Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Proverbs 23.22-24.2 / "The Thirty Sayings of the Wise" - Section B: The Obedient Son

COLLECTION 3: The Thirty Sayings of the Wise (22.17-24)
A. Prologue: Saying 1 (22.17-21)
B. Prohibitions about Power, Greed, and Wealth
(22.22-23.11) [2-11]
C. Character and Cautions for a Wise Son (23.22-24.2) [12-20]

D. Trying Circumstances (24:3-22) [#21-30]

SAYING NUMBER TWELVE: Seek Instruction 23.12

Apply                      And
your heart              your ears
to instruction,        to words of knowledge.

apply  Heb “bring.” The Hiphil imperative “come; enter” means “to apply the heart,” to use the heart or mind in the process. The same would be true in the second half: “to bring the ears” would mean to listen very carefully. Cf. TEV “Pay attention.”  --NET Bible Translation Notes
heart (lēb) heart.  Concrete meanings of lēb referred to the internal organ and to analogous physical locations. However, in its abstract meanings, “heart” became the richest biblical term for the totality of man’s inner or immaterial nature. In biblical literature it is the most frequently used term for man’s immaterial personality functions as well as the most inclusive term for them since, in the Bible, virtually every immaterial function of man is attributed to the “heart.”  --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
"A listless heart... produces a careless ear.  But when the heart is graciously opened, softened, and enlightened, the attention of the ear is instantly fixed."    --Charles Bridges, Proverbs
instruction  muwcar /moo·sawr/: 
     1 discipline, chastening, correction.
     1A discipline, correction.
     1B chastening.--Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon
knowledge  (daʿat) knowledge.This root, occurring a total of 944 times, is used in every stem and expresses a multitude of shades of knowledge gained by the senses. Its closest synonyms are bîn “to discern” and nākar “to recognize.”  --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

SAYING NUMBER THIRTEEN: Correction. 23.13-14
"...Sayings 12 and 13 essentially different, contrasting respectively "word of knowledge" for the obedient son's ears with a rod for the back of disobedient youth." --Waltke in NICOT

Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell.

correctionSame as "instruction" in verse 13.  "Children need discipline (mûsār, “moral correction,” both verbal and physical; cf. 1:2, 7)."  --The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Continual finding fault; applying correction to every slip of childish tryfling or troublesome thoughtlessness, would soon bring a callous deadness to all sense of shame.  Let it be reserved, at least in its more serious forms, for willfulness.   --Charles Bridges, Proverbs 
beat… nākâ  1c (Hiphil).
1c1 to smite, strike, beat, scourge, clap, applaud, give a thrust.
1c2 to smite, kill, slay (man or beast).
1c3 to smite, attack, attack and destroy, conquer, subjugate, ravage.
1c4 to smite, chastise, send judgment upon, punish, destroy.
Or “punish” (NIV). The syntax of these two lines suggests a conditional clause (cf. NCV, NRSV).  NET Bible Translation Notes
kjv, nkjv, rsv, hcsb--beat;  nasb, esv--strike;  niv, tniv, nlt--punish

rod  [shebet /shay·bet/] rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, sceptre, tribe  --BLB
he will not die...  The brisk 13b can be taken in two ways, and 14 underlines the second of them: the child will not only survive it, he will survive because of it (cf. Ahikar, XII, XIII11).  --Derek Kidner, Proverbs: An Introduction and Commentary
Proverbs 5.22-23 TNIV
22  The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
the cords of their sins hold them fast. 

23  For lack of discipline they will die,
led astray by their own great folly.

soul (nepeš) life, soul, creature, person, appetite, and mind are the more common of the twenty-some varieties of meaning utilized in KJV. --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
hell  The term שְׁאוֹל (shÿ’ol, “Sheol”) in this context probably means “death” (so NIV, NCV, NLT) and not the realm of the departed (wicked) spirits (cf. NAB “the nether world”). In the wisdom of other lands, Ahiqar 6:82 says, “If I strike you, my son, you will not die.” The idea is that discipline helps the child to a full life; if the child dies prematurely, it would be more than likely a consequence of not being trained by discipline. In the book of Proverbs the “death” mentioned here could be social as well as physical.  -–NET Bible Translation Notes

Adapted from Charles Bridges Proverbs commentary

13. Withhold not correction from the child:

for if thou beatest him with the  rod, he shall not die.

