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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 23

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Verses 1-3

Dining With a Ruler

Solomon warns his son to consider when he is invited by a ruler to dine with him (Proverbs 23:1). He may be flattered to be invited by the ruler. He may also be deceived by the richly filled table with the delicious food that makes one’s mouth water at the sight of it. But he should not look at ‘what’ is set before him, but at “who” is before him, the ruler.

With that in mind, he should ‘put a knife to his throat’ (Proverbs 23:2). That especially applies when he is “a man of great appetite”. Eating delicious food is not wrong, but the lust for it is. The food that is before him looks very attractive. Added to this, is that he is hungry and would immediately want to start eating. The father knows the risk of one losing his control and starting to eat greedily. In that case one is a double prisoner. He is a prisoner of his greed and a prisoner of the ruler. He didn’t control himself in the presence of the ruler.

Therefore the admonition to the son is that he ‘should put a knife to his throat’, which means as much as ‘control your appetite’ or ‘control yourself’. It implies that you threaten your gluttony with death. The admonition is that you’d better put a knife to your throat than into the meat on the table. It comes down to what the Bible calls self-judgment. The Lord Jesus calls on us to do that when He speaks about tearing out the eye and cutting off the hand, as soon as we are tempted to do something bad or to look at something bad (Matthew 5:29-Amos :; Matthew 18:8-1 Samuel :; 1 Corinthians 9:24-Daniel :).

The reason for the warning and admonition of Proverbs 23:1-Exodus : is given in Proverbs 23:3. The “delicacies” are a bait to make him do something for him or to get some information from him or to ensure himself of his help. Therefore, he should not have desire for them, “for it is deceptive food”. He is not invited for the meal because he is such an important person, but it is to get him in a good mood so that he can make him do something for him. So there are selfish motives behind the invitation.

Therefore he, as it is said, should not consider what (tasty food) is before him, but who is before him. Because Eve did not consider who was before her and only considered what was before her, sin came into the world (Genesis 3:1-Joshua :). Because we are not better and it is also for us a great temptation to accept such an invitation and start to consume such a meal with great appetite, it is necessary that we pray for protection, like David did (Psalms 141:4).

We can also apply ‘deceptive food’ to false teachings on God’s Word. False teachers can present their false teachings about God in a ‘tasty’ way. It sounds for instance very attractive that God is love and that He would not be so merciless to send someone to hell so that he will be in eternal torment. This false teaching is very ‘tasty’ to many people who in that way take into their heart the false teaching of the ‘universalism’ through which they are getting poisoned in their mind.

Verses 4-5

Wealth Has Wings

For [wealth] certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies [toward] the heavens.
Wealth has the same attraction as the food on the table of a ruler in the previous verses. Wealth is as deceptive as the food on the table of the ruler. Therefore wealth is also to be dealt with very carefully. The warning is that one should not weary himself to gain wealth (Proverbs 23:4). He who wearies himself for it, will be ensnared by it and be controlled by it. So it is about desiring to gain wealth. He who desires to gain wealth, runs great risks (1 Timothy 6:9-2 Samuel :).

We can imagine that the son is young and ambitious. He has many capacities and sees a lot of challenges. But the father tells him that he should not use his “consideration” to summarize all kinds of profits that make wealth worthy of making efforts. Let him cease to search for good reasons to do something that is bad.

The reality is that just as quick as his “eyes are set on” the wealth, it also “flies” away (Proverbs 23:5). Solomon uses a play of words with the word fly. The eyes fly and wealth flies. Just as quick as the eyes fly, wealth quickly flies away. Wealth flies with the speed of “an eagle that flies to heaven”. You are the loser, without any possibility to take back the wealth. A wrong speculation, a bank that goes bankrupt, a thief that robs, and you lose your whole fortune at once.

The warning that Solomon gives his son and makes us hear, is not a warning against diligence and zeal, but against the love for money, against materialism with its dangers, the greed for more prosperity. It is better to use our power to collect treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-Proverbs :). We could also better, in following Paul, give all our powers to the work for the Lord. By setting our priorities, we show what we use our ‘considerations’ for.

Verses 6-8

Hypocritical Hospitality

It is a mistake to accept the hospitality of a greedy man (Proverbs 23:6). You can watch him being angry at every bite that you take. The literal translation of “a selfish man” is ‘an evil eye’ – see the contrast with “he who is generous” (Proverbs 22:9), which is someone with a ‘bountiful eye’; see the comment on Proverbs 22:9. This miser is uncivilized and inhospitable. You shouldn’t desire to eat with him from “his delicacies”, however much it makes your mouth water when you see the menu. There is really nothing delicious about eating with such a person.

