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1Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,

so honor is not fitting for a fool.

2Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,

a curse that is causeless does not alight.

3A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass,

and a rod for the back of fools.

4Answer not a fool according to his folly,

lest you be like him yourself.

5Answer a fool according to his folly,

lest he be wise in his own eyes.

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

cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.

7Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless,

is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

8Like one who binds the stone in the sling

is he who gives honor to a fool.

9Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard

is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

10Like an archer who wounds everybody

is he who hires a passing fool or drunkard.

11Like a dog that returns to his vomit

is a fool that repeats his folly.

12Do you see a man who is 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!

There is a lion in the streets!”

14As a door turns on its hinges,

so does a sluggard on his bed.

15The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;

it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.

16The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes

than seven men who can answer discreetly.

17He who meddles in a quarrel not his own

is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.

18Like a madman who throws firebrands,

arrows, and death,

19is the man who deceives his neighbor

and says, “I am only joking!”

20For lack of wood the fire goes out;

and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

21As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,

so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.

22The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;

they go down into the inner parts of the body.

23Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel

are smooth lips with an evil heart.

24He who hates, dissembles with his lips

and harbors deceit in his heart;

25when he speaks graciously, believe him not,

for there are seven abominations in his heart;

26though his hatred be covered with guile,

his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27He who digs a pit will fall into it,

and a stone will come back upon him who starts it rolling.

28A lying tongue hates its victims,

and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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