The Bible in Its Traditions

Proverbs 26:1–28

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As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.

In the manner of snow in the summer, and rain at the harvest, so also is glory unfit for the foolish.

As the wandering sparrow, as the flying swallow, so the curse that is causeless shall come home.

Like a bird flying away to another place, and like a sparrow that hurries away freely, so also a curse uttered against someone without cause will pass away.

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A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the back of fools.

As a whip for a horse, and a goad for an ass, so is a rod for a simple nation.

A whip is for a horse, and a muzzle is for donkey, and a rod is for the back of the imprudent.

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Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Do not respond to the foolish according to his folly, lest you become like him.

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Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Respond to the foolish according to his folly, lest he imagine himself to be wise.

But answer a fool according to your wisdom, lest he think in himself that he is wise.

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He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off his own feet, and drinketh damage.

He that sends a message by a foolish messenger procures for himself a reproach from his own ways.

Whoever sends words by a foolish messenger has lame feet and drinks iniquity.

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The legs hang limp from the lame; so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

In the manner of a lame man who has beautiful legs to no purpose, so also is a parable unfit for the mouth of the foolish.

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As a small stone in a heap of stones, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.

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As a thorn that cometh into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

Thorns grow in the hand of a drunkard, and servitude in the hand of fools.

In the manner of a thorn, if it were to spring up from the hand of a drunkard, so also is a parable in the mouth of the foolish.

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10  A master performeth all things; but he that stoppeth a fool is as one that stoppeth a flood.

10  Judgment determines cases. And whoever imposes silence on the foolish mitigates anger.

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11  As a dog that returneth to his vomit, so is a fool that repeateth his folly.

11  As when a dog goes to his own vomit, and becomes abominable, so is fool who returns in his wickedness to his own sin. There is a shame that brings sin: and there is a shame that is glory and grace.

11  Like a dog that returns to his vomit, so also is the imprudent who repeats his foolishness.

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12  Seest thou a man wise in his own eyes? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

12  If you should see a man wise in his own eyes, a fool is much better than he.

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13  The sluggard saith: 'There is a lion in the way; yea, a lion is in the streets.'

13  A sluggard when sent on a journey says, There is a lion in the ways, and there are murderers in the streets.

13  The lazy one says, “There is a lion along the way, and a lioness in the roads.”

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14  The door is turning upon its hinges, and the sluggard is still upon his bed.

14  As a door turns on the hinge, so does a sluggard on his bed.

14  Just as a door turns upon its hinges, so also does the lazy one turn upon his bed.

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15  The sluggard burieth his hand in the dish; it wearieth him to bring it back to his mouth.

15  A sluggard having hid his hand in his bosom, will not be able to bring it up to his mouth.

15  The lazy one conceals his hand under his arms, and it is a labor for him to move it to his mouth.

16  The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men that give wise answer.

16  A sluggard seems to himself wiser than one who most satisfactorily brings back a message.

16  The lazy one seems wiser to himself than seven men speaking judgments.

17  He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife not his own, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

17  As he that lays hold of a dog’s tail, so is he that makes himself the champion of another’s cause.

17  Just like one who takes hold of a dog by the ears, so also is he who crosses impatiently and meddles in the quarrels of another.

18  As a madman who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death;

18  As those who need correction put forth fair words to men, and he that first falls in with the proposal will be overthrown;

18  Just as he is guilty who let loose the arrows and the lances unto death,

19  So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith: 'Am not I in sport?'

19  so are all that lay wait for their own friends, and when they are discovered, say, I did it in jest.

19  so also is the man who harms his friend by deceitfulness. And when he has been apprehended, he says, “I did it jokingly.”

20  Where no wood is, the fire goeth out; and where there is no whisperer, contention ceaseth.

20  With much wood fire increases; but where there is not a double-minded man, strife ceases.

20  When the wood fails, the fire will be extinguished. And when the gossiper is taken away, conflicts will be quelled.

21  As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

21  A hearth for coals, and wood for fire; and railing man for the tumult of strife.

21  Just as charcoals are to burning coals, and wood is to fire, so also is an angry man who stirs up quarrels.

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22  The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

22  The words of cunning knaves are soft; but they smite even to the inmost parts of the bowels.

22  The words of the malicious stir up trouble; they go down into the innermost parts of the heart.

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23  Burning lips and a wicked heart are like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross.

23  Silver dishonestly given is to be considered as a potsherd: smooth lips cover a grievous heart.

23  In the same manner as an earthen vessel, if it were adorned with impure silver, conceited lips are allied with a wicked heart.

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24  He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, but he layeth up deceit within him.

24  A weeping enemy promises all things with his lips, but in his heart he contrives deceit.

24  He who hates is known by his own speech; in his heart he entertains deceit;

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25  When he speaketh fair, believe him not; for there are seven abominations in his heart.

25  Though thine enemy intreat thee with a loud voice, consent not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

25  When he will have lowered his voice, do not believe him, for there are seven vices in his heart.

26  Though his hatred be concealed with deceit, his wickedness shall be revealed before the congregation.

26  He that hides enmity frames deceit: but being easily discerned, exposes his own sins in the public assemblies.

26  Whoever covers hatred with deceit, his malice shall be revealed in the assembly.

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27  Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein; and he that rolleth a stone, it shall return upon him.

27  He that digs a pit for his neighbour shall fall into it: and he that rolls a stone, rolls it upon himself.

27  Whoever digs a pit will fall into it. And whoever rolls a stone, it will roll back to him.

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28  A lying tongue hateth those that are crushed by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

28  A lying tongue hates the truth; and an unguarded mouth causes tumults.

28  A false tongue does not love truth. And a slippery mouth works ruin.