Like snow in summertime and rain at harvest time, so honor is not right for a fool. 2 Like a fluttering sparrow, like a darting swallow, so a hastily spoken curse does not come to rest. 3 A whip is for the horse, a bridle is for the donkey, and a rod is for the backs of fools.
4 Do not answer a fool with his own stupidity, or you will be like him. 5 Answer a fool with his own stupidity, or he will think he is wise. 6 Whoever uses a fool to send a message cuts off his own feet and brings violence upon himself.
7 Like a lame person’s limp legs, so is a proverb in the mouths of fools. 8 Like tying a stone to a sling, so is giving honor to a fool. 9 Like a thorn stuck in a drunk’s hand, so is a proverb in the mouths of fools. 10 Like many people who destroy everything, so is one who hires fools or drifters. 11 As a dog goes back to its vomit, so a fool repeats his stupidity. 12 Have you met a person who thinks he is wise? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 A lazy person says, “There’s a ferocious lion out on the road! There’s a lion loose in the streets!” 14 As a door turns on its hinges, so the lazy person turns on his bed. 15 A lazy person puts his fork in his food. He wears himself out as he brings it back to his mouth. 16 A lazy person thinks he is wiser than seven people who give a sensible answer.
17 Like grabbing a dog by the ears, so is a bystander who gets involved in someone else’s quarrel. 18 Like a madman who shoots flaming arrows, arrows, and death, 19 so is the person who tricks his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”
20 Without wood a fire goes out, and without gossip a quarrel dies down. 21 As charcoal fuels burning coals and wood fuels fire, so a quarrelsome person fuels a dispute. 22 The words of a gossip are swallowed greedily, and they go down into a person’s innermost being.
23 Like a clay pot covered with cheap silver, so is smooth talk that covers up an evil heart. 24 Whoever is filled with hate disguises it with his speech, but inside he holds on to deceit. 25 When he talks charmingly, do not trust him because of the seven disgusting things in his heart. 26 His hatred is deceitfully hidden, but his wickedness will be revealed to the community.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it. Whoever rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. 28 A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth causes ruin.
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