26
1Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
honour is not fitting for a fool.
2Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
3A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools!
4Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you yourself will be just like him.
5Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.
6Sending a message by the hands of a fool
is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
7Like the useless legs of one who is lame
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
8Like tying a stone in a sling
is the giving of honour to a fool.
9Like a thorn-bush in a drunkard’s hand
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10Like an archer who wounds at random
is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11As a dog returns to its vomit,
so fools repeat their folly.
12Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for them.
13A sluggard says, ‘There’s a lion in the road,
a fierce lion roaming the streets!’
14As a door turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed.
15A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
16A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven people who answer discreetly.
17Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.
18Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death
19is one who deceives their neighbour
and says, ‘I was only joking!’
20Without wood a fire goes out;
without gossip a quarrel dies down.
21As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.
23Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent# lips with an evil heart.
24Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,
but in their hearts they harbour deceit.
25Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,
for seven abominations fill their hearts.
26Their malice may be concealed by deception,
but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.
28A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
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