The Bible in Its Traditions

Proverbs 25:1–28

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These also are proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

These are the miscellaneous instructions of Solomon, which the friends of Ezekias king of Judea copied out.

These, too, are parables of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transferred.

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

The glory of God conceals a matter: but the glory of a king honours business.

It is to the glory of God to conceal a word, and it is to the glory of kings to investigate speech.

The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.

Heaven is high, and earth is deep, and a king’s heart is unsearchable.

Heaven above, and earth below, and the heart of kings are each unsearchable.

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Take away the dross from the silver, and there cometh forth a vessel for the refiner;

Beat the drossy silver, and it shall be made entirely pure.

Purge dross from silver that it may come forth a pure vessel.

Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

Slay the ungodly from before the king, and his throne shall prosper in righteousness.

Let wicked men be driven from the presence of the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

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Glorify not thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men;

Be not boastful in the presence of the king, and remain not in the places of princes;

Do not appear glorious before the king, and do not stand in the place of the great.

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For better is it that it be said unto thee: 'Come up hither', than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom thine eyes have seen.

For it is better that it should be said to you, “Ascend to here,” than that you should be humbled before the prince.

For it is better that it be said to you, Come up higher, than that you should be put lower. In the presence of the ruler report what your eyes have seen.

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Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

Get not suddenly into a quarrel, lest thou repent at last.

The things that your eyes have seen, do not offer hastily in a quarrel, lest afterward you may not be able to make amends, when you have dishonored your friend.

Debate thy cause with thy neighbour, but reveal not the secret of another;

Whenever thy friend shall reproach thee, retreat backward, despise him not;

Argue your case with your friend, and do not reveal the secret to an outsider,

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10  Lest he that heareth it revile thee, and thine infamy turn not away.

10  lest thy friend continue to reproach thee, so thy quarrel and enmity shall not depart, but shall be to thee like death. Favour and friendship set a man free, which do thou keep for thyself, lest thou be made liable to reproach; but take heed to thy ways peaceably.

10  Lest he who hears it reproach you and many people mock you.

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11  A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

11  As a golden apple in a necklace of sardius, so is it to speak a wise word.

11  Whoever speaks a word at an opportune time is like apples of gold on beds of silver.

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12  As an ear-ring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

12  Whoever reproves the wise and obedient ear is like an earring of gold with a shining pearl.

12  Like an earring of gold, and a precious sardius, so is the reproof of the wise men to a listening ear.

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13  As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to him that sendeth him; for he refresheth the soul of his master.

13  Just like the cold of snow in a time of harvest, so also is a faithful messenger to him who sent him: he causes his soul to rest.

14  As vapours and wind without rain, so is he that boasteth himself of a false gift.

14  A man who boasts and does not fulfill his promises is like clouds and wind, when rain does not follow.

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15  By long forbearing is a ruler persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

15  In long-suffering is prosperity to kings, and a soft tongue breaks the bones.

15  By patience, a leader shall be appeased, and a soft tongue shall break hardness.

16  Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

16  Having found honey, eat only what is enough, lest haply thou be filled, and vomit it up.

16  You have discovered honey; eat what is sufficient for you, lest perhaps, being filled up, you may vomit it.

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17  Let thy foot be seldom in thy neighbour's house; lest he be sated with thee, and hate thee.

17  Withdraw your feet from the house of your neighbor, lest, when he has had his fill, he may hate you.

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18  As a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow, so is a man that beareth false witness against his neighbour.

18  A man who speaks false testimony against his neighbor is like a dart and a sword and a sharp arrow.

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19  Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

19  The way of the wicked and the foot of the transgressor shall perish in an evil day.

19  Whoever sets his hopes on the unfaithful in a day of anguish is like a rotten tooth and weary foot,

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20  As one that taketh off a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.

20  As vinegar is bad for a sore, so trouble befalling the body afflicts the heart. As a moth in a garment, and a worm in wood, so the grief of a man hurts the heart.

20  and like one who loosens his garment in cold weather. Whoever sings verses to a wicked heart is like vinegar on baking soda. Just like a moth to a garment, and a worm to wood, so too does the sadness of a man do harm to the heart.

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21  If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink;

21  If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink;

21  If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

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22  For thou wilt heap coals of fire upon his head, and YHWH will reward thee.

22  for so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee with good.

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23  The north wind bringeth forth rain, and a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.

23  The north wind raises clouds; so an impudent face provokes the tongue.

23  Like the north wind which brings forth rain, so are an evil countenance and a backbiting tongue.

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24  It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than in a house in common with a contentious woman.

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25  As cold waters to a faint soul, so is good news from a far country.

25  As cold water is agreeable to a thirsting soul, so is a good message from a land far off.

25  Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so too are good reports from a far away land.

26  As a troubled fountain, and a corrupted spring, so is a righteous man that giveth way before the wicked.

26  As if one should stop a well, and corrupt a spring of water, so is it unseemly for a righteous man to fall before an ungodly man.

26  The just falling down before the impious is like a fountain stirred up by feet and like a corrupted spring.

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27  It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to search out their own glory is not glory.

27  Just as whoever eats too much honey, it is not good for him, so also whoever is an investigator of what is majestic will be overwhelmed by glory.

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28  Like a city broken down and without a wall, so is he whose spirit is without restraint.

28  As a city whose walls are broken down, and which is unfortified, so is a man who does anything without counsel.

28  Just like a city lying in the open and without surrounding walls, so also is a man who is unable to restrain his own spirit in speaking.