14. Thou shalt beat him with the rod,
and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
     Christian parents do not always recognize the scriptural standard of discipline.  "Foolishness is bound in the heart" of the parent, no less than "of the child." "The wild ass's colt" (Job, xi. 12) must always need its measure of correction. The rule therefore is, notwithstanding all the pleas of pity and fondness--withhold it not
·       Do the work wisely, firmly, lovingly. 
·       Persevere notwithstanding apparently unsuccessful (immediate) results. 
·       Connect it with prayer, faith, and careful in instruction.
     We admit that it is revolting to give pain, and call forth the tears of those we so tenderly love.  But while hearts are what hearts are, it is not to be supposed that we can train without discipline. 
·       If it be asked--will not gentle means be more effectual?  Had this been God's judgment, as a God of mercy, he would not have provided a different regimen.  Eli tried them, and the sad issue is written for our instruction. (1 Sam. ii. 23-25…) 
Eli warned his son, but did not inforce his words.
Note, the heart issue with their flagerent sin.
17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.
It is not what he said, but what he didn’t do.
23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. 24 No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress. 25 If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the Lord desired to kill them.
The issue for that paralyzed Eli’s parenting was that he favored his sons more than the Lord.
26Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’
'Must I then be cruel to my child?'  Nay--God charges thee with cruelty, if thou withheld correction from him.  He "goes on his own foolishness." (Chap. xx.ii. 15. Eccles. xi.10.)  Except he be restrained, he will die, in his sin.  God has ordained the rod to purge his sins, and so deliver his soul from hell
·       What 'parent then, that trembles for the child's eternal destiny, can withhold correctionIs it not cruel love, that turns away from painful duty?  To suffer sin upon a child, no less than upon a brother, is tantamount to "hating him in our heart." (Lev. xix. 17, with Chap. xiii. 24.) 
17 ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart.
You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.
18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people,
but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
o   Is it not better that the flesh should smart, than that the soul should die
o   Is it no sin to omit a means of grace, as divinely appointed, as the word and the sacraments? 
o   Is there no danger of fomenting the native wickedness, and thus becoming accessory to the child's eternal destruction?
o   What if he should reproach thee throughout eternity, for the neglect of that timely correction, which might have delivered his soul from hell?
o   Or even if he be "scarcely saved," may he not charge upon thee much of his increasing difficulty in the ways of God?
OVERUSE----------It’s not your only tool.  It doesn’t do the whole job.
1.      Yet let it not be used at all times. Let remonstrance (Expostulation; strong representation of reasons against a measure,) be first tried.  Our heavenly Father never stirs the rod with his children, if his gentle voice of instruction prevail.  Continual finding fault; applying correction to every slip of childish trifling or troublesome thoughtlessness, would soon bring a callous deadness to all sense of shame.  Let it be reserved, at least in its more serious forms, for illfulness.  It is medicine, not food; the remedy for the occasional diseases of the constitution, not the daily regimen for life and nourishment.  And to convert medicine into daily food, gradually destroys its remedial qualities.
ANGRY AND SEVERE------ It is not about retribution, or primarily justice. It is about discipleship.
2.      Some parents, indeed, use nothing but correctionThey indulge their own passions at the expense of their less guilty children.  Unlike our Heavenly Father, they afflict and grieve their children willingly;" (Contrast Lam. iii. 33. Heb. xii. 10.) to vent their own anger, not to subdue their children's sins.  Self-recollection is of great moment.  'Am I about to correct for my child's good?'  An intemperate use of this Scriptural ordinance brings discredit upon its efficacy, and sows the seed of much bitter fruit.  Children become hardened under an iron rod.  Sternness and severity of manner close up their hearts.  It is most dangerous to make them afraid of us.  A spirit of bondage and concealment is engendered, often leading to a lie; sowing the seed of hypocrisy--nay, sometimes of disgust, and even of Hatred, towards their unreasonable parents.  'If parents,'—said a wise and godly father--'would not correct their children except in a praying frame, when they can "lift up their hands without wrath," it would neither provoke God nor them.' (Matthew HENRY'S Life, chap. xiii.)
NOT FOLLOWING THRU----- There are infrequent exceptions, but you should promise carefully and thoughtfully and then follow through. 
3.     Other parents freely threaten the rod, yet withhold it.  It was only meant to frighten.  It soon becomes all empty and powerless sound.  This again contravenes our Great Exemplar.  His threatenings are not vain words.  If his children will not turn, they will find them faithful and true to their cost.  This threatening play is solemn trifling with truth; teaching children by example, what they had learnt from the womb (Ps. lviii. 3), to "speak lies." Let our words be considerate, but certain.  Let our children know, that they must not trifle either with them or with us.  The firmness of truthful discipline alone can convey a wholesome influence.  Any defect here is a serious injury.
(High but) REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS---- We need patience and wisdom.
4.     We must learn however not to expect too much from our children; nor to be unduly depressed by their naughtiness.  Yet we must not  wink at their sinful follies.  We must love them not less, but better.  And because we love them, we must not withhold when needed correction from them.  More painful is the work to ourselves, than to them.  Most humbling is it.  For since the corrupt root produces the poisoned sap in the bud, what else is it but the correction of our own sin?  Yet though "no chastening for the present be joyous, but rather grievous" (Heb. xii. 11); when given in prayer, in wisdom, and in faith, the saving blessing will be vouchsafed.*  'Lord, do thou be pleased to strike in with every stroke, that the rod of correction may be a rod of instruction.' (SWINNOCK'S Christian Man's Calling, ii. 35.)  'It is a rare soul '--said good  Bishop Hall--'that can be kept in constant order without smarting remedies.  I confess, mine cannot.  How wild had I run, if the rod had not been over me!  Every man can say, he thanks God for his ease.  For me, I bless God for my trouble.' (Silent Thoughts, xxi.)   --Charles Bridges, Proverbs

