A Whack on the Head of a Fool
1A meal of bread and water in contented peace
is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.
2A wise servant takes charge of an unruly child
and is honored as one of the family.
3As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan,
so our lives are refined by God.
4Evil people relish malicious conversation;
the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.
5Whoever mocks poor people insults their Creator;
gloating over misfortune is a punishable crime.
6Old people are distinguished by grandchildren;
children take pride in their parents.
7We don’t expect eloquence from fools,
nor do we expect lies from our leaders.
8Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone;
any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.
9Overlook an offense and bond a friendship;
fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!
10A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense
does more than a whack on the head of a fool.
11Criminals out looking for nothing but trouble
won’t have to wait long—they’ll meet it coming and going!
12Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs
than a fool hellbent on folly.
13Those who return evil for good
will meet their own evil returning.
14The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam,
so stop it before it bursts.
15Whitewashing bad people and throwing mud on good people
are equally abhorrent to God.
16What’s this? Fools out shopping for wisdom!
They wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it!
One Who Knows Much Says Little
17Friends love through all kinds of weather,
and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
18It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing,
or run up huge bills you can never pay.
19The person who courts sin marries trouble;
build a wall, invite a burglar.
20A bad motive can’t achieve a good end;
double-talk brings you double trouble.
21Having a fool for a child is misery;
it’s no fun being the parent of a dolt.
22A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.
23The wicked take bribes under the table;
they show nothing but contempt for justice.
24The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard;
fools look for it everywhere but right here.
25A surly, stupid child is sheer pain to a father,
a bitter pill for a mother to swallow.
26It’s wrong to penalize good behavior,
or make good citizens pay for the crimes of others.
27The one who knows much says little;
an understanding person remains calm.
28Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise;
as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.
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THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of NavPress. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers.