Proverbs 24-26 English Standard Version

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24 1  Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, 2  for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.

3  By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; 4  by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. 5  A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, 6  for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

7  Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth. 8  Whoever plans to do evil will be called a schemer. 9  The devising[1] of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.

10  If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

11  Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. 12  If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

13  My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. 14  Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

15  Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous; do no violence to his home; 16  for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

17  Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, 18  lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.

19  Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, 20  for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

21  My son, fear the Lord and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise, 22  for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

23  These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good. 24  Whoever says to the wicked, "You are in the right," will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, 25  but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. 26  Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.

27  Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.

28  Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips. 29  Do not say, "I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done."

30  I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, 31  and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. 32  Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. 33  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34  and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

Comparisons and Moral Lessons

25 1  These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.

2  It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. 3  As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.

4  Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel; 5  take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.

6  Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great, 7  for it is better to be told, "Come up here," than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.What your eyes have seen

8  do not hastily bring into court, for[2] what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame? 9  Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another's secret, 10  lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end.

11  A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. 12  Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

13  Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.

14  Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.

15  With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.

16  If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.

17  Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.

18  A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.

19  Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.

20  Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.

21  If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, 22  for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

23  The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

24  It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

25  Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

26  Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

27  It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.[3]

28  A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

26 1  Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.

2  Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.

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

4  Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. 5  Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

6  Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. 7  Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools. 8  Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool. 9  Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

10  Like an archer who wounds everyone is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.[4]

11  Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.

12  Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13  The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!"

14  As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.

15  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.

16  The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.

17  Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.

18  Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death 19  is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I am only joking!"

20  For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. 21  As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. 22  The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.

23  Like the glaze[5] covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart.

24  Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; 25  when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; 26  though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27  Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.

28  A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

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[1] 24:9 Or scheming

[2] 25:8 Hebrew or else

[3] 25:27 The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain

[4] 26:10 Or hires a fool or passersby

[5] 26:23 By revocalization; Hebrew silver of dross

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