"Parents who brutalize their children cannot hide behind the rod doctrine of Proverbs."  --Waltke in NICOT

SAYING NUMBER FOURTEEN: Happy Daddy. 23.15-16     
This saying provides the consolation for the difficulties of raising and training a child in saying #13.  --  "Surely this child, now the father's joy, is one, from whom correction has not been withheld."   --Charles Bridges, Proverbs
This ... saying simply observes that children bring joy to their parents when they demonstrate wisdom. The quatrain is arranged in a chiastic structure (AB:B'A'): The first line (A) speaks of wisdom in the child, and it is paired with the last line (A') which speaks of the child’s saying what is right. In between these brackets are two lines (B and B') concerning joy to the parent.  –-NET Bible Translation Notes

My son, if your heart is wise,
   My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
   Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.

Verset A presents the condition, an implied admonition, and verset B the consequence.--Waltke in NICOT 
The pair chiastically links the father's body parts with the son's: "your heart"/"my heart" (v.15) and "my inward parts [lit.kidneys]"/"lips" 9v.16). --Waltke in NICOT
heart... [H3820 - leb ] The father’s "heart" and inmost being refer to his inner self, his intellectual and emotional being. A wise heart is revealed by speaking what is right.  --The Bible Knowledge Commentary
innermost being  Heb “my kidneys”; in biblical Hebrew the term was used for the innermost being, the soul, the central location of the passions. Cf. NASB, NIV “my inmost being.” -–NET Bible Translation Notes  
Of all human organs, the OT associates the kidneys in particular with a variety of emotions. The range of usage is very wide: the kidneys are looked upon as the seat of emotions from joy to deepest agony.  -- D Kellermann, TDOT, 7:179
right things...  H4339 - meyshar: evenness, uprightness, straightness, equity --BLB

"The very fact that the white boy is conscious that, if he fails in life, he will disgrace the whole family record, extending back through many generations, is of tremendous value in helping him to resist temptations.  The fact that the individual has behind and surrounding him a proud family history and connection serves as a stimulus to help him to overcome obstacles when striving for success."  --Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery

If you are the reason they act right, it won't last.  You won't be
If they only know a set of rules (and not why and how to make their own rules)
If it is only a cultural or if it is only in their head.

