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Chapter 26

1Like snow in summer, and as rain in harvest,

So honor is not fitting for a fool.

2Like a fluttering sparrow,

Like a darting swallow,

So the undeserved curse doesn’t come to rest.

3A whip for the horse,

A bridle for the donkey,

And a rod for the back of fools!

4Don’t answer a fool according to his folly,

Lest you also be like him.

5Answer a fool according to his folly,

Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

6One who sends a message by the hand of a fool

Is cutting off feet and drinking violence.

7Like the legs of the lame that hang loose:

So is a parable in the mouth of fools.

8As one who binds a stone in a sling,

So is he who gives honor to a fool.

9Like a thornbush that goes into the hand of a drunkard,

So is a parable in the mouth of fools.

10As an archer who wounds all,

So is he who hires a fool

Or he who hires those who pass by.

11As a dog that returns to his vomit,

So is a fool who repeats his folly.

12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?

There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!

A fierce lion roams the streets!”

14As the door turns on its hinges,

So does the sluggard on his bed.

15The sluggard buries his hand in the dish.

He is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.

16The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes

Than seven men who answer with discretion.

17Like one who grabs a dog’s ears

Is one who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own.

18Like a madman who shoots firebrands, arrows, and death,

19Is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “Am I not joking?”

20For lack of wood a fire goes out;

Without gossip, a quarrel dies down.

21As coals are to hot embers,

And wood to fire,

So is a contentious man to kindling strife.

22The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels,

They go down into the innermost parts.

23Like silver dross on an earthen vessel

Are the lips of a fervent one with an evil heart.

24A malicious man disguises himself with his lips,

But he harbors evil in his heart.

25When his speech is charming, don’t believe him;

For there are seven abominations in his heart:

26His malice may be concealed by deception,

But his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27Whoever digs a pit shall fall into it.

Whoever rolls a stone, it will come back on him.

28A lying tongue hates those it hurts;

And a flattering mouth works ruin.

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