26 1It isn’t proper to honor a foolish person. That’s like having snow in summer or rain at harvest time. 2A curse given for no reason is like a wandering bird or a flying sparrow. It doesn’t go anywhere. 3A whip is for a horse. A harness is for a donkey. And a beating is for the backs of foolish people. 4Don’t answer a foolish person in keeping with his foolish acts. If you do, you will be like him yourself. 5Answer a foolish person in keeping with his foolish acts. If you do, he won’t be wise in his own eyes. 6Sending a message in the hand of a foolish person is like cutting off your feet or drinking something harmful. 7A proverb in the mouth of a foolish person is like disabled legs that are useless. 8Giving honor to a foolish person is like tying a stone in a slingshot. 9A proverb in the mouth of a foolish person is like a thorn in the hand of someone who is drunk. 10Anyone who hires a foolish person or someone who is passing by is like a person who shoots arrows at just anybody. 11A foolish person who does the same foolish things again is like a dog that returns to where it has thrown up. 12Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a foolish person than for him. 13A person who doesn’t want to work says, “There’s a lion in the road! There’s an angry lion wandering in the streets!” 14A person who doesn’t want to work turns over in bed just like a door that swings back and forth. 15A person who doesn’t want to work leaves his hand in the dish. He acts as if he is too tired to bring it back up to his mouth. 16A person who doesn’t want to work is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who give careful answers. 17Don’t get mixed up in someone else’s fight as you are passing by. That’s like picking a dog up by its ears. 18Suppose a crazy person shoots flaming arrows that can kill. 19A man who lies to his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” is just like that person. 20If you don’t have wood, your fire goes out. If you don’t talk about others, arguing dies down. 21Coal glows. Wood burns. And a man who argues stirs up fights. 22The words of anyone who talks about others are like tasty bites of food. They go deep down inside you. 23Warm words that come from an evil heart are like shiny paint on a clay pot. 24Someone who wants to hurt you uses his words to hide his hatred. But his heart is full of lies that cover up his evil plans. 25What a person says can be charming. But don’t believe him. Seven things that God hates can fill that person’s heart. 26Hatred can be hidden by lies. But what is evil will be shown to everyone. 27If anyone digs a pit, he will fall into it. If he rolls a big stone, it will roll back on him. 28A tongue that tells lies hates the people it hurts. And words that seem to praise you destroy you.
New International Readers Version® / © 1984 Biblica, Inc. About