The implication of this context is "to their children."  Jodges 2.10
Demonstrates internalization, heart understanding, and moral skill.  (Prov. 4.1-4)

SAYING NUMBER FIFTEEN: Envy (vs. Hope). 23.17-18
The prohibition not to envy sinners now complements the proscriptions to embrace the parents' wisdom (vv.15-16; cf. 1.8-9, 10-19). --Waltke in NICOT

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be [zealous] for the fear of the Lord all the day;
For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.

envy The verb in this line is אַל־יְקַנֵּא (’al-yÿqanne’), the Piel jussive negated. The verb means “to be jealous, to be zealous”; it describes passionate intensity for something. In English, if the object is illegitimate, it is called “envy”; if it is correct, it is called “zeal.” Here the warning is not to envy the sinners. The second colon could use the verb in the positive sense to mean “but rather let your passion burn for the fear of the Lord.”  –-NET Bible Translation Notes
"Comparison is a thief of joy."   --Teddy Roosevelt
==  There is a right and wrong aspiration or jealousy; the one is a desease and the other a valuable spiritual exercise.  --Waltke in NICOT
fear of the LORD  Heb “the fear of the Lord.” This expression features an objective genitive: “fearing the Lord.” –-NET Bible Translation Notes
future  Heb “end” (so KJV); ASV “a reward.”
The "future" is brought into focus as "your hope," and "there is" is escalated to "will not be cut off." --Waltke in NICOT
...does ʾaḥărît alone ever refer to the future life, M. Dahood has claimed that it sometimes clearly does (Proverbs and Northwest Semitic Philology, Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1963, pp. 48–49, 51). There are several interrelated verses in Prov using our word. Proverbs 24:14 (parallel to 23:18) says there is an ʾaḥărît (NIV “future hope”) for the righteous. His hope (tiqwâ) will not be cut off. Proverbs 11:7 says that when a wicked man dies, his hope (tiqwâ) perishes. For the righteous, Prov 12:28 promises life and immortality (ʾal mawet, “no death”, Dahood, op.cit. p. 28). But the evil man has no future hope (ʾaḥărît) and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out (Prov 24:20, NIV). Dahood.  --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
cut off…  The saying is an understatement; far from being cut off, the “hope” will be realized in the end. So this saying, ...advises people to be zealous for the fear of the Lord, their religion, rather than for anything that sinners have to offer. –-NET Bible Study Notes

24:1, 19 and Psalm 37:1, 8, etc., expose the simultaneous admiration and resentment which make up envy, springing from an undue preoccupation with oneself and with the present.  --Kidner in TOTC

SAYING NUMBER SIXTEEN: Drunks/Gluttons. 23.19-21
In this saying as in eighteen, the acceptance, focus on, and commitment to the father's godly advise is seen as the protective alternative to dangerous associations with drunks, gluttons, and seductive women (and hotheads 22.24).

Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

in the way...   One way to stay on “the right path” is to avoid drunkenness  and gluttony (cf. 23:2). These two sins cause drowsiness, which results in laziness and poverty. Other evils of strong drink are discussed in verses 29–35.  --The Bible Knowledge Commentary
winebibbers  The word "winebibber" translates Hebrew words for "wine" and "heavy drinker."  Drunkard in verse 21 just translates "heavy drinker."
==The verb סָבָא (sava’) means “to imbibe; to drink largely.” The participial construction here, סֹבְאֵי־יַיִן (sov’e-yayin), describes “drunkards” (cf. NLT) which is somewhat stronger than saying it refers to “people who drink too much” (cf. NIV, TEV).
==Luke 21:34; Romans 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7 
gluttonous The verb זָלַל (zalal) means “to be light; to be worthless; to make light of.” Making light of something came to mean “to be lavish with; to squander,” especially with regard to food. So it describes “gluttons” primarily; but in the expression there is also room for the person who wastes a lot of food as well. –-NET Bible Translation Notes
drowsiness Here “drowsiness” is a metonymy of effect or adjunct, put for the drunkenness and gluttony that causes it. So all of it, the drunkenness and the drowsiness that comes from it, brings on the ruin (cf. CEV “you will end up poor”). Likewise, “rags” is a metonymy of adjunct, associated with the poverty brought on by a dissolute lifestyle.  –-NET Bible Study Notes

