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.
261Praise for a fool is out of place, like snow in summer or rain at harvest time.
2Curses cannot hurt you unless you deserve them. They are like birds that fly by and never settle.
3You have to whip a horse, you have to bridle a donkey, and you have to beat a fool.
4If you answer a silly question, you are just as silly as the person who asked it.
5Give a silly answer to a silly question, and the one who asked it will realize that he's not as clever as he thinks.
6If you let a fool deliver a message, you might as well cut off your own feet; you are asking for trouble.
7A fool can use a proverb about as well as crippled people can use their legs.
8Praising someone who is stupid makes as much sense as tying a stone in a sling.
9A fool quoting a wise saying reminds you of a drunk trying to pick a thorn out of his hand.
10An employer who hires any fool that comes along is only hurting everybody concerned.26.10 Verse 10 in Hebrew is unclear.
11A fool doing some stupid thing a second time is like a dog going back to its vomit.
12The most stupid fool is better off than someone who thinks he is wise when he is not.
13Why don't lazy people ever get out of the house? What are they afraid of? Lions?
14Lazy people turn over in bed. They get no farther than a door swinging on its hinges.
15Some people are too lazy to put food in their own mouths.
16A lazy person will think he is more intelligent than seven people who can give good reasons for their opinions.
17Getting involved in an argument that is none of your business is like going down the street and grabbing a dog by the ears.
18-19Someone who misleads someone else and then claims that he was only joking is like a mad person playing with a deadly weapon.
20Without wood, a fire goes out; without gossip, quarrelling stops.
21Charcoal keeps the embers glowing, wood keeps the fire burning, and troublemakers keep arguments alive.
22Gossip is so tasty! How we love to swallow it!
23Insincere26.23 One ancient translation Insincere; Hebrew Burning. talk that hides what you are really thinking is like a fine glaze26.23 Probable text fine glaze; Hebrew unrefined silver. on a cheap clay pot.
24A hypocrite hides hatred behind flattering words. 25They may sound fine, but don't believe him, because his heart is filled to the brim with hate. 26He may disguise his hatred, but everyone will see the evil things he does.
27People who set traps for others get caught themselves. People who start landslides get crushed.
28You have to hate someone to want to hurt him with lies. Insincere talk brings nothing but ruin.
Never boast about tomorrow. You don't know what will happen between now and then.
2Let other people praise you — even strangers; never do it yourself.
3The weight of stone and sand is nothing compared to the trouble that stupidity can cause.
4Anger is cruel and destructive, but it is nothing compared to jealousy.
5Better to correct someone openly than to let him think you don't care for him at all.
6Friends mean well, even when they hurt you. But when an enemy puts an arm round your shoulder — watch out!
7When you are full, you will refuse honey, but when you are hungry, even bitter food tastes sweet.
8Anyone away from home is like a bird away from its nest.
9Perfume and fragrant oils make you feel happier, but trouble shatters your peace of mind.27.9 One ancient translation but trouble… mind; Hebrew unclear.
10Do not forget your friends or your father's friends. If you are in trouble, don't ask a relative for help; a neighbour near by can help you more than relatives who are far away.
11Be wise, my child, and I will be happy; I will have an answer for anyone who criticizes me.
12Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.
13Anyone stupid enough to promise to be responsible for a stranger's debts27.13 One ancient translation stranger's debts; Hebrew stranger's debts or those of an immoral woman. deserves to have his own property held to guarantee payment.
14You might as well curse your friends as wake them up early in the morning with a loud greeting.
15A nagging wife is like water going drip-drip-drip on a rainy day. 16How can you keep her quiet? Have you ever tried to stop the wind or ever tried to hold a handful of oil?27.16 Probable text or ever… oil; Hebrew unclear.
17People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron.
18Take care of a fig tree and you will have figs to eat. Servants who take care of their master will be honoured.
19It is your own face that you see reflected in the water and it is your own self that you see in your heart.
20Human desires are like the world of the dead — there is always room for more.
21Fire tests gold and silver; a person's reputation can also be tested.
22Even if you beat fools until they're half dead, you still can't beat their foolishness out of them.
23Look after your sheep and cattle as carefully as you can, 24because wealth is not permanent. Not even nations last for ever. 25You cut the hay and then cut the grass on the hillsides while the next crop of hay is growing. 26You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep and buy land with the money you get from selling some of your goats. 27The rest of the goats will provide milk for you and your family, and for your servant women as well.