:16 My reins - I shall rejoice with all my soul.
Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
23:18 An end - An expected and happy end for such as fear God.
Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
23:19 Guide - Order the whole course of thine affections and actions. In the way - In God's way.
Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
23:23 Buy - Purchase it upon any terms, spare no pains or cost. Truth - The true and saving knowledge of God's will. Sell it not - Do not forsake it for any worldly advantage.
The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
23:26 Give me - Solomon here speaks in God's name.
For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
23:30 Mixt wine - Either mixed with water, or with other ingredients to make it strong and delicious.
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
23:31 Red - Which was the colour of the best wines in that country. Aright - When it sparkles, and seems to smile upon a man.
At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
23:34 Lieth down - To sleep. Sea - In a ship in the midst of the sea.
They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
23:35 Sick - I was not sensible of it. Again - At present my condition requires sleep to settle myself, and when I am composed, I purpose to return to my former course.
Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible by John Wesley [1754-65]

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