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25 These words, too, are proverbs of King Solomon, words which Hezekiah, king of Judah, later told his scribes to record for posterity:

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.
As the heights of heaven and the depths of earth are beyond comprehension,
    so are the hearts of kings.

Take away the impurities from the silver,
    and a good smith can create something of value;
Take away the wicked from among the king’s advisors,
    and his reign will be established with integrity.

Do not claim to be important in the presence of the king
    or vie for a position within the company of great men.
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
    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?
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.


  1. 25:20 Hebrew text is uncertain, literally “soda”; Greek, “wound.”
  2. 25:22 Romans 12:20

More Proverbs of Solomon

25 These are more proverbs(A) of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:(B)

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
    to search out a matter is the glory of kings.(C)
As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
    so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

Remove the dross from the silver,
    and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,(D)
    and his throne will be established(E) through righteousness.(F)

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
    and do not claim a place among his great men;
it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”(G)
    than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.

What you have seen with your eyes
    do not bring[a] hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
    if your neighbor puts you to shame?(H)

If you take your neighbor to court,
    do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
    and the charge against you will stand.

11 Like apples[b] of gold in settings of silver(I)
    is a ruling rightly given.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
    is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.(J)

13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
    is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
    he refreshes the spirit of his master.(K)
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
    is one who boasts of gifts never given.

15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,(L)
    and a gentle tongue can break a bone.(M)

16 If you find honey, eat just enough—
    too much of it, and you will vomit.(N)
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
    too much of you, and they will hate you.

18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
    is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.(O)
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
    is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
    or like vinegar poured on a wound,
    is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
    if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals(P) on his head,
    and the Lord will reward you.(Q)

23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
    is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
    than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.(R)

25 Like cold water to a weary soul
    is good news from a distant land.(S)
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
    are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

27 It is not good to eat too much honey,(T)
    nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.(U)

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
    is a person who lacks self-control.


  1. Proverbs 25:8 Or nobles / on whom you had set your eyes. / Do not go
  2. Proverbs 25:11 Or possibly apricots