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Proverbs 23

As this chapter continues King Hezekiah’s wise sayings, many of the early verses seem to focus around one key topic — food! Hezekiah’s proverbs address the dangers of dining with rulers, especially for those who are gluttonous. Hezekiah warns against greedy feasting at the dinner table, as hosts and their food may become bitter if the guest takes advantage of the hospitality. Near the end, the verses transition to focus on children and their decisions; in fact, Hezekiah starts many of his sayings with a call to “My son” and “Listen.” Each nugget of wisdom is heartfelt and intended to improve his audience, and each explains the purpose behind the advice.

Verse 9: “Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.”

Verse 12: “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.”

Verses 17-18: “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”

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