26 1Like snow in summer and rain at harvest, honor is inappropriate for a fool. 2Like a flitting sparrow or a fluttering swallow, an undeserved curse goes nowhere. 3A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools. 4Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness or you’ll be like him yourself. 5Answer a fool according to his foolishness or he’ll become wise in his own eyes. 6The one who sends a message by a fool’s hand cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. 7A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like lame legs that hang limp. 8Giving honor to a fool is like binding a stone in a sling.[Q] 9A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a stick with thorns, brandished by[R] the hand of a drunkard. 10The one who hires a fool or who hires those passing by is like an archer who wounds everyone. 11As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. 12Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 13The slacker says, “There’s a lion in the road— a lion in the public square!” 14A door turns on its hinges, and a slacker, on his bed. 15The slacker buries his hand in the bowl; he is too weary to bring it to his mouth. 16In his own eyes, a slacker is wiser than seven men who can answer sensibly. 17A person who is passing by and meddles in a quarrel that’s not his is like one who grabs a dog by the ears. 18Like a madman who throws flaming darts and deadly arrows, 19so is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” 20Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down. 21As charcoal for embers and wood for fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. 22A gossip’s words are like choice food that goes down to one’s innermost being.[S] 23Smooth[T] lips with an evil heart are like glaze on an earthen vessel. 24A hateful person disguises himself with his speech and harbors deceit within. 25When he speaks graciously, don’t believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26Though his hatred is concealed by deception, his evil will be revealed in the assembly. 27The one who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever rolls a stone— it will come back on him. 28A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth causes ruin.
Holman Christian Standard Bible® / © 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers About