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Proverbs 23 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Proverbs 23 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:

2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.

3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:

Don't eat dinner with a person who has an "evil eye."
John Gill explains “evil eye” as:

A sordid covetous man, that grudges every bit that is eaten, in opposition to a man of a good eye, or a bountiful one, that is liberal and generous, chapter 22:9;

7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

"As he thinketh in his heart"
In the Bible, people think with their hearts not with their heads.
As far as I can see the phrase is not "think with”, but “think in”. Think in means, think by themselves, believe it with all his soul. What a man thinks in his heart is manifested by his deeds.

8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

"Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words."
But even the fools can become wise, chapter 8:5.

10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:

11 For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.

12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

"Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge."
But what is good instruction and are words of knowledge?

13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

(23:13-14) Beat your children hard and often. Don't worry about hurting them. You may break a few bones and cause some brain damage, but it isn't going to kill them. And even if it does, they'll be better off for it. They'll thank you in heaven for beating the hell out of them.
What the Bible says about parenting and torture
The Bible's guide to torture
Of course Solomon does not say hear to beat your child, because just beating would be good. What Solomon says is that correction should not be withheld. If correction should not be withheld, there is something to correct. And if the rod is necessary, there is something very seriously wrong that should be corrected. No parent who loves their child wants to see the child destroy himself, to go off with vile friends, abuse himself or abuse others. And causing brain damage cannot be correction as there is nothing corrected, only further damaged.
See also chapter 19:18.

14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

15 My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

16 Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

"Yea, my reins shall rejoice."
Jesus will search your kidneys
See Ps. 7:9.

17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

18 For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:

(23:20-21, 29-32) "Be not among winebibbers"
Is it OK to drink alcohol?
"Be not ... among riotous eaters of flesh."
What kind of animals may we eat?
On alcohol, see chapter 20:1.
On the kind of animals we may eat, see Acts 10:10.

21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

"Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old."
How should parents be treated?
Parents should be treated as per this verse and per the fifth commandment (Ex. 20:12). See the other verses such as Luke 14:26 where the author of the SAB claims that Jesus says to hate your parents instead.

23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Find the truth and hang on to it; value wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.

The father of a wise child shall rejoice.

25 Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

(23:27-28) "Whores" and "strange women" lie around waiting to trap innocent men.
Whores and strange women mean the same thing in this book. It does not mean that strange women are strangers, but strange refers to their behavior: they behave not like other women, they dress differently for example.

28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?

30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

Don't even look at any "strange women." If you do, you will utter perverse things.
Strange women are those who dress strangely, whorishly.

34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.