25 These words, too, are proverbs of King Solomon, words which Hezekiah, king of Judah, later told his scribes to record for posterity:
2 God’s glory is shown when He conceals things;
a king’s glory is shown in his ability to explore the facts of the matter.
3 As the heights of heaven and the depths of earth are beyond comprehension,
so are the hearts of kings.
4 Take away the impurities from the silver,
and a good smith can create something of value;
5 Take away the wicked from among the king’s advisors,
and his reign will be established with integrity.
6 Do not claim to be important in the presence of the king
or vie for a position within the company of great men.
7 Truly, it is far sweeter to have someone of influence say to you, “Come up here and join us,”
than to be ordered to some lower rank in front of a noble.
Just because you think you have seen something
8 doesn’t mean you should be quick to go to court,
For what will you do
when your neighbor disproves the charge and embarrasses you?
9 Instead, discuss the matter directly with your neighbor,
but in doing so, remember never to reveal another person’s secrets;
10 For if you do, someone who hears you could disgrace you,
and a bad reputation will cling to you ever afterward.
11 A well-spoken word at just the right moment
is like golden apples in settings of silver.
12 To an attentive ear, constructive criticism from a truly wise person
is like an earring or jewelry made of fine gold.
13 Like a cooling snow that breaks the heat of a harvest day,
so is the messenger who is faithful to those who sent him,
for he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14 Like clouds and wind that bring no rain,
so is one who boasts of gifts promised but never delivered.
15 Patience can soften up a leader,
and a tender tongue can break even bone.
16 When you find honey, remember to eat only what you need,
because if you eat in excess, you may be sick and lose all of it.
17 Don’t visit your neighbor too often,
or he will become tired of you and grow to hate you.
18 Like a maul and a sword and a sharp arrow all in one,
so is anyone who bears false witness against a neighbor.
19 Like a tooth that is rotten or a foot that is unsteady,
so is relying on a person who can’t be trusted in times of trouble.
20 Like a man who undresses in winter
or a woman who pours vinegar on a wound,[a]
So is anyone who tries to sing happy songs
to a sorrowful heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink,
22 For your kind treatment will be like heaping hot coals on his head,[b]
it may cause a change in heart,
and the Eternal will repay you.
Acts of kindness, especially when we know they are undeserved, awaken a slumbering conscience, stimulate sorrow, and perhaps even effect a change. They are the best ways to turn an enemy into a friend.
23 As surely as a north wind drives the rain before it,
a backbiting tongue brings angry looks.
24 It is better to dwell outside on the corner of your roof
than to live inside your house with a badgering wife.
25 Like cool water to a weary soul,
so is good news from a distant country.
26 Like a muddy spring or a polluted fountain,
so is a righteous person who gives in to the wicked.
27 Eating too much honey is not good for you,
nor is it good to seek one honor after another.
28 Like a conquered city with no walls,
so is a man who has no self-control.