1 Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a [shortsighted] #See note 1:7.fool.
2 Like the sparrow in her wandering, like the swallow in her flying,
So the curse without cause does not come and alight [on the undeserving].
3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the backs of fools [who refuse to learn].
4 Do not answer [nor pretend to agree with the frivolous comments of] a [closed-minded] fool according to his folly,
Otherwise you, even you, will be like him.
5 Answer [and correct the erroneous concepts of] a fool according to his folly,
Otherwise he will be wise in his own eyes [if he thinks you agree with him].
6 He who sends a message by the hand of a fool
Cuts off his own feet (sabotages himself) and drinks the violence [it brings on himself as a consequence].
7 Like the legs which are useless to the lame,
So is a proverb in the mouth of a fool [who cannot learn from its wisdom].
8 Like one who [absurdly] binds a stone in a sling [making it impossible to throw],
So is he who [absurdly] gives honor to a fool.
9 Like a thorn that goes [without being felt] into the hand of a drunken man,
So is a proverb in the mouth of a fool [who remains unaffected by its wisdom].
10 Like a [careless] archer who [shoots arrows wildly and] wounds everyone,
So is he who hires a fool or those who [by chance just] pass by.
11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit
Is a fool who repeats his foolishness.
12 Do you see a man [who is unteachable and] wise in his own eyes and full of self-conceit?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 The lazy person [who is self-indulgent and relies on lame excuses] says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion is in the open square [and if I go outside to work I will be killed]!”
14 As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy person on his bed [never getting out of it].
15 The lazy person buries his hand in the dish [losing opportunity after opportunity];
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The lazy person is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven [sensible] men who can give a discreet answer.
17 Like one who grabs a dog by the ears [and is likely to be bitten]
Is he who, passing by, stops to meddle with a dispute that is none of his business.
18 Like a madman who throws
Firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 So is the man who deceives his neighbor (acquaintance, friend)
And then says, “Was I not joking?”
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out,
And where there is no whisperer [who gossips], contention quiets down.
21 Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a whisperer (gossip) are like dainty morsels [to be greedily eaten];
They go down into the innermost chambers of the body [to be remembered and mused upon].
23 Like a [common] clay vessel covered with the silver dross [making it appear silver when it has no real value]
Are burning lips [murmuring manipulative words] and a wicked heart.
24 He who hates, disguises it with his lips,
But he stores up deceit in his heart.
25 When he speaks graciously and kindly [to conceal his malice], do not trust him,
For seven abominations are in his heart.
26 Though his hatred covers itself with guile and deceit,
His malevolence will be revealed openly before the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit [for another man’s feet] will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone [up a hill to do mischief], it will come back on him.
28 A lying tongue hates those it wounds and crushes,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.