Proverbs 26
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Similitudes and Instructions

1Like snow in summer and rain at harvest,

honor does not befit a fool.

2Like a fluttering sparrow or 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 like him.

5Answer a fool according to his folly,

lest he become wise in his own eyes.

6Like cutting off one’s own feet or drinking violence

is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool.

7Like lame legs hanging limp

is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

8Like binding a stone into a sling

is the giving of honor to a fool.

9Like a thorn that falls into the hand of a drunkard

is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

10Like an archer who wounds at random

is he who hires a fool or passer-by.

11As a dog returns to its vomit,a

so a fool repeats his folly.

12Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?

There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13The slacker says, “A lion is in the road!

A fierce lion roams the public square!”

14As a door turns on its hinges,

so the slacker turns on his bed.

15The slacker buries his hand in the dish;

it wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.

16The slacker is wiser in his own eyes

than seven men who answer discreetly.

17Like one who grabs a dog by the ears

is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.

18Like a madman shooting firebrands

and deadly arrows,

19so is the man who deceives his neighbor

and says, “I was only joking!”

20Without wood, a fire goes out;

without gossip, a conflict ceases.

21Like charcoal for embers and wood for fire,

so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.

22The words of a gossip are like choice morsels

that go down to the inmost being.

23Like glaze covering an earthen vessel

are burningb lips and a wicked heart.

24A hateful man disguises himself with his speech,

but he lays up deceit in his heart.

25When he speaks graciously, do not believe him,

for seven abominations fill his heart.

26Though his hatred is concealed by deception,

his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27He who digs a pit will fall into it,

and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.

28A lying tongue hates those it crushes,

and a flattering mouth causes ruin.



Footnotes:

11 a Cited in 2 Peter 2:22
23 b Hebrew; LXX smooth


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