SAYING NUMBER SEVENTEEN: Listen to dad. 23.22-25
Here is practical content to the fifth commandment, direct (22) and indirect (23–25).   --The Bible Knowledge Commentary

The first half presents the admonitions ... and the second half (v.24-25), the motivation (i.e. to give the parents exuerant joy).  --Waltke in NICOT
Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
Buy the truth, and do not sell it,
Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.
Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her who bore you rejoice.

despise...  To despise (bûz, “to hold in contempt,” a verb used often in Prov.; see comments on 1:7) them is to disobey the fifth commandment (Ex. 20:12).  --The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Disrespect for parents, which leads to all sorts of ungodliness, is on otf the signs of the distressing times to come (2 Timothy 3.1-4).   --Waltke in NICOT
buy  Heb “buy” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NLT); CEV “Invest in truth.”  –-NET Bible Translation Notes
sell...  H4376 - makar: to sell
wisdom...  H2451 - chokmah
instruction...  H4148 - muwcar
understanding...  998 - biynah
righteous...  6662 - tsaddiyq: just, lawful, righteous
wise...  H2451 - chokmah 
delight...  H8055 - samach: to rejoice
glad...  H8055 - samach: to rejoice
rejoice...  H1523 - giyl: to rejoice, to tremble

SAYING NUMBER EIGHTEENFemme Fatal.  23.26-28  
Unchastity may be romanticized, but the hard facts are faithfully given here: captivity (27: no unaided escape), ruthlessness (28a), social disruption (28b).  --Kidner in TOTC
26My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.

v. 26 His only adequate resistance to her gross seductions is a prior commitment of his heart and eyes to God who is represented by the father.  --Waltke in NICOT
harlot...  The basic idea of the word is “to commit illicit intercourse” (especially of women).  --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
deep pit...  The hunting metaphor a deep pit represents either her house (see 2:18; 5:5) or, more aptly her bodily orifices. --Waltke in NICOT
seductress Heb “foreign woman” (so ASV). The term נָכְרִיָּה (nokhriyyah, “foreign woman”) often refers to a prostitute (e.g., Prov 2:6; 5:20; 6:24; 7:5). While not all foreign women in Israel were prostitutes, their prospects for economic survival were meager and many turned to prostitution to earn a living. Some English versions see this term referring to an adulteress as opposed to a prostitute (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).  –-NET Bible Translation Notes
The metaphors of a “deep pit” and a “narrow well” describe this sin as one that is a trap from which there is no escape. The “pit” is a gateway to Sheol, and those who enter are as good as dead, whether socially or through punishment physically.  –-NET Bible Study Notes
narrow well   The well is an expected source of refreshing, satisfying water, a common metaphor for sex (see 5:15-18; 9:17).  However the opening to the well is narrow (sara, from srr "to be restricted"), which connotes that this sexual partner frustrates him.  ...because he finds her incapable of the intimacy necessary to satisfy that theirs, he cannot penetrate to satisfying water.  --Waltke in NICOT
victim  The noun חֶתֶף (khetef) is defined by BDB 369 s.v. as “prey,” but this is the only occurrence of the word. The related verb BDB 368-69 s.v. חָתַף defines as “to seize; to snatch away” (with an Aramaic cognate meaning “to break in pieces” [Pa], and an Arabic word “death”). But the only occurrence of that word is in Job 9:12, where it is defined as “seizes.” So in this passage the noun could have either a passive sense (what is seized = prey), or an active sense (the one who seizes = a robber, bandit). The traditional rendering is “prey” (KJV); most modern English versions have the active sense (“robber” or similar; cf. NIV “like a bandit”). Since the prepositional phrase (the simile) is modifying the woman, the active sense works better in the translation.  –-NET Bible Translation Notes
unfaithful  The participle means “unfaithful [men]” (masculine plural); it could also be interpreted as “unfaithfulness” in the abstract sense.  --NET Bible Translation Notes

