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26 Like snow in summer or (A)rain in harvest,
    so (B)honour is (C)not fitting for a fool.
Like (D)a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
    (E)a curse that is causeless does not alight.
(F)A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
    and (G)a rod for the back of fools.
(H)Answer not a fool according to his folly,
    lest you be like him yourself.
(I)Answer a fool according to his folly,
    lest he be (J)wise in his own eyes.
Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
    cuts off his own feet and (K)drinks violence.
Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless,
    is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like one who binds the stone in the sling
    is (L)one who gives honour to a fool.
Like (M)a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
    is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds everyone
    is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.[a]
11 Like (N)a dog that returns to his vomit
    is (O)a fool who repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man who is (P)wise in his own eyes?
    (Q)There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 (R)The sluggard 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 sluggard on his bed.
15 (S)The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
    it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is (T)wiser in his own eyes
    (U)than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
    is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws (V)firebrands, arrows, and death
19 is the man who deceives his neighbour
    and says, “I am only joking!”
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out,
    and where there is no (W)whisperer, (X)quarrelling ceases.
21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
    so is (Y)a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 (Z)The words of (AA)a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 (AB)Like the (AC)glaze[b] covering an earthen vessel
    are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
    and harbours deceit in his heart;
25 (AD)when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
    for there are (AE)seven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with deception,
    his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 (AF)Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
    and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
    and a flattering mouth works ruin.


  1. Proverbs 26:10 Or hires a fool or passers-by
  2. Proverbs 26:23 By revocalization; Hebrew silver of dross