25 These are more proverbs of Solomon, collected by the advisers of King Hezekiah of Judah.
2 It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.
3 No one can comprehend the height of heaven, the depth of the earth, or all that goes on in the king’s mind!
4 Remove the impurities from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith. 5 Remove the wicked from the king’s court, and his reign will be made secure by justice.
6 Don’t demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great. 7 It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table than to be sent away in public disgrace.
Just because you’ve seen something, 8 don’t be in a hurry to go to court. For what will you do in the end if your neighbor deals you a shameful defeat?
9 When arguing with your neighbor, don’t betray another person’s secret. 10 Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation.
11 Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.
12 To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.
13 Trustworthy messengers refresh like snow in summer. They revive the spirit of their employer.
14 A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
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.
26 Honor is no more associated with fools than snow with summer or rain with harvest.
2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.
3 Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle, and a fool with a rod to his back!
4 Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.
5 Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
6 Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison!
7 A proverb in the mouth of a fool is as useless as a paralyzed leg.
8 Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot.
9 A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a thorny branch brandished by a drunk.
10 An employer who hires a fool or a bystander is like an archer who shoots at random.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.
12 There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.
13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”
14 As a door swings back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed.
15 Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth.
16 Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.
17 Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears.
18 Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon 19 is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.”
20 Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.
21 A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood.
22 Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
23 Smooth[b] words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot.
24 People may cover their hatred with pleasant words, but they’re deceiving you. 25 They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them. Their hearts are full of many evils.[c] 26 While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, their wrongdoing will be exposed in public.
27 If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will crush you instead.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims, and flattering words cause ruin.
27 Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.
2 Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.
4 Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.
5 An open rebuke is better than hidden love!
6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
7 A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
8 A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest.
9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
10 Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.
11 Be wise, my child,[d] and make my heart glad. Then I will be able to answer my critics.
12 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
13 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.[e]
14 A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!
15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day. 16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.
17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
18 As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.
19 As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.
20 Just as Death and Destruction[f] are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.
21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.[g]
22 You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.
23 Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, 24 for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation. 25 After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in, 26 your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field. 27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.
25:20As in Greek version; Hebrew reads pouring vinegar on soda.
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