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Proverbs 26 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

26 Like snow in summer and rain at harvest,
honor is inappropriate for a fool.
Like a flitting sparrow or a fluttering swallow,
an undeserved curse goes nowhere.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools.
Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness
or you’ll be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his foolishness
or he’ll become wise in his own eyes.
The one who sends a message by a fool’s hand
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
A proverb in the mouth of a fool
is like lame legs that hang limp.
Giving honor to a fool
is like binding a stone in a sling.
A proverb in the mouth of a fool
is like a stick with thorns,
brandished by[a] the hand of a drunkard.
10 The one who hires a fool or who hires those passing by
is like an archer who wounds everyone.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so also a fool repeats his foolishness.
12 Do you see a person who is wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13 The slacker says, “There’s a lion in the road—
a lion in the public square!”
14 A door turns on its hinges,
and a slacker, on his bed.
15 The slacker buries his hand in the bowl;
he is too weary to bring it to his mouth!
16 In his own eyes, a slacker is wiser
than seven who can answer sensibly.

17 A person who is passing by and meddles in a quarrel that’s not his
is like one who grabs a dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws flaming darts and deadly arrows,
19 so is the person who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”

20 Without wood, fire goes out;
without a gossip, conflict dies down.
21 As charcoal for embers and wood for fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 A gossip’s words are like choice food
that goes down to one’s innermost being.[b]

23 Smooth[c] lips with an evil heart
are like glaze on an earthen vessel.
24 A hateful person disguises himself with his speech
and harbors deceit within.
25 When he speaks graciously, don’t believe him,
for there are seven detestable things in his heart.
26 Though his hatred is concealed by deception,
his evil will be revealed in the assembly.
27 The one who digs a pit will fall into it,
and whoever rolls a stone—
it will come back on him.
28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
and a flattering mouth causes ruin.

Footnotes:

  1. 26:9 Lit thorn that goes up into
  2. 26:22 Lit to the chambers of the belly
  3. 26:23 LXX; MT reads Burning
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 26 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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.[a]
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[b] covering an earthen vessel
    are smooth[c] 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 26:10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Proverbs 26:23 Cn: Heb silver of dross
  3. Proverbs 26:23 Gk: Heb burning
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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