Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Proverbs 23:26

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
The gracious Saviour who purchased pardon and peace for his people, with all the affection of a tender parent, counsels us to hear and be wise, and is ready to guide our hearts in his way. Here we have an earnest call to young people, to attend to the advice of their godly parents. If the heart be guided, the steps will be guided. Buy the truth, and sell it not; be willing to part with any thing for it. Do not part with it for pleasures, honours, riches, or any thing in this world. The heart is what the great God requires. We must not think to divide the heart between God and the world; he will have all or none. Look to the rule of God's word, the conduct of his providence, and the good examples of his people. Particular cautions are given against sins most destructive to wisdom and grace in the soul. It is really a shame to make a god of the belly. Drunkenness stupifies men, and then all goes to ruin. Licentiousness takes away the heart that should be given to God. Take heed of any approaches toward this sin, it is very hard to retreat from it. It bewitches men to their ruin.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

My son, give me thine heart - This is the speech of God to every human soul; give thy affections to God, so as to love him with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength.

And let thine eyes observe my ways - Be obedient to me in all things. My son, thou believest that I Am, and that I Am the Fountain of all good. Give me thy heart; it is I alone who can make thee happy. Observe my ways - follow me; do what is right in my sight. This exhortation contains three words: Believe, Love, Obey! This is the sum of God's counsels to every child of man.

Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 418-23

Let each one who sits in council and in committee meetings write in his heart the words: I am working for time and for eternity. I must give an account to God for all the motives which prompt me to action. Let this be his motto. Let the prayer of the psalmist go up to God, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.” TM 418.1


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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 209

We should seek to enter into the feelings of the youth, sympathizing with them in their joys and sorrows, their conflicts and victories. Jesus did not remain in heaven, away from the sorrowing and sinful; He came down to this world, that He might become acquainted with the weakness, the suffering, and the temptations of the fallen race. He reached us where we were, that He might lift us up. In our work for the youth, we must meet them where they are, if we would help them. When youthful disciples are overcome by temptation, let not those older in experience deal with them harshly, or regard their efforts with indifference. Remember that you yourselves have often shown but little strength to resist the tempter's power. Be as patient with these lambs of the flock as you wish others to be with you. God has so constituted us that even the strongest desire sympathy. How much more, then, do children need it! Even a look of compassion will often soothe and strengthen the tried, tempted child. GW 209.1

Jesus calls to every wanderer, “My son, give Me thine heart.” [Proverbs 23:26.] “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” [Jeremiah 3:22.] The youth cannot be truly happy without the love of Jesus. He is waiting with pitying tenderness to hear the confessions of the wayward, and to accept their penitence. He watches for some return of gratitude from them, as the mother watches for the smile of recognition from her beloved babe. The great God teaches us to call Him Father. He would have us understand how earnestly and tenderly His heart yearns over us in all our trials and temptations. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” [Psalm 103:13.] The mother might sooner forget her child than God could forget one soul that trusts Him. GW 209.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 596

Brethren and sisters, in behalf of our houses of publication we call upon you to take stock in these institutions. You have nothing to fear; invest your means where it will be doing good; scatter rays of light to the darkest parts of the world. There is no such thing as failure in this work. It is your privilege and duty to do now as your brethren did when there were but few friends of the cause of truth. Take stock in our houses of publication, that you may feel that you have an interest in them. Many invest their money in worldly speculations, and in doing this are robbed of every dollar. We ask you to show your liberality by making investments in our publishing work. It will do you good. Your money will not be lost, but will be placed at interest to increase your capital stock in heaven. Christ has given all for you; what will you give for Him? He asks your heart; give it to Him, it is His own. He asks your intellect; give it to Him, it is His own. He asks your money; give it to Him, it is His own. “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price.” God wants you and yours. Let the words of the royal psalmist express the sentiment of your hearts: “All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.” 4T 596.1

The time has come when we must know for ourselves why we believe as we do. We must stand for God and for the truth, against a reckless, unbelieving generation. The man who has once known the way of life, and has turned from the convictions of his own heart to the sophistry of Satan, will be more inaccessible and more unimpressible than he who has never tasted the love of Christ. He will be wise to do evil. He has bound himself to Satan, even against light and knowledge. I say to my brethren: Your only hope is in God. We must be clothed with Christ's righteousness if we would withstand the prevailing impiety. We must show our faith by our works. Let us lay up for ourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that we may lay hold on eternal life. We must labor, not in our own strength, but in the strength of our risen Lord. What will we do and dare for Jesus? 4T 596.2

Our houses of publication are the property of all our people, and all should work to the point of raising them above embarrassment. In order to circulate our publications, they have been offered at so low a figure that but little profit could come to the office to reproduce the same works. This has been done with the best of motives, but not with experienced and farseeing judgment. 4T 597.1

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