The man you’re eating with is not what he pretends to be (Proverbs 23:7). While you’re eating, he is calculating what the expenses are for what you’re eating. It burns a hole in his riches. He may invite you to “eat and drink”, but not with great joy; he doesn’t really mean it; he is stingy. He is doing it reluctantly. Inwardly, he is not connected with you, while a meal should actually express fellowship, shouldn’t it? He pays more attention to how much you eat – and in that way he is calculating how much it costs him – rather than whether you enjoy it.

As the meal goes on, the face of the host is clouding over, which causes your appetite to become less (Proverbs 23:8). His lack of sincerity will finally destroy your appetite in such a way that you spit everything out that you have already eaten. And oh, how much will you regret your pleasant words. You have expressed your appreciation about the invitation and praised your host for his good taste. But it has all been a waste, for the man seems to be a miser who has only been watching you with a grudge while you were eating.

Verse 9

Don’t Waste Wise Words on a Fool

It is absolutely no use speaking wise words to an incorrigible fool. It is not because he would not understand what you are saying, nor is it because he would listen badly or that he would not even listen. It is much worse. It is not a matter of ignorance or misconduct, but of despising such words. A fool despises wisdom and therefore it is a waste of time trying to say anything prudent to him.

Words of wisdom will be considered by him as a correction and therefore an attack on his engagements. In that way he refuses to be confronted in any way. He will reveal himself as an enemy to it and turn himself against you.

What Solomon says here to his son, is in accordance with what the Lord Jesus says to His disciples: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6).

Verses 10-11

Honoring the Property of the Powerless

Again the wisdom teacher points out to respect the rights of others concerning their property (Proverbs 23:10; Proverbs 22:28). This time he warns against the moving of the “ancient boundary” that has set the boundaries clear of the area of the fatherless. He who moves them, commits a breach on their property. “Do not go into the fields of the fatherless” means that nobody is allowed to go into the fields with hostile intentions, that is with the intention to move the boundary and in that way to rob a part of their fields.

Proverbs 23:11 makes clear why it is wise not to commit land robbery and certainly not of the powerless orphans. Whoever does that, will have to deal with Someone Who defends those who have no earthly father whom they can rely on and who defends them. They have a “Redeemer” Who is “strong” (Jeremiah 50:34).

He will plead their case and plead against their offenders by bringing them to trial and judging them. He is Goel, the Savior, the Helper (Psalms 10:14), for those who cannot rely on anyone for help (Job 19:25). Widows and orphans stand as the powerless ones under the direct care of God (Psalms 68:5; Psalms 82:3Psalms 146:9; Hosea 14:4).

Verse 12

A Renewed Call to Listen

This proverb or admonition addressed to the son is again an introductive admonition and reminds him of the way in which many sections in the first main section, Proverbs 1-9, begin (Proverbs 1:8; Proverbs 2:1Proverbs 3:1; Proverbs 4:1Proverbs 5:1; Proverbs 6:20Proverbs 7:1; Proverbs 8:1-Joshua :). Also the section of the words of the wise begins with it (Proverbs 22:17). The son must open his heart for admonition and listen well to the knowledge that is given by his father and mother. It is an activity that is expected from the son.

“Apply” is a deed, an activity which is asked. One should apply it himself. Thereby it is not about a physical movement, but his heart and ear should apply. Thus it is not patiently waiting to see whether something happens, a certain feeling or such. The heart and the ear should turn away from everything with which they are occupied in order to devote themselves to the teaching of wisdom.

Verses 13-14

Discipline Is Necessary

After the word has been addressed to the son in Proverbs 23:12, the word is addressed now to the parents in Proverbs 23:13-2 Chronicles :. Up to now there have been two admonitions about the use of a rod for correction (Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 22:15) and one reference for not using it with a possible consequence of death (Proverbs 19:18). Now both kinds of admonitions are brought together.

When a son, a young man, commits a kind of disobedience, he should be admonished (Proverbs 23:13). That can happen orally, but sometimes it is necessary that he not only hears, but also feels that he has been disobedient. Then he has to be struck with the rod. It has been noticed earlier (see comment at Proverbs 22:15), that one should not just simply beat. It is the intention that he is to be confronted with his sin in a painful way. Sin always causes pain. He will not die from it, but on the contrary remain to live, which means in the life as God has intended and which gives the greatest satisfaction.

