Proverbs 23:3

ESV Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.
NIV Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.
NASB Do not desire his delicacies, For it is deceptive food.
CSB don't desire his choice food, for that food is deceptive.
NLT don’t desire all the delicacies, for he might be trying to trick you.
KJV Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

What does Proverbs 23:3 mean?

This is the last part of a wise teaching endorsed by Solomon (Proverbs 22:17–21). When treated to dinner by a host, he commends self-control. In the first part of this teaching, the emphasis was on not appearing greedy in front of the host (Proverbs 23:1–2). Using poetic exaggeration, it warned against being careless and appearing to take undue advantage of someone's hospitality.

Here, another reason for cautious skepticism is given. It's possible that a host might use lavish generosity to lull someone into a false sense of security. They might be offering a subtle bribe or attempting to sway a guest's opinions. Solomon warns his student not to be deceived by whatever luxuries are offered. Instead, one should be grateful for generous hospitality without being gullible or easily swayed.

Like the dinner host of this proverb, the Devil often tempts victims with what appears to be highly desirable. When a victim takes the bait, the Devil springs the trap and enslaves the victim in sin (James 1:14–15; 1 Peter 5:8). In the dawn of human history, the Devil tempted Eve by questioning that God had placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil off limits (Genesis 3:1–2). He denied that death would come to Eve if she partook of the tree (Genesis 3:4) and said partaking would make her like God (Genesis 3:5). When Eve saw that the fruit was edible, beautiful, and could bestow knowledge, she ate, and gave some to Adam (Genesis 3:6). The trap closed, and death ensued (Genesis 3:19).
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