Proverbs 24-26 Bible in Basic English

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24 1  Have no envy for evil men, or any desire to be with them: 2  For the purposes of their hearts are destruction, and their lips are talking of trouble.

3  The building of a house is by wisdom, and by reason it is made strong: 4  And by knowledge its rooms are full of all dear and pleasing things. 5  A wise man is strong; and a man of knowledge makes strength greater. 6  For by wise guiding you will overcome in war: and in a number of wise guides there is salvation.

7  Wisdom is outside the power of the foolish: he keeps his mouth shut in the public place. 8  He whose purposes are bad will be named a man of evil designs. 9  The purpose of the foolish is sin: and the hater of authority is disgusting to others.

10  If you give way in the day of trouble, your strength is small.

11  Be the saviour of those who are given up to death, and do not keep back help from those who are slipping to destruction. 12  If you say, See, we had no knowledge of this: does not the tester of hearts give thought to it? and he who keeps your soul, has he no knowledge of it? and will he not give to every man the reward of his work?

13  My son, take honey, for it is good; and the flowing honey, which is sweet to your taste: 14  So let your desire be for wisdom: if you have it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

15  Do not keep a secret watch, O evil-doer, against the fields of the upright man, or send destruction on his resting-place: 16  For an upright man, after falling seven times, will get up again: but trouble is the downfall of the evil.

17  Do not be glad at the fall of your hater, and let not your heart have joy at his downfall: 18  For fear that the Lord may see it, and it may be evil in his eyes, and his wrath may be turned away from him.

19  Do not be troubled because of evil-doers, or have envy of sinners: 20  For there will be no future for the evil man; the light of sinners will be put out.

21  My son, go in fear of the Lord and the king: have nothing to do with those who are in high positions: 22  For their downfall will come suddenly; and who has knowledge of the destruction of those in high positions?

23  These are more sayings of the wise: To have respect for a person's position when judging is not good. 24  He who says to the evil-doer, You are upright, will be cursed by peoples and hated by nations. 25  But those who say sharp words to him will have delight, and a blessing of good will come on them. 26  He gives a kiss with his lips who gives a right answer.

27  Put your work in order outside, and make it ready in the field; and after that, see to the building of your house.

28  Do not be a violent witness against your neighbour, or let your lips say what is false. 29  Say not, I will do to him as he has done to me; I will give the man the reward of his work.

30  I went by the field of the hater of work, and by the vine-garden of the man without sense; 31  And it was all full of thorns, and covered with waste plants, and its stone wall was broken down. 32  Then looking at it, I gave thought: I saw, and I got teaching from it. 33  A little sleep, a little rest, a little folding of the hands in sleep: 34  So loss will come on you like an outlaw, and your need like an armed man.

Comparisons and Moral Lessons

25 1  These are more wise sayings of Solomon, copied out by the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

2  It is the glory of God to keep a thing secret: but the glory of kings is to have it searched out. 3  The heaven is high and the earth is deep, and the hearts of kings may not be searched out.

4  Take away the waste from silver, and a vessel will come out for the silver-worker. 5  Take away evil-doers from before the king, and the seat of his power will be made strong in righteousness.

6  Do not take glory for yourself before the king, and do not put yourself in the place of the great: 7  For it is better to have it said to you, Come up here; than for you to be put down in a lower place before the ruler.

8  Do not be quick to go to law about what you have seen, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbour has put you to shame? 9  Have a talk with your neighbour himself about your cause, but do not give away the secret of another: 10  Or your hearer may say evil of you, and your shame will not be turned away.

11  A word at the right time is like apples of gold in a network of silver. 12  Like a nose-ring of gold and an ornament of the best gold, is a wise man who says sharp words to an ear ready to give attention.

13  As the cold of snow in the time of grain-cutting, so is a true servant to those who send him; for he gives new life to the soul of his master.

14  As clouds and wind without rain, so is one who takes credit for an offering he has not given.

15  A judge is moved by one who for a long time undergoes wrongs without protest, and by a soft tongue even bone is broken.

16  If you have honey, take only as much as is enough for you; for fear that, being full of it, you may not be able to keep it down.

17  Let not your foot be frequently in your neighbour's house, or he may get tired of you, and his feeling be turned to hate.

18  One who gives false witness against his neighbour is a hammer and a sword and a sharp arrow.

19  Putting one's faith in a false man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth and a shaking foot.

20  Like one who takes off clothing in cold weather and like acid on a wound, is he who makes melody to a sad heart.

21  If your hater is in need of food, give him bread; and if he is in need of drink, give him water: 22  For so you will put coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will give you your reward.

23  As the north wind gives birth to rain, so is an angry face caused by a tongue saying evil secretly.

24  It is better to be living in an angle of the house-top, than with a bitter-tongued woman in a wide house.

25  As cold water to a tired soul, so is good news from a far country.

26  Like a troubled fountain and a dirty spring, is an upright man who has to give way before evil-doers.

27  It is not good to take much honey: so he who is not looking for honour will be honoured.

28  He whose spirit is uncontrolled is like an unwalled town which has been broken into.

26 1  Like snow in summer and rain when the grain is being cut, so honour is not natural for the foolish.

2  As the sparrow in her wandering and the swallow in her flight, so the curse does not come without a cause.

3  A whip for the horse, a mouth-bit for the ass, and a rod for the back of the foolish.

4  Do not give to the foolish man a foolish answer, or you will be like him. 5  Give a foolish man a foolish answer, or he will seem wise to himself.

6  He who sends news by the hand of a foolish man is cutting off his feet and drinking in damage. 7  The legs of one who has no power of walking are hanging loose; so is a wise saying in the mouth of the foolish. 8  Giving honour to a foolish man is like attempting to keep a stone fixed in a cord. 9  Like a thorn which goes up into the hand of a man overcome by drink, so is a wise saying in the mouth of a foolish man.

10  Like an archer wounding all who go by, is a foolish man overcome by drink.

11  Like a dog going back to the food which he has not been able to keep down, is the foolish man doing his foolish acts over again.

12  Have you seen a man who seems to himself to be wise? There is more hope for the foolish than for him.

13  The hater of work says, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

14  A door is turned on its pillar, and the hater of work on his bed.

15  The hater of work puts his hand deep into the basin: lifting it again to his mouth is a weariness to him.

16  The hater of work seems to himself wiser than seven men who are able to give an answer with good sense.

17  He who gets mixed up in a fight which is not his business, is like one who takes a dog by the ears while it is going by.

18  As one who is off his head sends about flaming sticks and arrows of death, 19  So is the man who gets the better of his neighbour by deceit, and says, Am I not doing so in sport?

20  Without wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no secret talk, argument is ended. 21  Like breath on coals and wood on fire, so a man given to argument gets a fight started. 22  The words of one who says evil of his neighbour secretly are like sweet food, they go down into the inner parts of the stomach.

23  Smooth lips and an evil heart are like a vessel of earth plated with silver waste.

24  With his lips the hater makes things seem what they are not, but deceit is stored up inside him; 25  When he says fair words, have no belief in him; for in his heart are seven evils: 26  Though his hate is covered with deceit, his sin will be seen openly before the meeting of the people.

27  He who makes a hole in the earth will himself go falling into it: and on him by whom a stone is rolled the stone will come back again.

28  A false tongue has hate for those who have clean hearts, and a smooth mouth is a cause of falling.

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