The application of physical discipline must be done by the parent himself (Proverbs 23:14). He should not leave it to someone else. By disciplining him, the parent indicates that he is personally involved with the well-being of his son. He does not discipline him because he is better. He himself also needed that discipline and it had benefited him.

It is not cruel to strike the young man with the rod; on the contrary it is cruel not to. A child that has never been disciplined becomes in most cases unmanageable in his contact with others. He who has never felt the pain of the rod of correction, is often cruel, without any compassion towards others. He will end in death, in Sheol and in eternal pain. He will die prematurely as a result of a lack of education. The use of the rod of correction could have saved his life from it and he could have lived a valuable and blissful life.

Verses 15-16

Wisdom Causes Gladness

The Proverbs 23:15-Nehemiah : continue with the subject of the two previous verses. The choice that a child makes is just as important as the discipline of the parents. The discipline saves his life, but he has to do something with his life. The greatest care of the father is that he teaches him wisdom. The admonition with the use of the rod is a part of it.

The father tells his son that his heart will rejoice when the heart of his son is wise (Proverbs 23:15). He has done his best to teach him wisdom and thereby used the rod in case it was necessary. It is now the son’s turn to speak. What a joy will it be for the heart of the father when his son demonstrates to have a wise heart by making good choices. The wise heart of the son causes his father to have a glad heart. There is a unity of heart. A son only has a wise heart when he lives in fellowship with God. The father emphasizes the gladness of his father’s heart by adding “my own heart”.

Beside the wise choices that the son makes, it also seems that his heart is wise because he speaks with his lips “what is right” (Proverbs 23:16). He will speak in a right way about subjects that are important and in that way deliver an essential contribution to the realization of a plan or the solution of a problem. His words also demonstrate wisdom and understanding in the complexity of life. That wisdom and that understanding do not come from below, but from above (James 3:13; James 3:17). It is wisdom which “is vindicated by all her children” (Luke 7:35), which means that wisdom becomes apparent in the life of these children, from what they show and hear.

The father cannot control his joy when he hears his son speaking like that. He expresses his deep joy about it by talking about “the rejoicing” of his “inmost”. The inmost, symbolically represents, together with the heart, the deepest, the most inward emotions (cf. Job 19:27; Psalms 7:9; Psalms 16:7Psalms 26:2; Jeremiah 11:20). This equals what the old apostle John says, that he “was very glad”, that it is his deepest joy, when he hears that his (spiritual) children “walk in the truth” (2 John 1:4; cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:19-Proverbs :).

What makes us glad as parents? Is it when we can show them off because of their nice diplomas, their good position in society or even in the church? When they are healthy and talented? Those things are not wrong, but if that is our joy, we are a level too low. The only thing that should be important is that they have a living relationship with the Lord and that they live out of that relationship. That gives a joy that never disappears.

Verses 17-18

The Fear of the LORD Gives Hope

The Proverbs 23:17-Job : tell about a risk that threatens the youngster which can make him to forsake wisdom, but they also tell him in which way he can keep it and what it delivers to him. When he lets his heart envy sinners (Proverbs 23:17), wisdom will be driven out. Wisdom remains in the heart, only if in it “[lives] … the fear of the LORD always”.

In the second line of the verse no verb is used – the word ‘live’ is between brackets – which means that the thought of the first line of the verse continues. The thought is that the first line of the verse warns the son about not to being jealous of the sinners and the second line of the verse exhorts him to be jealous about the fear of the LORD. The contrast is between a wrong and a good jealousy. The wrong jealousy is sin, the good jealousy is a spiritual exercise.

Being jealous of the sinners is the result of a comparison between what they have and what he can perform or afford (Psalms 73:3-Deuteronomy :). That jealousy stands opposite to confidence and always comes forth from distrusting God. It is a lack of confidence in God, that He does not give what you need. It implies a doubt about God and His love. Therefore it is important to be jealous about the fear of the LORD always. If you do that, if you focus yourself on possessing it, you are able to accept your fate with joy as something that He gives to you. You can then count on His blessing and trust in His promises, always and all days.

The word “surely” with which Proverbs 23:18 begins, refers to what has been said previously. For the sinners there is no future. It is therefore foolish to envy them. There is actually a future for him who always fears the LORD. He who lives in relationship with Him, does not need to be jealous of anyone. Therefore, the way one looks forward to the future, depends on the fear of the LORD. He is the One Who gives hope.

