December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- When you sit down to dine with a ruler, keep in mind who is before you;
- 1 And put a knife to your throat if you have a ravenous appetite.
- Do not desire his delicacies; they are deceitful food.
- Toil not to gain wealth, cease to be concerned about it;
- While your glance flits to it, it is gone! for assuredly it grows wings, like the eagle that flies toward heaven.
- Do not take food with a grudging man, and do not desire his dainties;
- For in his greed he is like a storm. "Eat and drink," he says to you, though his heart is not with you;
- The little you have eaten you will vomit up, and you will have wasted your agreeable words.
- Speak not for the fool's hearing; he will despise the wisdom of your words.
- Remove not the ancient landmark, nor invade the fields of orphans;
- For their redeemer is strong; he will defend their cause against you.
- Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge.
- Withhold not chastisement from a boy; if you beat him with the rod, he will not die.
- Beat him with the rod, and you will save him from the nether world.
- My son, if your heart be wise, my own heart also will rejoice;
- And my inmost being will exult, when your lips speak what is right.
- Let not your heart emulate sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD always;
- For you will surely have a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
- Hear, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart in the right way.
- Consort not with winebibbers, nor with those who eat meat to excess;
- For the drunkard and the glutton come to poverty, and torpor clothes a man in rags.
- Listen to your father who begot you, and despise not your mother when she is old.
- Get the truth, and sell it not-- wisdom, instruction and understanding.
- The father of a just man will exult with glee; he who begets a wise son will have joy in him.
- Let your father and mother have joy; let her who bore you exult.
- My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes keep to my ways.
- For the harlot is a deep ditch, and the adulteress a narrow pit;
- Yes, she lies in wait like a robber, and increases the faithless among men.
- 2 Who scream? Who shriek? Who have strife? Who have anxiety? Who have wounds for nothing? Who have black eyes?
- Those who linger long over wine, those who engage in trials of blended wine.
- Look not on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the glass. It goes down smoothly;
- but in the end it bites like a serpent, or like a poisonous adder.
- Your eyes behold strange sights, and your heart utters disordered thoughts;
- You are like one now lying in the depths of the sea, now sprawled at the top of the mast.
- 3 "They struck me, but it pained me not; They beat me, but I felt it not; When shall I awake to seek wine once again?"
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1  Put a knife to your throat: a metaphor for self-restraint.
2 [29-35] A vivid description of the evil effects, physical and psychological, of drunkenness.
3  Wine makes the drunkard insensible to bodily and moral harm. His one desire is to indulge again.
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