Add parallel Print Page Options

Don’t Be a Fool

26 Expecting snow in summer
    and rain in the dry season
    makes more sense
    than honoring a fool.
A curse you don’t deserve
will take wings
    and fly away
    like a sparrow or a swallow.
Horses and donkeys
must be beaten and bridled—
    and so must fools.
Don’t make a fool of yourself
    by answering a fool.
But if you answer any fools,
show how foolish they are,
    so they won’t feel smart.

Sending a message by a fool
    is like chopping off your foot
    and drinking poison.
A fool with words of wisdom
    is like an athlete
    with legs that can’t move.[a]
Are you going to honor a fool?
    Why not shoot a slingshot
    with the rock tied tight?
A thornbush waved around
    in the hand of a drunkard
    is no worse than a proverb
    in the mouth of a fool.

10 It’s no smarter to shoot arrows
    at every passerby
    than it is to hire a bunch
    of worthless nobodies.[b]
11 Dogs return to eat their vomit,
    just as fools repeat
    their foolishness.
12 There is more hope for a fool
    than for someone who says,
    “I’m really smart!”

13 Don’t be lazy and keep saying,
    “There’s a lion outside!”
14 A door turns on its hinges,
    but a lazy person
    just turns over in bed.
15 Some of us are so lazy
    that we won’t lift a hand
    to feed ourselves.
16 A lazy person says,
“I am smarter
    than everyone else.”

17 It’s better to take hold
    of a mad dog by the ears
    than to take part
    in someone else’s argument.
18 It’s no crazier to shoot
    sharp and flaming arrows
19     than to cheat someone and say,
    “I was only fooling!”

20 Where there is no fuel
    a fire goes out;
    where there is no gossip
    arguments come to an end.
21 Troublemakers start trouble,
    just as sparks and fuel
    start a fire.
22 There is nothing so delicious
as the taste of gossip!
    It melts in your mouth.

23 Hiding hateful thoughts
    behind smooth[c] talk
    is like coating a clay pot
    with a cheap glaze.
24 The pleasant talk
    of an enemy
hides more evil plans
25 than can be counted—
    so don’t believe a word!
26 Everyone will see through
    those evil plans.
27 If you dig a pit,
    you will fall in;
    if you start a stone rolling,
    it will roll back on you.
28 Watch out for anyone
who tells lies and flatters—
    they are out to get you.

Footnotes

  1. 26.7 with. . . move: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 26.10 nobodies: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  3. 26.23 smooth: One ancient translation; Hebrew “hateful.”

Bible Gateway Recommends

CEV Challenge Study Bible, Imitation Leather
CEV Challenge Study Bible, Imitation Leather
Retail: $49.99
Our Price: $34.99
Save: $15.00 (30%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
CEV Kid's Bible Dramatized New Testament - Audio Bible on CD
CEV Kid's Bible Dramatized New Testament - Audio Bible on CD
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $27.99
Save: $12.00 (30%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
The Four Gospels: The Contemporary English Version
The Four Gospels: The Contemporary English Version
Retail: $13.00
Our Price: $11.70
Save: $1.30 (10%)
French Biker New Testament (Contemporary)
French Biker New Testament (Contemporary)
Retail: $8.99
Our Price: $7.99
Save: $1.00 (11%)
CEV Challenge Study Bible, Hardcover
CEV Challenge Study Bible, Hardcover
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $26.49
Save: $13.50 (34%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars

Bible Gateway Sponsors