The Hebrew word for hope is tiqvah which literally means ‘robe’. This word is used for the robe that Rahab had to tie in the window (Joshua 2:17-Job :). This robe was the symbol of the hope that she had of being spared when Jericho would be taken in. Hope is what connects us with the eternity of God. Therefore it cannot ever be cut off, while the hope of sinners is actually being cut off, for that hope is based on something outside of God and is therefore by definition without any basis.

Verse 19

Again the Call to Listen

The father again addresses his son emphatically with the words “my son”. It is about you, my son, whom I loved to see going a way which is to the honor of God. There is no end to becoming wise on earth. He who is wise, surely wants to become wiser and wiser. One of the characteristics of one who is wise, is the awareness of the necessity to grow continuously in wisdom. He who says that he is perfect in wisdom, lies and is limitlessly proud.

Listening is the basis to become wise. He who listens can become wise. Listening indicates the attitude of the pupil. The son is a pupil. The direction of the heart inseparably goes together with it. The heart should not be directed in one’s own way, but “in the way” of the LORD or of wisdom. All wisdom that we learn, is intended for us to go the right way, the way of wisdom, which is no other than the way of the LORD. It is the way of life in which everything happens under His authority and to His honor.

Verses 20-21

Bad Company

The father warns his son urgently not to get into the company of heavy drinkers and gluttonous eaters (Proverbs 23:20). These people have no limits. They represent a group of people who are characterized by a dramatic lack of self-control. They are powerless and characterless addicts. It is a company which the son must avoid. When he maintains a friendly contact with them, it will have a negative influence on his view of drunkenness and gluttony.

Excessive drinking and eating are as a matter of fact often symptoms of deeper problems. It is known of alcohol that it is especially a ‘solvent’. It is used to diminish or forget sorrow and tensions temporarily (cf. Proverbs 31:6-Judges :). It applies also to eating. The problems do not drive someone to God, but to drink and food. Heavy drinkers and gluttonous eaters are keeping God out of their lives.

Proverbs 23:21 begins with the word “for”, which means that now the reason for the warning of the previous verse follows. The heavy drinker and the gluttonous eater waste their money to their addiction. Their drink and food bring them to financial bankruptcy. They are often deeply in debt. They also drag their families into ruin. The drowsiness in which they continuously live, can be seen on their faces. They clothe themselves “with rags”, for every penny goes to drink and food and is not spent on the repair of their clothes.

We can also apply the ‘rags’ spiritually. Heavy drinkers and gluttonous eaters live a ‘ragged’ life. First it is a ragged life in the sense of a double life. As long as they can hide their addiction, they live two lives, a life with two faces. But their whole life is torn into countless pieces when they cannot hide their addiction anymore. That happens when they cannot do their work properly anymore and are fired or when creditors knock at their door because they do not meet their financial obligations anymore.

Verses 22-25

Honor and Rejoice Your Father and Mother

Soon after Proverbs 23:19, the appeal to the son to listen is to be heard again in Proverbs 23:22. Now it is added that he should listen to his father because the father begot him. The son should listen to his father because he owes his natural life to him. In that way the biological relationship is not emphasized that much, but the emphasis is on a deep human relationship. A father should be aware of the great privilege that he had been allowed to beget a son and at the same time the great responsibility (which is also a privilege) to teach his son about the fear of the LORD as the beginning of wisdom.

It is one of the great dramas of this time that more and more children have just a biological father. They have entirely no human relationship with him, let alone a deep human relationship, and not to mention anything at all about the task of teaching the fear of God. It is simply shocking to hear that a father is trying to get into contact with his son via face book whom he’d never taken care of, because he went off with another woman. After ten years the son suddenly receives a request via face book from his father whether he would want to be ‘his friend’. I leave the imagination about the response of the son to the reader.

Solomon also has a word about the mother to his son. The son is not to despise her “when she is old”. Not to despise means to have deep respect. Nowadays children know a lot more than their parents. They also often have more capabilities. The intellectual knowledge of the parents remains far behind that of the children and also their physical strength will be decreasing. Age-related diseases can enter into their lives by which the mother has to be taken care of.

The danger is great that the counsel of an old mother can be despised by a child. It takes time to visit her; and with the little time that he’s got left, he may want to spend it for his own benefit. And when on top of that she wants to give him some advice about what he should do, it will certainly not make him happy. Such a child shows great ingratitude and insensitiveness for the many years that his mother has spent on him. She has been there for him all the time.

