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Proverbs 23:32

King James Version (KJV)
Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 15-35

Another continuous exhortation rather than a collection of maxims.

Proverbs 23:16

The teacher rejoices when the disciple‘s heart Proverbs 23:15 receives wisdom, and yet more when his lips can utter it.

Reins - See Job 19:27 note.

Proverbs 23:17

Envy sinners - Compare in Psalm 37:1; Psalm 73:3; the feeling which looks half-longingly at the prosperity of evil doers. Some connect the verb “envy” with the second clause, “envy not sinners, but envy, emulate, the fear of the Lord.”

Proverbs 23:18

Or, For if there is an end (hereafter), thine expectations shall not be cut off. There is an implied confidence in immortality.

Proverbs 23:20

Riotous eaters of flesh - The word is the same as “glutton” in Proverbs 23:21 and Deuteronomy 21:20.

Proverbs 23:21

The three forms of evil that destroy reputation and tempt to waste are brought together.

Drowsiness - Specially the drunken sleep, heavy and confused.

Proverbs 23:26

Observe - Another reading gives, “let thine eyes delight in my ways.”

Proverbs 23:28

As for a prey - Better as in the margin.

The transgressors - Better, the treacherous,” those that attack men treacherously.

Proverbs 23:29

Woe … sorrow - The words in the original are interjections, probably expressing distress. The sharp touch of the satirist reproduces the actual inarticulate utterances of drunkenness.

Proverbs 23:30

Mixed wine - Wine flavored with aromatic spices, that increase its stimulating properties Isaiah 5:22. There is a touch of sarcasm in “go to seek.” The word, elsewhere used of diligent search after knowledge Proverbs 25:2; Job 11:7; Psalm 139:1, is used here of the investigations of connoisseurs in wine meeting to test its qualities.

Proverbs 23:31

His color - literally, “its eye,” the clear brightness, or the beaded bubbles on which the wine drinker looks with complacency.

It moveth itself aright - The Hebrew word describes the pellucid stream flowing pleasantly from the wineskin or jug into the goblet or the throat (compare Proverbs 23:32

Adder - Said to be the Cerastes, or horned snake.

Proverbs 23:34

The passage is interesting, as showing the increased familiarity of Israelites with the experiences of sea life (compare Psalm 104:25-26; Psalm 107:23-30).

In the midst of the sea - i. e., When the ship is in the trough of the sea and the man is on the deck. The second clause varies the form of danger, the man is in the “cradle” at the top of the mast, and sleeps there, regardless of the danger.

Proverbs 23:35

The picture ends with the words of the drunkard on waking from his sleep. Unconscious of the excesses of the night, his first thought is to return to his old habit.

When shall I awake … - Better, when I shall awake I will seek it yet again.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Solomon warns against drunkenness. Those that would be kept from sin, must keep from all the beginnings of it, and fear coming within reach of its allurements. Foresee the punishment, what it will at last end in, if repentance prevent not. It makes men quarrel. Drunkards wilfully make woe and sorrow for themselves. It makes men impure and insolent. The tongue grows unruly; the heart utters things contrary to reason, religion, and common civility. It stupifies and besots men. They are in danger of death, of damnation; as much exposed as if they slept upon the top of a mast, yet feel secure. They fear no peril when the terrors of the Lord are before them; they feel no pain when the judgments of God are actually upon them. So lost is a drunkard to virtue and honour, so wretchedly is his conscience seared, that he is not ashamed to say, I will seek it again. With good reason we were bid to stop before the beginning. Who that has common sense would contract a habit, or sell himself to a sin, which tends to such guilt and misery, and exposes a man every day to the danger of dying insensible, and awaking in hell? Wisdom seems in these chapters to take up the discourse as at the beginning of the book. They must be considered as the words of Christ to the sinner.
Ellen G. White
The Voice in Speech and Song, 17.2

Communication With God and Man—Speech is one of the great gifts of God. It is the means by which the thoughts of the heart are communicated. It is with the tongue that we offer prayer and praise to God. With the tongue we convince and persuade. With the tongue we comfort and bless, soothing the bruised, wounded soul. With the tongue we may make known the wonders of the grace of God. With the tongue also we may utter perverse things, speaking words that sting like an adder. VSS 17.2

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Ellen G. White
Temperance, 31-2

