New Living Translation
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[a] 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.[b]
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.