17 He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, 19 Is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, “I was only joking!”
20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no [a]talebearer, strife ceases. 21 As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife. 22 The words of a [b]talebearer are like [c]tasty trifles, And they go down into the [d]inmost body.
23 Fervent lips with a wicked heart Are like earthenware covered with silver dross.
24 He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself; 25 When [e]he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart; 26 Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.
28 A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin.
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