26 Honor doesn’t go with fools any more than snow with summertime or rain with harvesttime!
2 An undeserved curse has no effect. Its intended victim will be no more harmed by it than by a sparrow or swallow flitting through the sky.
3 Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle, and a rebel with a rod to his back!
4-5 When arguing with a rebel, don’t use foolish arguments as he does, or you will become as foolish as he is! Prick his conceit with silly replies![a]
6 To trust a rebel to convey a message is as foolish as cutting off your feet and drinking poison!
7 In the mouth of a fool a proverb becomes as useless as a paralyzed leg.
8 Honoring a rebel will backfire like a stone tied to a slingshot!
9 A rebel will misapply an illustration so that its point will no more be felt than a thorn in the hand of a drunkard.
10 The master may get better work from an untrained apprentice than from a skilled rebel!
11 As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
12 There is one thing worse than a fool, and that is a man who is conceited.
13 The lazy man won’t go out and work. “There might be a lion outside!” he says. 14 He sticks to his bed like a door to its hinges! 15 He is too tired even to lift his food from his dish to his mouth! 16 Yet in his own opinion he is smarter than seven wise men.
17 Yanking a dog’s ears is no more foolish than interfering in an argument that isn’t any of your business.
18-19 A man who is caught lying to his neighbor and says, “I was just fooling,” is like a madman throwing around firebrands, arrows, and death!
20 Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and tensions disappear when gossip stops.
21 A quarrelsome man starts fights as easily as a match sets fire to paper.[b]
22 Gossip is a dainty morsel eaten with great relish.
23 Pretty words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a common clay pot.
24-26 A man with hate in his heart may sound pleasant enough, but don’t believe him; for he is cursing you in his heart. Though he pretends to be so kind, his hatred will finally come to light for all to see.
27 The man who sets a trap for others will get caught in it himself. Roll a boulder down on someone, and it will roll back and crush you.
28 Flattery is a form of hatred and wounds cruelly.