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26 Like snow in the summer and like rain at the harvest,
    so honor is not fitting for a fool.
Like the sparrow is to fluttering and like the swallow is to flying,
    so an undeserved curse does not go forth.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
    and a rod for the back of fools.
Do not answer a fool according to his folly
    lest you become like him—even you.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or else he will be wise in his own eyes.
Like cutting off feet or drinking violence,
    so is he who sends messages in the hand of a fool.
Like legs that hang limp from a lame person,
    so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like binding a stone in a sling,
    so is giving honor to a fool.
Like a thorn that goes up in the hand of a drunkard,
    so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds everyone,
    so is he who hires a fool or he who hires passersby.
11 Like a dog returning to his vomit
    is a fool reverting to his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
    There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 A lazy person says “A lion is in the road!
    A lion among the streets!”
14 The door turns on its hinge,
    and a lazy person on his bed.
15 A lazy person buries his hands in the dish;
    he is too tired to return it to his mouth.
16 A lazy person is wiser in his eyes
    than seven who answer discreetly.
17 Grabbing onto the ears of a dog
    passing by is one who meddles in a quarrel that is not his own.
18 Like a maniac who shoots
    firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 so is a man who deceives his neighbor,
    but says “Am I not joking?”
20 For lack of wood, a fire goes out,
    and where there is no whisperer, quarreling will cease.
21 As charcoal is to hot embers and wood is to fire,
    so a man of quarrels is to kindling strife.
22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels,
    and they go down to the inner parts of the body.
23 Like impure silver[a] which overlays an earthen vessel,
    so are smooth lips and an evil heart[b].
24 On his lips, an enemy will pretend,
    but inside[c] he will harbor deceit.
25 When he makes his voice gracious, do not believe him,
    for seven abominations are in his heart.
26 Though hatred is covered with guile,
    its evil will be exposed in the assembly.
27 He who digs a pit, in it he will fall,
    and he who rolls a stone, on him it will come back.
28 A tongue of deceit hates its victim,
    and a flattering mouth makes ruin.


  1. Proverbs 26:23 Literally “silver of impurities”
  2. Proverbs 26:23 Or “mind”
  3. Proverbs 26:24 Literally “in his midst”