26:1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor1 is not fitting for a fool.2
26:2 Like a fluttering bird or like a flying swallow,
so a curse without cause3 does not come to rest.4
26:3 A whip for the horse and a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools!5
26:4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,6
lest you yourself also be like him.7
26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly,8
lest he be wise in his own estimation.9
26:6 Like cutting off the feet or drinking violence,10
so is sending11 a message by the hand of a fool.12
26:7 Like legs that hang limp13 from the lame,
so14 is a proverb15 in the mouth of fools.
26:8 Like tying a stone in a sling,16
so is giving honor to a fool.
26:9 Like a thorn17 that goes into the hand of a drunkard,
so is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.18
26:10 Like an archer who wounds at random,19
so is the one who hires20 a fool or hires any passer-by.
26:11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit,21
so a fool repeats his folly.22
26:12 Do you see23 a man wise in his own eyes?24
There is more hope for a fool25 than for him.
26:13 The sluggard26 says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion in the streets!”27
26:14 Like28 a door that turns on its hinges,29
so a sluggard turns30 on his bed.
26:15 The sluggard plunges31 his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.32
26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own estimation33
than seven people who respond with good sense.34
26:17 Like one who grabs a wild dog by the ears,35
so is the person passing by who becomes furious36 over a quarrel not his own.
26:18 Like a madman37 who shoots
firebrands and deadly arrows,38
26:19 so is a person39 who deceives his neighbor,
and says, “Was I not only joking?”40
26:20 Where there is no wood, a fire goes out,
and where there is no gossip,41 contention ceases.42
26:21 Like charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire,
so is a contentious person43 to kindle strife.44
26:22 The words of a gossip are like delicious morsels;
they go down into a person’s innermost being.45
26:23 Like a coating of glaze46 over earthenware
are fervent47 lips with an evil heart.48
26:24 The one who hates others disguises49 it with his lips,
but he stores up50 deceit within him.51
26:25 When52 he speaks graciously,53 do not believe him,54
for there are seven55 abominations56 within him.
26:26 Though his57 hatred may be concealed58 by deceit,
his evil will be uncovered59 in the assembly.
26:27 The one who digs a pit60 will fall into it;
the one who rolls a stone – it will come back on him.
26:28 A lying tongue61 hates those crushed by it,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.62