SAYING NUMBER NINETEEN: Drinking Dangers. 23.29-35
The eighteenth saying is about excessive drinking. The style changes here as the sage breaks into a vivid use of the imagination. It begins with a riddle describing the effects of drunkenness (v. 29) and gives the answer in v. 30; instructions follow in v. 31, with the consequences described in v. 32; the direct address continues in vv. 33 and 34; and the whole subject is concluded with the drunkard’s own words in v. 35 (M. E. Andrews, “Variety of Expression in Proverbs 23:29-35,” VT 28 [1978]: 102-3). –-NET Bible Study Notes

I. Riddle describing the effects of drunkenness
Question:  (Note the progression)
29Who has woe
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause? 
Who has redness of eyes?
30Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.

woe...  (ʾôy). Woe! Alas! Oh! an interjection indicating despair  --Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
sorrow...  [ʾabowy /ab·o·ee/] interj. AV translates as “sorrow” once. 1 Oh!, Woe!, (exclamation of pain—indicates desire or uneasiness)  --Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon
contentions...  (mādôn) strife, contention.
complaints...  (śîa1. plaint, complaint:  2. musing  3. anxiety, trouble:
wounds...  [petsaʿ /peh·tsah/]  bruise, wound. --Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon
redness…  The Hebrew word translated “dullness” describes darkness or dullness of the eyes due to intoxication, perhaps “redness” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NIV, NCV, NLT “bloodshot eyes.” NAB understands the situation differently: “black eyes.” –-NET Bible Study Notes
linger…  (from 'hr "to be behind) means, in the intransitive Piel, "to delay, to hesitate" (cf. Judg. 5:28) . but with over wine (see 23:20), the English idiom prefers linger.
Lingering over wine is an adjunct of drinking more wine;  –-NET Bible Study Notes
seeking...  seeking mixed wine obviously means with the effect or the purpose of drinking it.  –-NET Bible Study Notes
mixed wine  

II. Admonition:
31Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;

Do not look...  "The prohibition arms the youth against addiction by nipping the temptation in the bud.  As noted at 20:1, the Bible and Proverbs speak both favorably and unfavorably of intoxicants."  --Waltke in NICOT
The father also forearms the son by calling attention to wine's deception.  --Waltke in NICOT
wine when it is red... It is not clear whether there is some fascination with the color red that is a further inducement to overindulge in strong drink (as is suggested by the Septuagint reading here) or whether there is a translation problem at this point. The sparkling nature of wine may indicate a particularly potent vintage that is smooth to the palate (see Song 7:9) or may be related to a term for wine in the Ugaritic Baal epic. The Egyptian Instruction of Any likewise includes warnings against drunkenness as leading to careless speech, bodily harm, rejection by friends and loss of senses.  --The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament 
sparkles Heb “its eye gives.” With CEV’s “bubbling up in the glass” one might think champagne was in view. --NET Bible Translation Notes
swirls around smoothly…  It goes down smoothly glosses the idiom "walks about in smoothness."  --Waltke in NICOT  
The expression is difficult, and is suspected of having been added from Song 7:10, although the parallel is not exact. The verb is the Hitpael imperfect of הָלַךְ (halakh); and the prepositional phrase uses the word “upright; equity; pleasing,” from יָשָׁר (yashar). KJV has “when it moveth itself aright”; much more helpful is ASV: “when it goeth down smoothly.” Most recent English versions are similar to ASV. The phrase obviously refers to the pleasing nature of wine.  --NET Bible Translation Notes

III. Consequences described:
visions (33), staggering (34), bravado (35), addiction (36)
32At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying
35“They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”

