Proverbs 23:7
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.

King James Bible
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

American Standard Version
For as he thinketh within himself, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; But his heart is not with thee.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Because like a soothsayer, and diviner, he thinketh that which he knoweth not. Eat and drink, will he say to thee: and his mind is not with thee.

English Revised Version
For as he reckoneth within himself, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Webster's Bible Translation
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Proverbs 23:7 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Proverbs 22:29, which speaks of a high position near the king, is appropriately followed by a hexastich referring to the slipperiness of the smooth ground of the king's court.

1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler,

   Consider well whom thou hast before thee.

2 And put thy knife to thy throat

   If thou art a man of good appetite.

3 Be not lustful after his dainties,

   Because it is deceitful food.

The ל of ללחום is that of end: ad cibum capiendum, thus as one invited by him to his table; in prose the expression would be לאכל לחם; לחם, to eat, is poet., Proverbs 4:17; Proverbs 9:5. The fut. תּבין clothes the admonition in the form of a wish or counsel; the infin. intens. בּין makes it urgent: consider well him whom thou hast before thee, viz., that he is not thine equal, but one higher, who can destroy thee as well as be useful to thee. With ושׂמתּ the jussive construction begun by תבין is continued. Zckler and Dchsel, after Ewald and Hitzig, translate incorrectly: thou puttest..., the perf. consec. after an imperf., or, which is the same thing, a fut. meant optatively (e.g., Leviticus 19:18 with לא, and also Leviticus 19:34 without לא) continues the exhortation; to be thus understood, the author ought to have used the expression שׂכּין שׂמתּ and not ושׂמת שׂכין. Rightly Luther: "and put a knife to thy throat," but continuing: "wilt thou preserve thy life," herein caught in the same mistake of the idea with Jerome, the Syr., and Targ., to which נפשׁ here separates itself. שׂכּין (סכּין) (Arab. with the assimilated a sikkı̂n, plur. sekâkı̂n, whence sekâkı̂ni, cutler) designates a knife (R. סך שך, to stick, vid., at Isaiah 9:10). לוע, from לוּע, to devour, is the throat; the word in Aram. signifies only the cheek, while Lagarde seeks to interpret בּלעך infinitively in the sense of (Arab.) bwlw'ak, if thou longest for (from wl'a); but that would make 2b a tautology. The verb לוּע (cf. Arab. l'al', to pant for) shows for the substantive the same primary meaning as glutus from glutire, which was then transferred from the inner organ of swallowing (Kimchi, בית הבליעה, Parchon; הוּשׂט, aesophagus) to the external. "Put a knife to thy throat, is a proverbial expression, like our: the knife stands at his throat; the poet means to say: restrain thy too eager desire by means of the strongest threatening of danger - threaten as it were death to it" (Fleischer). In בּעל נפשׁ, נפשׁ means, as at Proverbs 13:2, desire, and that desire of eating, as at Proverbs 6:30. Rightly Rashi: if thou art greedy with hunger, if thou art a glutton; cf. Sir. 34:12 (31:12), "If thou sittest at a great table, then open not widely thy throat (φάρυγγα), and say not: There is certainly much on it!" The knife thus denotes the restraining and moderating of too good an appetite.

In 3a the punctuation fluctuates between תתאו (Michlol 131a) and תתאו; the latter is found in Cod. 1294, the Erfurt 2 and 3, the Cod. Jaman., and thus it is also to be written at Proverbs 23:6 and Proverbs 24:1; ויתאו, 1 Chronicles 11:17 and Psalm 45:12, Codd. and older Edd. (e.g., Complut. 1517, Ven. 1515, 1521) write with Pathach. מטעמּות, from טעם, signifies savoury dishes, dainties, like (Arab.) dhwâkt, from dhâk (to taste, to relish); cf. sapores, from sapere, in the proverb: the tit-bits of the king burn the lips (vid., Fleischer, Ali's Hundred Proverbs, etc., pp. 71, 104). With והוּא begins, as at Proverbs 3:29, a conditioning clause: since it is, indeed, the bread of deceit (the connection like עד־כּחבים, Proverbs 21:28), food which, as it were, deceives him who eats it, i.e., appears to secure for him the lasting favour of princes, and often enough herein deceives him; cf. the proverb by Burckhardt and Meidani: whoever eats of the sultan's soup burns his lips, even though it may be after a length of time (Fleischer). One must come near to a king, says Calovius, hitting the meaning of the proverb, as to a fire: not too near, lest he be burned; nor too remote, so that he may be warmed therewith.

Proverbs 23:7 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Proverbs 19:22 The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.

Matthew 9:3,4 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemes...

Luke 7:39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet...


Judges 16:15 And she said to him, How can you say, I love you, when your heart is not with me? you have mocked me these three times...

2 Samuel 13:26-28 Then said Absalom, If not, I pray you, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said to him, Why should he go with you...

Psalm 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.

Psalm 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

Daniel 11:27 And both of these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper...

Luke 11:37 And as he spoke, a certain Pharisee sought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.

Cross References
Proverbs 26:24
Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;

Proverbs 26:25
when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart;

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