251Here are more of Solomon's proverbs, copied by men at the court of King Hezekiah of Judah.
2We honour God for what he conceals; we honour kings for what they explain.
3You never know what a king is thinking; his thoughts are beyond us, like the heights of the sky or the depths of the ocean.
4Take the impurities out of silver and the artist can produce a thing of beauty. 5Keep evil advisers away from the king and his government will be known for its justice.
When you stand before the king, don't try to impress him and pretend to be important. 7It is better to be asked to take a higher position than to be told to give your place to someone more important.
8Don't be too quick to go to court about something you have seen. If another witness later proves you wrong, what will you do then?
9If you and your neighbour have a difference of opinion, settle it between yourselves and do not reveal any secrets. 10Otherwise everyone will learn that you can't keep a secret, and you will never live down the shame.
11An idea well expressed is like a design of gold, set in silver.
12A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable than gold rings or jewellery made of the finest gold.
13A reliable messenger is refreshing to the one who sends him, like cold water in the heat of harvest time.
14People who promise things that they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
15Patient persuasion can break down the strongest resistance and can even convince rulers.
16Never eat more honey than you need; too much may make you vomit. 17Don't visit your neighbours too often; they may get tired of you and come to hate you.
18A false accusation is as deadly as a sword, a club, or a sharp arrow.
19Depending on an unreliable person in a crisis is like trying to chew with a loose tooth or walk with a crippled foot.
20Singing to a person who is depressed is like taking off his clothes on a cold day or like rubbing salt in a wound.
If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink. 22You will make them burn with shame, and the LORD will reward you.
23Gossip brings anger just as surely as the north wind brings rain.
24Better to live on the roof than share the house with a nagging wife.
25Finally, hearing good news from a distant land is like a drink of cold water when you are dry and thirsty.
26A good person who gives in to someone who is evil reminds you of a polluted spring or a poisoned well.
27Too much honey is bad for you, and so is trying to win too much praise.25.27 Probable text and so… praise; Hebrew unclear.
28If you cannot control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls, open to attack.