The admonition not to despise the mother must still be heard strongly today. If the son is a wise son, he will continue to have deep respect for her, because of her efforts for him for example. Because of her care it could be that he has achieved what he is now. It is a reason to remain listening to his mother. Not that she must go on telling him what to do and what not to do in a way that she did in earlier days. The point is that children should continue to listen to the experiences of life through which she has been with God. Children still have to go through those experiences. It would be wise for them to honor her by listening to her. She speaks through her words and through her life.

The first expression of honoring the parents is by following them in holding on to the truth. Therefore the exhortation to buy truth and not to sell it follows in Proverbs 23:23. He who wants to have something, buys it and pays the price asked. He who sells something, prefers to have the money above what he is selling. He who buys the truth and does not sell it, is willing to pay the purchase price, no matter how high the price is and he will not sell it again by any means, no matter how much is offered to him to buy it. It is not about a desire to buy the truth, but to actually buy it for the price worth paying.

The truth is not a certain doctrine, but it consists of “wisdom, instruction and understanding”. These things are more valuable in life than any material prosperity and are necessary to make life worth living on earth. Its value is eternal and is related to the knowledge of God in Christ. The ‘purchase price’ is the time that we invest and the means that we purchase in order to learn to know more about the truth. Buying also means that we come to Christ and ask him to grant us wisdom, instruction and understanding through His Spirit (cf. Rev. 3:18).

The valuation for the truth which appears from the purchase, makes the parents happy. Proverbs 23:24-Lamentations : describe the great joy of parents whose son reveals himself as a righteous and wise man. The father will “greatly rejoice” (Proverbs 23:24). It indicates again that he has “begotten” him (Proverbs 23:22), which emphasizes the close relationship. It is the son who has descended from him. He had begotten him to make him a wise son.

In Proverbs 23:25 it is said to the son that he has to make sure that both his father and mother will rejoice. That will be the case when they see that he desires to go his way with the LORD. The father has begotten him, the mother has given birth to him. They have raised him together. When they see that their education has the effect that they fervently desired, they will have great joy (cf. 2 John 1:4; 3 John 1:4). Children have to be made aware that they will be a joy to their parents by living a Godly life.

Verses 26-28

Two Ways

Solomon is asking his son to give him his heart. By that he means that the son must pay full attention to the teachings that he is giving to him. Thereby the father also points to his own ways, to his conduct, by which he is an example to be followed (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6). He does not appeal now to his ears to listen, but to his eyes to see. Let him pay attention to the ways of his father. He is not supposed to just look, but to let his eyes “delight” in his ways like something attractive.

In Proverbs 23:26 the father urgently addressed and exhorted his son to pay attention to his ways, follow him in his ways and to delight in his ways. In Proverbs 23:27 the reason follows, which is indicated by the word “for”. His urgent appeal is connected with the sexual dangers that are threatening the son. When he gives his heart to his father and pays attention to the ways of his father, his heart will not be attracted to “a harlot” or “an adulterous woman” and his eyes will not be focused on her.

The father warns him about two kinds of women. The “harlot” is the prostitute, the woman who offers herself to enter into sexual filthiness with her – of course for payment. The “adulterous woman” is the married woman who just wants something different. Today both kinds of women also offer their services via internet and commercials.

The father calls the harlot “a deep pit” and the adulterous woman “a narrow well”. If the son will make contact with the one, he will sink to a very low level, and if he makes contact with the other, he will get into deep trouble. He will never be able to get himself out of the pit or the well. The pit and the well are a gate of hell. Only by Divine intervention in mercy and power it is possible to get liberated from the pit and the well.

Proverbs 23:28 underlines that the son is dealing with a danger which is not only lurking, but that it is actually active. As it is said, the woman is offering her services. Therefore “she lurks like a robber”. The word “surely” which he uses prior to that, must add emphasis to his remark. Surely, that’s how it is, and nothing else. In Proverbs 7 the father described the way of the harlot extensively and also her depravity. (It’s a good thing to read that chapter again). Here he repeats it briefly.

Every man that she persuades to commit fornication with her “increases the faithless among men”. It means that her victims show ‘faithlessness’ to God’s institution of marriage and are also faithless to their own marital relationship. She also causes people to commit all kinds of other forms of faithlessness such as lying, stealing, killing somebody, committing suicide.

