Proverbs 23:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

New Living Translation
In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.

English Standard Version
When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.

New American Standard Bible
When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

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

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears, for it makes wings for itself and flies like an eagle to the sky.

International Standard Version
When you fix your gaze on it, it's gone, for it sprouts wings for itself and flies to the sky like an eagle.

NET Bible
When you gaze upon riches, they are gone, for they surely make wings for themselves, and fly off into the sky like an eagle!

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For if you fix your eye on him, he disappears before you, because he makes wings for himself like an eagle and flies into the sky.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Will you catch only a fleeting glimpse of wealth before it is gone? It makes wings for itself like an eagle flying into the sky.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Wilt thou set thine eyes upon riches which are not? For they shall certainly make themselves wings; they shall fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

King James 2000 Bible
Will you set your eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

American King James Version
Will you set your eyes on that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

American Standard Version
Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings, Like an eagle that flieth toward heaven.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Lift not up thy eyes to riches which thou canst not have: because they shall make themselves wings like those of an eagle, and shall fly towards heaven.

Darby Bible Translation
wilt thou set thine eyes upon it, it is gone; for indeed it maketh itself wings and it flieth away as an eagle towards the heavens.

English Revised Version
Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flieth toward heaven.

Webster's Bible Translation
Wilt thou set thy eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make to themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle towards heaven.

World English Bible
Why do you set your eyes on that which is not? For it certainly sprouts wings like an eagle and flies in the sky.

Young's Literal Translation
For wealth maketh to itself wings, As an eagle it flieth to the heavens.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

23:1-3 God's restraints of the appetite only say, Do thyself no harm. 4,5. Be not of those that will be rich. The things of this world are not happiness and a portion for a soul; those that hold them ever so fast, cannot hold them always, cannot hold them long. 6-8. Do not make thyself burdensome to any, especially those not sincere. When we are called by God to his feast, and to let our souls delight themselves, Isa 25:6; 55:2, we may safely partake of the Bread of life. 9. It is our duty to take all fit occasions to speak of Divine things; but if what a wise man says will not be heard, let him hold his peace. 10,11. The fatherless are taken under God's special protection. He is their Redeemer, who will take their part; and he is mighty, almighty.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - Wilt thou sat thine eyes upon that which is not? more literally, wilt thou let thine eyes fly upon it, and it is gone? Why cast longing looks towards this wealth, and so prepare for yourself loss and disappointment? The pursuit is vain, and the result is never secure; what you gained by long toil and prudent care may be lost in an hour. Do you wish to incur this danger? Wordsworth quotes Persius, 'Sat.,' 3:61 -

"An passim sequeris corvos testaque lutoque?" For riches certainly make themselves wings. The subject, unexpressed, is riches, and the Hebrew phrase implies absolute certainty: Making they will make for themselves. They fly away as an eagle toward heaven; or, like on eagle that flieth toward heaven, where not even sight can follow. Publ. Syr., 255, "Longinquum est omne quod cupiditas flagitat." The Telugu compares worldly prosperity to writing upon water. Says the Greek moralist -

Βέβαιον οὐδέν ἐν βίῳ δοκεῖ πέλειν

"There's naught in life that one can deem secure." Septuagint, "If thou fix thine eye upon him (the rich patron), he will nowhere be seen, for wings like an eagle's are ready prepared for him, and he will return to the house of his master (τοῦ προεστηκότος), and leave you to shift for yourself."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?.... The Vulgate Latin version is,

"do not lift up thine eyes to riches which thou canst not have;''

riches no doubt are intended, and which may be said to be "not"; they are not the true riches, have only the shadow and appearance of riches; they are not lasting and durable; in a little time they will not be; they are perishing things, they have no substance or solidity in them; they are not satisfying; they do not make them happy; they are rather nonentities than realities; and therefore the eyes of the mind and the affections of the heart should not be set on them: it may be rendered, "wilt thou cause thine eyes to fly upon that which is not?" (w) denoting the intenseness of the mind, and the eagerness of the affections, and with what rapidity and force they move towards them. The Targum is,

"if thou fixest thine eyes on him, he shall not appear to thee;''

meaning the rich man: and so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions. Ben Melech makes mention of other senses very different; according to R. Judah, the word signifies darkness, "wilt thou make thine eyes dark?" two according to others, signifies light, "wilt thou make thine eyes to shine?" and, according to Jarchi, "wilt thou double?", or shut thine eyes?

for riches certainly make themselves wings; or, "it in making makes itself wings" (x); even that which is not, on which men cause their eyes to fly; no sooner are their eyes upon that, but that flies away from them like a bird with wings; see Hosea 9:11. Either men are taken from that, or that from them, and sometimes very swiftly and suddenly;

they fly away as an eagle towards heaven; the eagle flies very swiftly, none more swiftly; it flies towards heaven, out of sight, and out of reach, and out of call; so riches flee away to God, the original giver of them, from whence they came, and who is the sole disposer of them; they own him as the proprietor and distributor of them; and they flee to heaven as it were for fresh orders where they should be, and into whose hands they should come next; they flee away, so as not to be seen any more, and be recovered by those who have formerly enjoyed them.

(w) "numquid involare facies", Michaelis; "ut involent", Junius & Tremellius; "ut volent", Piscator; "ad sineves volare", Cocceius. (x) "quis faciendo faciet", Montanus, Baynus.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. Wilt … eyes—As the eyes fly after or seek riches, they are not, that is, either become transitory or unsatisfying; fully expressed by their flying away.

Proverbs 23:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Consider Diligently what is Before You
4Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. 5When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. 6Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, Or desire his delicacies;…
Cross References
1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Proverbs 27:24
for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.
Treasury of Scripture

Will you set your eyes on that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

thou

Psalm 119:36,37 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to covetousness…

Jeremiah 22:17 But your eyes and your heart are not but for your covetousness, and …

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust …

set thine eyes upon or 'He expresses it in such a way says Abp Tillotson, 'as if a rich man sat brooding over an estate till it was fledged, and gotten itself wings to fly away.'

that which

Genesis 42:3 And Joseph's ten brothers went down to buy corn in Egypt.

Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the …

Genesis 12:8 And he removed from there to a mountain on the east of Bethel, and …

Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor …

1 Corinthians 7:29-31 But this I say, brothers, the time is short: it remains, that both …

riches

Proverbs 27:24 For riches are not for ever: and does the crown endure to every generation?

Job 1:14-17 And there came a messenger to Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, …

Psalm 39:6 Surely every man walks in a vain show: surely they are disquieted …

Ecclesiastes 5:13,14 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches …

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust …

1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, …

James 5:1,2 Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall …

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