Proverbs 26

Chapter 26

Honor is no more associated with fools

than snow with summer or rain with harvest.

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,

an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.

Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle,

and a fool with a rod to his back!

Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools,

or you will become as foolish as they are.

Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools,

or they will become wise in their own estimation.

Trusting a fool to convey a message

is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison!

A proverb in the mouth of a fool

is as useless as a paralyzed leg.

Honoring a fool

is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot.

A proverb in the mouth of a fool

is like a thorny branch brandished by a drunk.

10 An employer who hires a fool or a bystander

is like an archer who shoots at random.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit,

so a fool repeats his foolishness.

12 There is more hope for fools

than for people who think they are wise.

13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road!

Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”

14 As a door swings back and forth on its hinges,

so the lazy person turns over in bed.

15 Lazy people take food in their hand

but don’t even lift it to their mouth.

16 Lazy people consider themselves smarter

than seven wise counselors.

17 Interfering in someone else’s argument

is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears.

18 Just as damaging

as a madman shooting a deadly weapon

19 is someone who lies to a friend

and then says, “I was only joking.”

20 Fire goes out without wood,

and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.

21 A quarrelsome person starts fights

as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood.

22 Rumors are dainty morsels

that sink deep into one’s heart.

23 Smooth* words may hide a wicked heart,

just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot.

24 People may cover their hatred with pleasant words,

but they’re deceiving you.

25 They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them.

Their hearts are full of many evils.*

26 While their hatred may be concealed by trickery,

their wrongdoing will be exposed in public.

27 If you set a trap for others,

you will get caught in it yourself.

If you roll a boulder down on others,

it will crush you instead.

28 A lying tongue hates its victims,

and flattering words cause ruin.

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