God's Blessings Changed to a Curse—Our Creator has bestowed His bounties upon man with a liberal hand. Were all these gifts of Providence wisely and temperately employed, poverty, sickness, and distress would be well-nigh banished from the earth. But alas, we see on every hand the blessings of God changed to a curse by the wickedness of men. Te 31.1

There is no class guilty of greater perversion and abuse of His precious gifts than are those who employ the products of the soil in the manufacture of intoxicating liquors. The nutritive grains, the healthful, delicious fruits, are converted into beverages that pervert the senses and madden the brain. As a result of the use of these poisons, thousands of families are deprived of the comforts and even the necessaries of life, acts of violence and crime are multiplied, and disease and death hurry myriads of victims to a drunkard's grave.—Gospel Workers, 385, 386. Te 31.2

Marriage Vows Melted in the Fiery Liquid—Look upon the drunkard's home. Mark the squalid poverty, the wretchedness, the unutterable woe that are reigning there. See the once happy wife fleeing before her maniac husband. Hear her plead for mercy as the cruel blows fall on her shrinking form. Where are the sacred vows made at the marriage altar? where is the love to cherish, the strength to protect her now? Alas, these have been melted like precious pearls in the fiery liquid, the cup of abominations! Look upon those half-naked children. Once they were cherished tenderly. No wintry storm, nor the cold breath of the world's contempt and scorn, was permitted to approach them. A father's care, a mother's love, made their home a paradise. Now all is changed. Day by day the cries of agony wrenched from the lips of the drunkard's wife and children go up to heaven.—The Review and Herald, November 8, 1881. Te 31.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 330

No human being needs tobacco, but multitudes are perishing for want of the means that by its use is worse than wasted. Have you not been misappropriating the Lord's goods? Have you not been guilty of robbery toward God and your fellow men? “Know ye not that ... ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. MH 330.1

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging:
And whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions?
who hath babbling? who hath wounds
without cause?
Who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine;
They that go to seek mixed wine.
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red,
When it giveth his color in the cup,
When it moveth itself aright.
At the last it biteth like a serpent,
And stingeth like an adder.”
MH 330.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW), 1162

God demands of you vigorous and earnest intellectual efforts, and with every determined effort, your powers will strengthen. Your work will then always be agreeable, because you will know that you are progressing. You can either become accustomed to slow, uncertain, irresolute movements, so much so that the work of your life will not be one-half what it could be; or, your eyes fixed upon God, and your soul strengthened by prayer, you can overcome a disgraceful slowness and a dislike for work, and train your mind to think rapidly and to put forth strong efforts at the proper time. If your highest motive is to labor for wages, you will never, in any position, be qualified to carry high responsibilities, never be fit to teach (Manuscript 24, 1887). 3BC 1162.1

26. Youth's Most Precious Offering—Then, children, come to Jesus. Give to God the most precious offering that it is possible for you to make; give Him your heart. He speaks to you saying, “My son, my daughter, give me thine heart. Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; for I will cleanse you with my own blood. I will make you members of my family—children of the heavenly King. Take my forgiveness, my peace which I freely give you. I will clothe you with my own righteousness,—the wedding garment,—and make you fit for the marriage supper of the Lamb. When clothed in my righteousness, through prayer, through watchfulness, through diligent study of my Word, you will be able to reach a high standard. You will understand the truth, and your character will be molded by a divine influence; for this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (The Youth's Instructor, June 30, 1892). 3BC 1162.2

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Ellen G. White
Temperance, 42

Encourage Not the Desire for Stimulants—Let every soul remember that he is under sacred obligations to God to do his best for his fellow creatures. How careful should everyone be not to create a desire for stimulants. By advising friends and neighbors to take brandy for the sake of their health, they are in danger of becoming agents for the destruction of their friends. Many incidents have come to my attention in which through some simple advice, men and women have become the slaves of the drink habit. Te 42.1

Physicians are responsible for making many drunkards. Knowing what drink will do for its lovers, they have taken upon themselves the responsibility of prescribing it for their patients. Did they reason from cause to effect, they would know that stimulants would have the same effect on every organ of the body as they have on the whole man. What excuse can doctors render for the influence they have exerted in making fathers and mothers drunkards?—The Review and Herald, May 29, 1894. Te 42.2

Warned That They May Escape the Evil Results—With the awful results of indulgence in intoxicating drink before us, how is it that any man or woman who claims to believe in the word of God, can venture to touch, taste, or handle wine or strong drink? Such a practice is certainly out of harmony with their professed faith.... Te 42.3

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