|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:29-35 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.
Verse 31. - Look not thou upon the wine when it is red. Be not attracted by its beautiful appearance. The wine of Palestine was chiefly "red," though what we call white wine was not unknown. The Vulgate flavescit points to the latter. When it giveth his colour in the cup. For "color" the Hebrew has "eye," which refers to the sparkling and gleaming which show themselves in wine poured into the cup. It is as though the cup had an eye which glanced at the drinker with a fascination which he did not resist. When it moveth itself aright. Having warned against the attraction of sight, the moralist now passes to the seduction of taste. Hebrew, when it goeth by the right read. This may refer to its transference from the jar or skin to the drinking cup; but it mere probably alludes to the drinker's throat, and is best translated, "when it glideth down smoothly." Vulgate, ingreditur blande. The wine pleases the palate, and passes over it without roughness or harshness (comp. Song of Solomon 7:9). The LXX. has enlarged on the original thus: "Be ye not drunk with wine, but converse with just men, and converse in public places (ἐν περιπάτοις). For if thou set thine eyes on goblets and cups, afterwards thou shalt walk more bare than a pestle (γύμνοτερος ὐπέρου)." This last expression, pistillo nudior, is a proverb. Regarding the danger of looking on seductive objects, the Arab, in his sententious language, says, "The contemplation of vice is vice."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red,.... Or, "because it is red" (r); or shows itself red. Which was the only wine used in the land of Canaan, or, however, the most esteemed of, and that most of art which had the best colour; when it had a good, bright, red colour, or sparkled, and looked bright and beautiful, so the word signifies; and then it should not be looked upon: not that it is unlawful to look upon the colour of wine, and thereby judge of its goodness; but it should not be looked upon with a greedy eye, so as vehemently to desire it, which will lead to an intemperate use of it; just as looking upon a woman, so as to lust after her, is forbidden, Matthew 5:28;
when it giveth his colour in the cup: or, its eye in the cup (s); such a bright, brisk, and beautiful colour, as is like a bright and sparkling eye. Here is a various reading; it is written in the text, "in the purse" (t); it is read in the margin, "in the cup"; and Jarchi's note takes in both,
"he that drinks wine sets his eye on the cup; and the vintner sets his on his purse;''
when it moveth itself aright; sparkles in the glass, or goes down the throat pleasantly; or rather looks well to the eye, and appears right and good, and promises a great deal of satisfaction and delight.
(r) "quia", some in Mercerus, Gejerus. (s) "oculum suum", Montanus, Gejerus, Michaelis. (t) "in crumena, vel marsupio", Mercerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31. when … red—the color denoting greater strength (compare Ge 49:11; De 32:14).
giveth … cup—literally, "gives its eye," that is, sparkles.
moveth … aright—Perhaps its foaming is meant.
Proverbs 23:31 Parallel Commentaries
Proverbs 23:31 NIV
Proverbs 23:31 NLT
Proverbs 23:31 ESV
Proverbs 23:31 NASB
Proverbs 23:31 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible