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Proverbs 25-27 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Further Wise Sayings of Solomon

25 These are other proverbs of Solomon that the officials of King Hezekiah of Judah copied.

It is the glory of God to conceal things,
    but the glory of kings is to search things out.
Like the heavens for height, like the earth for depth,
    so the mind of kings is unsearchable.
Take away the dross from the silver,
    and the smith has material for a vessel;
take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
    and his throne will be established in righteousness.
Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
    or stand in the place of the great;
for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
    than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

What your eyes have seen
    do not hastily bring into court;
for[a] what will you do in the end,
    when your neighbor puts you to shame?
Argue your case with your neighbor directly,
    and do not disclose another’s secret;
10 or else someone who hears you will bring shame upon you,
    and your ill repute will have no end.

11 A word fitly spoken
    is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12 Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
    is a wise rebuke to a listening ear.
13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
    are faithful messengers to those who send them;
    they refresh the spirit of their masters.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
    is one who boasts of a gift never given.
15 With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
    and a soft tongue can break bones.
16 If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
    or else, having too much, you will vomit it.
17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house,
    otherwise the neighbor will become weary of you and hate you.
18 Like a war club, a sword, or a sharp arrow
    is one who bears false witness against a neighbor.
19 Like a bad tooth or a lame foot
    is trust in a faithless person in time of trouble.
20 Like vinegar on a wound[b]
    is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
Like a moth in clothing or a worm in wood,
    sorrow gnaws at the human heart.[c]
21 If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat;
    and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink;
22 for you will heap coals of fire on their heads,
    and the Lord will reward you.
23 The north wind produces rain,
    and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a contentious wife.
25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
    so is good news from a far country.
26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
    are the righteous who give way before the wicked.
27 It is not good to eat much honey,
    or to seek honor on top of honor.
28 Like a city breached, without walls,
    is one who lacks self-control.
26 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
    so honor is not fitting for a fool.
Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
    an undeserved curse goes nowhere.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
    and a rod for the back of fools.
Do not answer fools according to their folly,
    or you will be a fool yourself.
Answer fools according to their folly,
    or they will be wise in their own eyes.
It is like cutting off one’s foot and drinking down violence,
    to send a message by a fool.
The legs of a disabled person hang limp;
    so does a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
It is like binding a stone in a sling
    to give honor to a fool.
Like a thornbush brandished by the hand of a drunkard
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10 Like an archer who wounds everybody
    is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.[d]
11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit
    is a fool who reverts to his folly.
12 Do you see persons wise in their own eyes?
    There is more hope for fools than for them.
13 The lazy person says, “There is a lion in the road!
    There is a lion in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
    so does a lazy person in bed.
15 The lazy person buries a hand in the dish,
    and is too tired to bring it back to the mouth.
16 The lazy person is wiser in self-esteem
    than seven who can answer discreetly.
17 Like somebody who takes a passing dog by the ears
    is one who meddles in the quarrel of another.
18 Like a maniac who shoots deadly firebrands and arrows,
19 so is one who deceives a neighbor
    and says, “I am only joking!”
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out,
    and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21 As charcoal is to hot embers and wood to fire,
    so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 Like the glaze[e] covering an earthen vessel
    are smooth[f] lips with an evil heart.
24 An enemy dissembles in speaking
    while harboring deceit within;
25 when an enemy speaks graciously, do not believe it,
    for there are seven abominations concealed within;
26 though hatred is covered with guile,
    the enemy’s wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
    and a stone will come back on the one who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
    and a flattering mouth works ruin.
27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
    for you do not know what a day may bring.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—
    a stranger, and not your own lips.
A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
    but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
    but who is able to stand before jealousy?
Better is open rebuke
    than hidden love.
Well meant are the wounds a friend inflicts,
    but profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
The sated appetite spurns honey,
    but to a ravenous appetite even the bitter is sweet.
Like a bird that strays from its nest
    is one who strays from home.
Perfume and incense make the heart glad,
    but the soul is torn by trouble.[g]
10 Do not forsake your friend or the friend of your parent;
    do not go to the house of your kindred in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is nearby
    than kindred who are far away.
11 Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad,
    so that I may answer whoever reproaches me.
12 The clever see danger and hide;
    but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
13 Take the garment of one who has given surety for a stranger;
    seize the pledge given as surety for foreigners.[h]
14 Whoever blesses a neighbor with a loud voice,
    rising early in the morning,
    will be counted as cursing.
15 A continual dripping on a rainy day
    and a contentious wife are alike;
16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind
    or to grasp oil in the right hand.[i]
17 Iron sharpens iron,
    and one person sharpens the wits[j] of another.
18 Anyone who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
    and anyone who takes care of a master will be honored.
19 Just as water reflects the face,
    so one human heart reflects another.
20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
    and human eyes are never satisfied.
21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    so a person is tested[k] by being praised.
22 Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
    along with crushed grain,
    but the folly will not be driven out.

23 Know well the condition of your flocks,
    and give attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not last forever,
    nor a crown for all generations.
25 When the grass is gone, and new growth appears,
    and the herbage of the mountains is gathered,
26 the lambs will provide your clothing,
    and the goats the price of a field;
27 there will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
    for the food of your household
    and nourishment for your servant-girls.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 25:8 Cn: Heb or else
  2. Proverbs 25:20 Gk: Heb Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, like vinegar on lye
  3. Proverbs 25:20 Gk Syr Tg: Heb lacks Like a moth . . . human heart
  4. Proverbs 26:10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Proverbs 26:23 Cn: Heb silver of dross
  6. Proverbs 26:23 Gk: Heb burning
  7. Proverbs 27:9 Gk: Heb the sweetness of a friend is better than one’s own counsel
  8. Proverbs 27:13 Vg and 20.16: Heb for a foreign woman
  9. Proverbs 27:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. Proverbs 27:17 Heb face
  11. Proverbs 27:21 Heb lacks is tested
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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