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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 23

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-3


(Proverbs 23)

Social Discretion

Verses 1-3 provide counsel for one invited to dine with a person of high rank or importance. He is to show respect for the host; exercise restraint and eat with moderation; refrain from indulgence in wine and strong drink, Exodus 22:28; Romans 13:1; Titus 3:1; Psalms 141:4; Proverbs 23:20-21; Daniel 1:5; Daniel 1:8.

Verses 4-5

Concentrate Not on Riches

Verses 4 and 5 warn against seeking riches as the chief good. Even if attained, wealth may disappear in a moment, Proverbs 28:20; Luke 12:15-21; 1 Timothy 6:7-10; James 5:1-6.

Verses 6-8

The Grudging Host

Verses 6-8 advises against eating with a stingy or grudging host who invites with sweet words; but so begrudges the food in his heart that the guest senses it and is as uncomfortable as one nauseated, Psalms 141:1; Deuteronomy 15:9; Proverbs 28:22; Proverbs 26:24-25; Proverbs 25:16.

Verse 9

Fools Despise Wisdom

Verse 9 declares that there are fools who despise wisdom; there is no need to speak to such, Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:8.

Verses 10-11

Divine Defender of Fatherless and Widows

Verse 10 repeats the commandment of Proverbs 22:28, and adds in verse 11, the pledge of a Divine redeemer who will plead the cause of the fatherless and widows, see Proverbs 22:23; Proverbs 22:28 and references, also Proverbs 15:25 and Job 31:21-23.

Verse 12

Parental Instruction

Verse 12 emphasizes that Divine Wisdom requires instruction which includes the training of discipline or correction, see comment on Proverbs 1:2 a and Proverbs 3:11-12.

Verses 13-14

Verses 13-14 See comment on Proverbs 13:24.

Verses 15-16

Prudent Children A Joy to Parents

Verses 15-16, using the tender "MY SON" form of address often repeated in chapters 1 through 7, express the great joy of parents whose well instructed children manifest wisdom, Vs 24-25; Proverbs 22:6; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 15:20; Proverbs 27:11; Proverbs 29:3.

Verses 17-18

Beware of Envy of Sinners

Verses 17-18-Comment included in comment on Proverbs 24:19-20.

Verses 19-21

Evils That Destroy

Verses 19-21 admonish the son to avoid three evils that lead astray and result in poverty - drunkenness, gluttony, and slothfulness, Proverbs 4:23; Isaiah 5:22; Romans 13:13; Ephesians 5:18; Proverbs 19:15; Proverbs 23:33-34; Proverbs 6:9-11.

Verses 22-23

Children That Honor Parents

Verses 22-23 amplify conduct which honors parents as admonished in the fifth commandment (Exodus 20:12): The child is to heed instruction of parents when a child, and he is to honor them and respect the truth they taught as long as they live, Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 30:17; Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3. Proper parental instruction will stress priceless value of truth and its components of wisdom, understanding and instruction, Proverbs 3:1-3; Proverbs 4:1-5; Psalms 117:2; Daniel 4:37; Zechariah 8:16; John 8:32.

Verses 24-25

Verses 24-25 reveal the joy experienced by parents who see the fruit of their teaching in wise children, Proverbs 15:20; Proverbs 22:6; 2 Timothy 3:14-15.

Verses 26-28

Beware the Prostitute

Verses 26-28 warn of the prostitute as chapters 5-7 warned of the adulteress. See comments on Proverbs 5:1-23; Proverbs 6:24-35; Proverbs 7:6-27.

Verses 29-35

The Woes of the Drunkard

Verses 29-30 emphasize the reality that drinking is not fun as often claimed, but is woe, sorrow, quarrels, complaints, bruises, bloodshot eyes, and often the prelude to death, Proverbs 20:1; 2 Samuel 13:28; Isaiah 5:11; Isaiah 5:22.

Verses 31-32 warn against even the slightest involvement with drink because it is a deceiver and has consequences as deadly as the poison of a serpent, Proverbs 20:1.

Verse 33 warns further that it arouses evil sexual desires and prompts perverse speech, Habakkuk 2:15.

Verses 34-35 refer to the power- of drink to so distort normal senses that control of faculties and movement is lost, 1 Samuel 25:36-38; Isaiah 28:7; Jeremiah 5:3; Ephesians 4:19.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 23". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/proverbs-23.html. 1985.
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