Verses 29-35

The Disastrous Consequences of Drunkenness

Directly connected to the warning against fornication in Proverbs 23:26-Hosea :, a warning follows against drunkenness. This subject has already been dealt with briefly in Proverbs 23:20-Ecclesiastes : by the wise man. Drunkenness is closely related to fornication (Revelation 17:2) and also very easily leads to fornication (Proverbs 23:33). The wise man pictures the picture of a drunken man vividly and sparks one’s imagination.

He begins with six questions (Proverbs 23:29), to which questions he lets the answers follow in Proverbs 23:30. In Proverbs 23:31 he has an advice, while in Proverbs 23:32 he shows the consequences in case his advice is not followed. In Proverbs 23:33-Nahum : he addresses his son directly. He concludes his description in Proverbs 23:35 with words that come out of the mouth of the drunk himself.

The drunk is someone who cries out “woe” and “sorrow” because he feels terrible (Proverbs 23:29). The woe and sorrow may also refer to what he causes to others by his drunkenness, like his family. The drink makes him a person who causes quarrels, a hoodlum. When he comes out of his drunkenness, he “complains”, because he feels miserable. The wounds he has, happened during his drunkenness, whether by a fight or by hurting himself at stumbling again and again while he was waddling or bumped against something. Those are “wounds without cause”, for he would not have had those wounds had he not been drunk. Because of his drunkenness he cannot see clearly anymore, for he has bloodshot eyes, which makes him to have a blurred and double eyesight.

The answer in Proverbs 23:30 to the six questions in Proverbs 23:29 is short and also telling. The drunks are described here as people “who linger long over wine” and “who go to taste mixed wine”. They do not drink just a glass at their meal, but the wine fills their life. They go on drinking until the early hours of the morning. Of course the taste of mixed wine is a part of it. That increases the pleasure of drinking.

Drunks have no idea of time and responsibility. They are spineless people. They don’t care about the fact that they have to be on time for work the next morning. They don’t care about home. They are drunk and therefore not able to think about responsibilities.

The father advises the son not to look on the wine “when it sparkles in the cup” (Proverbs 23:31), which means when the wine has a special attraction to him. That can be when you’re in a miserable situation, or when you’re facing a great disappointment. Then a special temptation can emanate from wine to drink it. Therefore the urgent advice is not to look at it. If you do, you will see how attractive it is. Your resistance against it will melt away like snow in the sun. When you touch the glass with your lips, you will experience how easily it flows inside the mouth.

But he should thereby consider that the short pleasure will end with the bite of a serpent and the poison of a viper (Proverbs 23:32). He will “at last” be destroyed by it. Nobody gives himself over to wine when he thinks for a moment what the end shall be. His co-drinkers will not tell him. They offer the first glass to him. When he does not accept it, they will laugh at him. Therefore he accepts the glass and empties it. It indeed goes down easily and it tastes excellent. It turns out that his whole human dignity is being torn down.

In Proverbs 23:33-Nahum : the father addresses his son directly. He has to watch out that drunkenness can cause his boundaries to fade away and may easily lead him to fornicate and utter perverse things (Proverbs 23:33). His drunken mind does not realize anymore that he is married. His eyes are filled with adultery, and because he has no sense of values anymore, he comes to the disgusting deed of adultery. The language that he speaks is of the very same filthy caliber. The most disgusting things are coming out unrestrained from his heart.

The drunken son will then be totally insensitive to what is happening to him (Proverbs 23:34). A drunk has no idea about what he‘s doing, where he is nor where he’s going to. He may find himself in the middle of the sea, in a heavy storm, but totally does not take notice of the fact that he can just simply drown. He is like a sleeping man that doesn’t realize anything. Or he can find himself on the top of a mast on which he is bouncing back and forth, which causes him to make a fatal fall without him being aware of this danger. Here also he is like a sleeping man who has no idea of anything. He is strolling around the street and turning around in his own vomit without being aware of it (Isaiah 28:7-Ruth :; cf. Psalms 107:26-Daniel :).

The drunk knows that he has been struck, but does not know by whom he was struck (Proverbs 23:35). It didn’t make him to get ill and he is therefore not bed ridden. He has even been beaten with very hard blows, but he did not feel anything. How sweet it is to be drunk! Anything can happen to you, but it doesn’t bother you at all. He wants to go on with this life. He is incorrigible; he wants to remain drunk and therefore numb to the misery. Therefore when he is awake, he will grab at his big comforter again, the bottle, (Isaiah 56:12; Isaiah 5:11). What a tragedy!

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Proverbs 23". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/proverbs-23.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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