25 Here are more of Solomon’s proverbs. They were copied by the officials of King Hezekiah of Judah. 2 God is praised for being mysterious; rulers are praised for explaining mysteries. 3 Who can fully understand the thoughts of a ruler? They reach beyond the sky and go deep in the earth.
4 Silver must be purified before it can be used to make something of value. 5 Evil people must be removed before anyone can rule with justice.
6 Don’t try to seem important in the court of a ruler. 7 It’s better for the ruler to give you a high position than for you to be embarrassed in front of royal officials. Be sure you are right 8 before you sue someone, or you might lose your case and be embarrassed.
9 When you and someone else can’t get along, don’t gossip about it.[a] 10 Others will find out, and your reputation will then be ruined.
11 The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver. 12 Listening to good advice is worth much more than jewelry made of gold. 13 A messenger you can trust is just as refreshing as cool water in summer. 14 Broken promises are worse than rain clouds that don’t bring rain. 15 Patience and gentle talk can convince a ruler and overcome any problem.
16 Eating too much honey can make you sick. 17 Don’t visit friends too often, or they will get tired of it and start hating you. 18 Telling lies about friends is like attacking them with clubs and swords and sharp arrows. 19 A friend you can’t trust in times of trouble is like having a toothache or a sore foot. 20 Singing to someone in deep sorrow is like pouring vinegar in an open cut.[b]
21 If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. 22 This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads. And the Lord will reward you. 23 As surely as rain blows in from the north, anger is caused by cruel words. 24 It’s better to stay outside on the roof of your house than to live inside with a nagging wife.
25 Good news from far away refreshes like cold water when you are thirsty. 26 When a good person gives in to the wicked, it’s like dumping garbage in a stream of clear water. 27 Don’t eat too much honey or always want praise.[c] 28 Losing self-control leaves you as helpless as a city without a wall.
25.9When. . . it: Or “Settle a problem privately between you and your neighbor and don’t involve others.”
25.20cut: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 20.
25.27or. . . praise: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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