1Like snow in summer or rain at harvest-time,
so honor for a fool is out of place.
2Like a fluttering sparrow or a flying swallow,
an undeserved curse will come home to roost.
3A whip for a horse, a bridle for a donkey,
and a rod for the back of fools.
4Don’t answer a fool in terms of his folly,
or you will be descending to his level;
5but answer a fool as his folly deserves,
so that he won’t think he is wise.
6Telling a message to a fool and sending him out
is like cutting off one’s feet and drinking violence.
7The legs of the disabled hang limp and useless;
likewise a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
8Like one who ties his stone to the sling
is he who gives honor to a fool.
9Like a thorn branch in the hand of a drunk
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10A master can make anything,
but hiring a fool is like hiring some passer-by.
11Just as a dog returns to his vomit,
a fool repeats his folly.
12Do you see someone who thinks himself wise?
There is more hope for a fool than for him!
13The lazy person says, “There’s a lion in the streets!
A lion is roaming loose out there!”
14The door turns on its hinges,
and the lazy man on his bed.
15The lazy person buries his hand in the dish
but is too tired to return it to his mouth.
16A lazy man is wiser in his own view
than seven who can answer with sense.
17Like someone who grabs a dog by the ears
is a passer-by who mixes in a fight not his own.
18Like a madman shooting deadly arrows and firebrands
19is one who deceives another, then says, “It was just a joke.”
20If there’s no wood, the fire goes out;
if nobody gossips, contention stops.
21As coals are to embers and wood to fire
is a quarrelsome person to kindling strife.
22A slanderer’s words are tasty morsels;
they slide right down into the belly.
23Like silver slag overlaid on a clay pot
are lips that burn [with friendship] over a hating heart.
24He who hates may hide it with his speech;
but inside, he harbors deceit.
25He may speak pleasantly, but don’t trust him;
for seven abominations are in his heart.
26His hatred may be concealed by deceit,
but his wickedness will be revealed in the assembly.
27Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on the one who starts it rolling.
28A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth causes ruin.