23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,

look carefully at what’s in front of you.

2 Put a knife to your throat

if you like to eat too much.

3 Don’t long for his fancy food.

It can fool you.


4 Don’t wear yourself out to get rich.

Be wise enough to say no.

5 When you take even a quick look at riches, they are gone.

They grow wings and fly away into the sky like an eagle.


6 Don’t eat the food of anyone who won’t share it.

Don’t long for his fancy food.

7 He is the kind of person

who is always thinking about how much it costs.

“Eat and drink,” he says to you.

But he doesn’t mean it.

8 You will throw up what little you have eaten.

You will have wasted your words of praise.


9 Don’t speak to a foolish person.

He will laugh at your wise words.


10 Don’t move old boundary stones.

Don’t try to take over the fields of children whose fathers have died.

11 The One who guards them is strong.

He will stand up for them in court against you.


12 Apply your heart to what you are taught.

Listen carefully to words of knowledge.


13 Don’t hold back training from a child.

If you correct him, he won’t die.

14 So correct him.

Then you will save him from death.


15 My child, if your heart is wise,

my heart will be glad.

16 Deep down inside, I will be happy

when you say what is right.


17 Do not long for what sinners have.

But always show great respect for the Lord.

18 There really is hope for you tomorrow.

So your hope will not be cut off.


19 My child, listen and be wise.

Keep your heart on the right path.

20 Don’t join those who drink too much wine.

Don’t join those who stuff themselves with meat.

21 Those who drink or eat too much will become poor.

If they sleep too much, they’ll have to wear rags.


22 Listen to your father, who gave you life.

Don’t hate your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth. Don’t sell it.

Get wisdom, training and understanding.

24 The father of a godly child is very happy.

Anyone who has a wise child is glad.

25 May your father and mother be glad.

May the woman who gave birth to you be happy.


26 My son, give me your heart.

Keep your eyes on the way I live.

27 A prostitute is like a deep pit.

A wife who commits adultery is like a narrow well.

28 She hides and waits like a thief.

She causes many men to sin.


29 Who has trouble? Who has sorrow?

Who argues? Who has problems?

Who has wounds for no reason? Who has red eyes?

30 Those who spend too much time with wine.

Or those who like to taste wine that is mixed with spices.

31 Don’t look at wine when it is red.

Don’t look at it when it bubbles in the cup.

And don’t look at it when it goes down smoothly.

32 In the end it bites like a snake.

It bites like a poisonous serpent.

33 Your eyes will see strange sights.

Your mind will imagine weird things.

34 You will feel like someone sleeping on the ocean.

You will think you are lying among the ropes in a boat.

35 “They hit me,” you will say. “But I’m not hurt!

They beat me. But I don’t feel it!

When will I wake up

so I can find another drink?”


About New International Reader’s Version (1998)

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.


Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society.

All rights reserved.

The NIrV text may be quoted for non-commercial usage in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio) up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without the express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.

Notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page of the work as follows:

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION™. Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

When quotations from the NIrV text are used in non-saleable media, such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, transparencies or similar media, a complete copyright notice is not required, but the initials (NIrV) must appear at the end of each quotation.

Any commentary or other Biblical reference work produced for commercial sale that uses the New International Reader’s Version must obtain written permission for use of the NIrV text.

Permission requests for commercial use within the U.S. and Canada that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Ave. S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530.

Permission requests for commercial use within the U.K., EEC, and EFTA countries that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, Hodder Headline Plc., 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH, England.

Permission requests for non-commercial usage that exceed the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by, International Bible Society, 1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921.

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