These also are Solomon’s proverbs that were copied by the men of King Hezekiah of Judah.
Advice for Kings
2 It is the glory of God to hide things but the glory of kings to investigate them. 3 Like the high heavens and the deep earth, so the mind of kings is unsearchable. 4 Take the impurities out of silver, and a vessel is ready for the silversmith to mold. 5 Take a wicked person away from the presence of a king, and justice will make his throne secure.
6 Do not brag about yourself in front of a king or stand in the spot that belongs to notable people, 7 because it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put down in front of a prince whom your eyes have seen.
8 Do not be in a hurry to go to court. What will you do in the end if your neighbor disgraces you? 9 Present your argument to your neighbor, but do not reveal another person’s secret. 10 Otherwise, when he hears about it, he will humiliate you, and his evil report about you will never disappear.
11 Like golden apples in silver settings, so is a word spoken at the right time. 12 Like a gold ring and a fine gold ornament, so is constructive criticism to the ear of one who listens. 13 Like the coolness of snow on a harvest day, so is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him: He refreshes his masters. 14 Like a dense fog or a dust storm, so is a person who brags about a gift that he does not give.
15 With patience you can persuade a ruler, and a soft tongue can break bones. 16 When you find honey, eat only as much as you need. Otherwise, you will have too much and vomit. 17 Do not set foot in your neighbor’s house too often. Otherwise, he will see too much of you and hate you.
18 Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow, so is a person who gives false testimony against his neighbor. 19 Like a broken tooth and a lame foot, so is confidence in an unfaithful person in a time of crisis. 20 Like taking off a coat on a cold day or pouring vinegar on baking soda, so is singing songs to one who has an evil heart.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him some food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him some water to drink. 22 In this way you will make him feel guilty and ashamed, and the Lord will reward you.
23 As the north wind brings rain, so a whispering tongue brings angry looks. 24 Better to live on a corner of a roof than to share a home with a quarreling woman. 25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from far away. 26 Like a muddied spring and a polluted well, so is a righteous person who gives in to a wicked person.
27 Eating too much honey is not good, and searching for honor is not honorable.[a]
28 Like a city broken into and left without a wall, so is a person who lacks self-control.
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