King James Version
26 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.
2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.
4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
6 He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
7 The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
8 As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.
9 As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouths of fools.
10 The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.
11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
15 The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
18 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?
20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;
25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.
26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.
27 Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
New International Version
26 Like snow in summer or rain(A) in harvest,
honor is not fitting for a fool.(B)
2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
an undeserved curse does not come to rest.(C)
3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,(D)
and a rod for the backs of fools!(E)
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you yourself will be just like him.(F)
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.(G)
6 Sending a message by the hands of a fool(H)
is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
7 Like the useless legs of one who is lame
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.(I)
8 Like tying a stone in a sling
is the giving of honor to a fool.(J)
9 Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.(K)
10 Like an archer who wounds at random
is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,(L)
so fools repeat their folly.(M)
12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?(N)
There is more hope for a fool than for them.(O)
13 A sluggard says,(P) “There’s a lion in the road,
a fierce lion roaming the streets!”(Q)
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed.(R)
15 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.(S)
16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven people who answer discreetly.
17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.
18 Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”
20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.(T)
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.(U)
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.(V)
23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent[a] lips with an evil heart.
24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,(W)
but in their hearts they harbor deceit.(X)
25 Though their speech is charming,(Y) do not believe them,
for seven abominations fill their hearts.(Z)
26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,
but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit(AA) will fall into it;(AB)
if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.(AC)
28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth(AD) works ruin.
- Proverbs 26:23 Hebrew; Septuagint smooth
Fools Recycle Silliness
26 We no more give honors to fools
than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.
2 You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse
as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow.
3 A whip for the racehorse, a tiller for the sailboat—
and a stick for the back of fools!
4 Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.
5 Answer a fool in simple terms
so he doesn’t get a swelled head.
6 You’re only asking for trouble
when you send a message by a fool.
7 A proverb quoted by fools
is limp as a wet noodle.
8 Putting a fool in a place of honor
is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.
9 To ask a moron to quote a proverb
is like putting a scalpel in the hands of a drunk.
10 Hire a fool or a drunk
and you shoot yourself in the foot.
11 As a dog eats its own vomit,
so fools recycle silliness.
12 See that man who thinks he’s so smart?
You can expect far more from a fool than from him.
13 Loafers say, “It’s dangerous out there!
Tigers are prowling the streets!”
and then pull the covers back over their heads.
14 Just as a door turns on its hinges,
so a lazybones turns back over in bed.
15 A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie,
but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.
Like Glaze on Cracked Pottery
16 Dreamers fantasize their self-importance;
they think they are smarter
than a whole college faculty.
17 You grab a mad dog by the ears
when you butt into a quarrel that’s none of your business.
18-19 People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,
saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,”
Are worse than careless campers
who walk away from smoldering campfires.
20 When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;
when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.
21 A quarrelsome person in a dispute
is like kerosene thrown on a fire.
22 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
do you want junk like that in your belly?
23 Smooth talk from an evil heart
is like glaze on cracked pottery.
24-26 Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
all the while conniving against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how cunningly he conceals his malice,
eventually his evil will be exposed in public.
27 Malice backfires;
28 Liars hate their victims;
flatterers sabotage trust.