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.
281The wicked run when no one is chasing them, but an honest person is as brave as a lion.
2When a nation sins, it will have one ruler after another. But a nation will be strong and endure when it has intelligent, sensible leaders.
3Someone in authority who oppresses poor people is like a driving rain that destroys the crops.
4If you have no regard for the law, you are on the side of the wicked; but if you obey it, you are against them.
5Evil people do not know what justice is, but those who worship the LORD understand it well.
6Better to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest.
7A young man who obeys the law is intelligent. One who makes friends with good-for-nothings is a disgrace to his father.
8If you get rich by charging interest and taking advantage of people, your wealth will go to someone who is kind to the poor.
9If you do not obey the law, God will find your prayers too hateful to hear.
10If you trick an honest person into doing evil, you will fall into your own trap.
The innocent will be well rewarded.
11Rich people always think they are wise, but a poor person who has insight into character knows better.
12When good people come to power, everybody celebrates, but when bad people rule, people stay in hiding.
13You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.
14Always obey the LORD and you will be happy. If you are stubborn, you will be ruined.
15Poor people are helpless against a wicked ruler; he is as dangerous as a growling lion or a prowling bear.
16A ruler without good sense will be a cruel tyrant. One who hates dishonesty will rule a long time.
17Someone guilty of murder is digging his own grave as fast as he can. Don't try to stop him.
18Be honest and you will be safe. If you are dishonest, you will suddenly fall.
19A hard-working farmer has plenty to eat. People who waste time will always be poor.
20Honest people will lead a full, happy life. But if you are in a hurry to get rich, you are going to be punished.
21Prejudice is wrong. But some judges will do wrong to get even the smallest bribe.
22Selfish people are in such a hurry to get rich that they do not know when poverty is about to strike.
23Correct someone, and afterwards he will appreciate it more than flattery.
24Anyone who thinks it isn't wrong to steal from his parents is no better than a common thief.
25Selfishness only causes trouble. You are much better off to trust the LORD.
26It is foolish to follow your own opinions. Be safe, and follow the teachings of wiser people.
27Give to the poor and you will never be in need. If you close your eyes to the poor, many people will curse you.
28People stay in hiding when the wicked come to power. But when they fall from power, the righteous will rule again.