New International Reader's Version
26 It isn’t proper to honor a foolish person.
That’s like having snow in summer or rain at harvest time.
2 A curse given for no reason is like a wandering bird or a flying sparrow.
It doesn’t go anywhere.
3 A whip is for a horse, and a harness is for a donkey.
And a beating is for the backs of foolish people.
4 Don’t answer a foolish person in keeping with their foolish acts.
If you do, you yourself will be just like them.
5 Answer a foolish person in keeping with their foolish acts.
If you do not, they will be wise in their own eyes.
6 Sending a message in the hand of a foolish person
is like cutting off your feet or drinking poison.
7 A proverb in the mouth of a foolish person
is like disabled legs that are useless.
8 Giving honor to a foolish person
is like tying a stone in a slingshot.
9 A proverb in the mouth of a foolish person
is like a thorn in the hand of someone who is drunk.
10 Anyone who hires a foolish person or someone who is passing by
is like a person who shoots arrows at just anybody.
11 Foolish people who do the same foolish things again
are like a dog that returns to where it has thrown up.
12 Do you see a person who is wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for a foolish person than for them.
13 A person who doesn’t want to work says, “There’s a lion in the road!
There’s an angry lion wandering in the streets!”
14 A person who doesn’t want to work turns over in bed
just like a door that swings back and forth.
15 A person who doesn’t want to work leaves his hand in his plate.
He acts as if he is too tired to bring his hand back up to his mouth.
16 A person who doesn’t want to work is wiser in his own eyes
than seven people who give careful answers.
17 Don’t be quick to get mixed up in someone else’s fight.
That’s like grabbing a stray dog by its ears.
18 Suppose a crazy person shoots
flaming arrows that can kill.
19 Someone who lies to their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!” is just like that crazy person.
20 If you don’t have wood, your fire goes out.
If you don’t talk about others, arguing dies down.
21 Coal glows, and wood burns.
And a person who argues stirs up conflict.
22 The words of anyone who talks about others are like tasty bites of food.
They go deep down inside you.
23 Warm words that come from an evil heart
are like a shiny coating on a clay pot.
24 Enemies use their words as a mask.
They hide their evil plans in their hearts.
25 Even though what they say can be charming, don’t believe them.
That’s because seven things God hates fill that person’s heart.
26 Their hatred can be hidden by lies.
But their evil plans will be shown to everyone.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it.
If someone rolls a big stone, it will roll back on them.
28 A tongue that tells lies hates the people it hurts.
And words that seem to praise you destroy you.
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