26 1LIKE SNOW in summer and like rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a [self-confident] fool. 2Like the sparrow in her wandering, like the swallow in her flying, so the causeless curse does not alight. 3A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a [straight, slender] rod for the backs of [self-confident] fools. 4Answer not a [self-confident] fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. 5Answer a [self-confident] fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes and conceit. 6He who sends a message by the hand of a [T]fool cuts off the feet [of satisfactory delivery] and drinks the damage. 7Like the legs of a lame man which hang loose, so is a parable in the mouth of a fool. 8Like he who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honor to a [self-confident] fool. 9Like a thorn that goes [without being felt] into the hand of a drunken man, so is a proverb in the mouth of a [self-confident] fool. 10[But] like an archer who wounds all, so is he who hires a fool or chance passers-by. 11As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly. 12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes and conceit? There is more hope for a [self-confident] fool than for him. 13The sluggard says, There is a lion in the way! A lion is in the streets! 14As the door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man [move not from his place] upon his bed. 15The slothful and self-indulgent buries his hand in his bosom; it distresses and wearies him to bring it again to his mouth. 16The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes and conceit than seven men who can render a reason and answer discreetly. 17He who, passing by, stops to meddle with strife that is none of his business is like one who takes a dog by the ears. 18Like a madman who casts firebrands, arrows, and death, 19So is the man who deceives his neighbor and then says, Was I not joking? 20For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention ceases. 21As coals are to hot embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man to inflame strife. 22The words of a whisperer or slanderer are like dainty morsels or words of sport [to some, but to others are like deadly wounds]; and they go down into the innermost parts of the body [or of the victim’s nature]. 23Burning lips [uttering insincere words of love] and a wicked heart are like an earthen vessel covered with the scum thrown off from molten silver [making it appear to be solid silver]. 24He who hates pretends with his lips, but stores up deceit within himself. 25When he speaks kindly, do not trust him, for seven abominations are in his heart. 26Though his hatred covers itself with guile, his wickedness shall be shown openly before the assembly. 27Whoever digs a pit [for another man’s feet] shall fall into it himself, and he who rolls a stone [up a height to do mischief], it will return upon him. 28A lying tongue hates those it wounds and crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
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