At the last…  (aărôn) hindermost, west, behind (of place), latter, last, coming after (of time); the feminine ʾaărônâ is used adverbially.--Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
Heb “its end”; NASB “At the last”; TEV (interpretively) “The next morning.”  --NET Bible Translation Notes
strange... denotes strange visions but the Hebrew word could denote "disgusting things" (cf. Job 19:17). --Waltke in NICOT         
Strange women (AV, RV mg.): rather, strange things (RV, RSV), as the parallel in line 2 indicates. One’s senses and one’s judgment can no longer be trusted.  --Kindner in TOTC
perverse... 8419 - tahpukah: a perversity or fraud from the root word meaning "overturn" --Strong's  "...a topsy-turvy moral order." --Waltke in NICOT     
 midst of…  Heb “heart.” The idiom here means “middle”; KJV “in the midst.”  --NET Bible Translation Notes
at the top of the mast  The full simile represents the inebriated as physically nauseated and staggering and mentally unaware of his peril when he most needs his wits to survive (cf. Prov. 30:19).  --Waltke in NICOT  
I may seek...  The last line has only “I will add I will seek it again.” The use of אוֹסִיף (’osif) signals a verbal hendiadys* with the next verb: “I will again seek it.” In this context the suffix on the verb refers to the wine – the drunkard wants to go and get another drink.  --NET Bible Translation Notes
* the expression of an idea by the use of usually two independent words connected by and (as nice and warm) instead of the usual combination of independent word and its modifier (as nicely warm)

What is wrong with being drunk? Is there a spiritual element?
Ephesians 5:
14 Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light."  15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

The word “sober” is related to being watchful.
νφω--G3525 - nēphō
Lit. "to abstain from wine," 
metaphorically of moral "alertness," and translated "to watch," in the AV of 2Ti 4:5.

Alert for the Rapture
1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Alert to Satan
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Character traits that relate to being sober and watchful.
   ATTENTIVENESS - listening with ears, eyes and heart 

   DISERNMENT - able to see things as they really are

   WISDOM - thinking God's way   
   PRUDENCE - foreseeing and avoiding evil

Can we warn our children when we see examples in a compassionate way?

 The next three sayings are linked by the sequence of the alphabet in their inititial words: aleph (v.2), beth (v. 3), gimel (v.5) covering the seam between the third and fourth units of the Thirty Sayings (24:2 and 3).--Waltke in NICOT  

This … saying warns against evil associations. Evil people are obsessed with destruction and trouble. See on this theme 1:10-19; 3:31 and 23:17. D. Kidner observes that a close view of sinners is often a good antidote to envying them (Proverbs [TOTC], 153).
–-NET Bible Study Notes

36Do not                  Nor
be envious              desire
of evil men,            to be with them; 
37For                        And
their heart              their lips
devises violence,     talk of troublemaking.

In the latter passages, the antidote to envy is the long view: the glory (23:18) or darkness (24:20) to come. --Kidner in TOTC
envious...  Its synthetic parallels escalate its prohibition not to envy repulsive sinners... to not forming cliques with them...  --Waltke in NICOT  
evil...  (rāʿâ). Evil, misery, distress, injury, wickedness.   --TWOT 
desireThe Hitpael jussive is from the verb that means “to crave; to desire.” This is more of a coveting, an intense desire.  --NET Bible Translation Notes
violence...  (šōd) havoc; devastation, violent action, oppression  --TWOT
troublemaking...(ʿāmāl) labor, toil, trouble. Their pondering, wanton acts of destruction, violence, and havoc, veiling their outrageous, horrendous behavior with deceit and treachery...

cf.  Here because of the kind of people they are.

Proverbs 3  (because they displease the Lord)
30 Do not strive with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.  
31 Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways;
32 For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord,
But His secret counsel is with the upright.

Proverbs 23  (because of the fear of the Lord / believer’s hope)
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.

Proverbs 24 (because they have no future.)
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.
19 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the wicked;
20 For there will be no prospect for the evil man;
The lamp of the wicked will be put out.

1. What is the Christian perspective on this forbidding of association?
Believers?  Unbelievers?

2. What are some American proverbs that reinforce this principle.
“Do not pretend to be what you do not intend to be.”
“Birds of a feather flock together.”

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