Proverbs 26
New King James Version Par ▾ 

Honor Is Not Fitting for a Fool

1As snow in summer and rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a fool.

2Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow,
So a curse without cause shall not alight.

3A whip for the horse,
A bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the fool’s back.
4Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.
5Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6He who sends a message by the hand of a fool
Cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7Like the legs of the lame that hang limp
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8Like one who binds a stone in a sling
Is he who gives honor to a fool.
9Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10[a]The great God who formed everything
Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.
11As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly.
12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road!
A fierce lion is in the [b]streets!”
14As a door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy man on his bed.
15The lazy man buries his hand in the [c]bowl;
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
16The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can answer sensibly.

17He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own
Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

18Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
19Is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, “I was only joking!”

20Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no [d]talebearer, strife ceases.
21As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22The words of a [e]talebearer are like [f]tasty trifles,
And they go down into the [g]inmost body.

23Fervent lips with a wicked heart
Are like earthenware covered with silver dross.

24He who hates, disguises it with his lips,
And lays up deceit within himself;
25When [h]he speaks kindly, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart;
26Though his hatred is covered by deceit,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

27Whoever 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 who are crushed by it,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.


  1. Proverbs 26:10 Heb. difficult in v. 10; ancient and modern translators differ greatly
  2. Proverbs 26:13 Or plazas, squares
  3. Proverbs 26:15 LXX, Syr. bosom; Tg., Vg. armpit
  4. Proverbs 26:20 gossip or slanderer, lit. whisperer
  5. Proverbs 26:22 gossip or slanderer
  6. Proverbs 26:22 A Jewish tradition wounds
  7. Proverbs 26:22 Lit. rooms of the belly
  8. Proverbs 26:25 Lit. his voice is gracious
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright © 1982 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

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