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15 Patience can persuade a prince,
    and soft speech can break bones.

16 Do you like honey?
    Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!

17 Don’t visit your neighbors too often,
    or you will wear out your welcome.

18 Telling lies about others
    is as harmful as hitting them with an ax,
wounding them with a sword,
    or shooting them with a sharp arrow.

19 Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble
    is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.

20 Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
    is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather
    or pouring vinegar in a wound.[a]

21 If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat.
    If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
22 You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads,
    and the Lord will reward you.

23 As surely as a north wind brings rain,
    so a gossiping tongue causes anger!

24 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
    than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.

25 Good news from far away
    is like cold water to the thirsty.

26 If the godly give in to the wicked,
    it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.

27 It’s not good to eat too much honey,
    and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.

28 A person without self-control
    is like a city with broken-down walls.

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Footnotes

  1. 25:20 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads pouring vinegar on soda.

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