CHAPTER 26[C] 26 1Like snow in summer, like rain in harvest, honor for a fool is out of place.[D] 2Like the sparrow in its flitting, like the swallow in its flight, a curse uncalled–for never lands.[E] 3The whip for the horse, the bridle for the ass, and the rod for the back of fools. 4[F] Do not answer fools according to their folly, lest you too become like them. 5Answer fools according to their folly, lest they become wise in their own eyes. 6Those who send messages by a fool cut off their feet; they drink down violence. 7[G] A proverb in the mouth of a fool hangs limp, like crippled legs. 8Giving honor to a fool is like entangling a stone in the sling. 9A thorn stuck in the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools. 10An archer wounding all who pass by is anyone who hires a drunken fool. 11As dogs return to their vomit, so fools repeat their folly. 12You see those who are wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for fools than for them. 13[H] The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the street, a lion in the middle of the square!” 14The door turns on its hinges and sluggards, on their beds. 15The sluggard buries a hand in the dish, too weary to lift it to the mouth. 16In their own eyes sluggards are wiser than seven who answer with good judgment. 17Whoever meddles in the quarrel of another is one who grabs a passing dog by the ears. 18Like a crazed archer scattering firebrands and deadly arrows, 19Such are those who deceive their neighbor, and then say, “I was only joking.” 20[I] Without wood the fire dies out; without a talebearer strife subsides. 21Charcoal for coals, wood for fire— such are the quarrelsome, enkindling strife. 22The words of a talebearer are like dainty morsels: they sink into one’s inmost being.[J] 23Like a glazed finish on earthenware are smooth lips and a wicked heart.[K] 24With their lips enemies pretend, but inwardly they maintain deceit; 25When they speak graciously, do not trust them, for seven abominations[L] are in their hearts. 26Hatred can be concealed by pretense, but malice will be revealed in the assembly.[M] 27Whoever digs a pit falls into it; and a stone comes back upon the one who rolls it. 28The lying tongue is its owner’s enemy, and the flattering mouth works ruin.
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