26 It shouldn’t snow in summer or rain at harvest. Neither should a foolish person ever be honored.
2 Curses will not harm someone who is innocent. They are like sparrows or swallows that fly around and never land.
3 A whip is used to guide a horse, and a harness is used for a donkey. In the same way, a paddle is used on a foolish person to guide him.
4 Don’t give a foolish person a foolish answer. If you do, you will be just like him.
5 But answer a foolish person as he should be answered. If you don’t, he will think he is really wise.
6 Don’t send a message by a foolish person. That would be like cutting off your feet or drinking poison.
7 A wise saying spoken by a fool does no good. It is like the legs of a crippled person.
8 Giving honor to a foolish person does no good. It is like tying a stone in a slingshot.
9 A wise saying spoken by a fool is like a thorn stuck in the hand of a drunk.
10 Someone might employ a foolish person or anyone just passing by. That employer is like an archer who shoots at anything he sees.
11 A dog eats what it throws up. And a foolish person repeats his foolishness.
12 Some people think they are wise. There is more hope for a foolish person than for them.
13 The lazy person says, “There’s a lion in the road. There’s a lion in the streets!”
14 The lazy person is like a door that turns back and forth on its hinges. He stays in bed and turns over and over.
15 The lazy person may put his hand in the dish. But he’s too tired to lift the food to his mouth.
16 The lazy person thinks he is wiser than seven people who give sensible answers.
17 To grab a dog by the ears is asking for trouble. So is interfering in someone else’s quarrel if you’re just passing by.
18-19 A person shouldn’t trick his neighbor and then say, “I was just joking!” That is like a madman shooting deadly, burning arrows.
20 Without wood, a fire will go out. And without gossip, quarreling will stop.
21 Charcoal and wood keep a fire going. In the same way, a quarrelsome person keeps an argument going.
22 The words of a gossip are like tasty bits of food. People take them all in.
23 Kind words from a wicked mind are like a shiny coating on a clay pot.
24 A person who hates you may fool you with his words. But in his mind he is planning evil. 25 His words are kind, but don’t believe him. His mind is full of evil thoughts. 26 He hides his hate with lies. But his evil will be plain to everyone.
27 Whoever digs a deep trap for others will fall into it himself. Whoever tries to roll a boulder over others will be crushed by it.
28 A liar hates the people he hurts. And false praise can ruin others.
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