Proverbs 24-26 New Revised Standard Version

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24 1  Do not envy the wicked, nor desire to be with them; 2  for their minds devise violence, and their lips talk of mischief.

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  Wise warriors are mightier than strong ones, and those who have knowledge than those who have strength; 6  for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

7  Wisdom is too high for fools; in the gate they do not open their mouths. 8  Whoever plans to do evil will be called a mischief-maker. 9  The devising of folly is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to all.

10  If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength being small;

11  if you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death, those who go staggering to the slaughter; 12  if you say, "Look, 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 all according to their deeds?

13  My child, 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, you will find a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

15  Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against the home of the righteous; do no violence to the place where the righteous live; 16  for though they fall seven times, they will rise again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.

17  Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble, 18  or else the Lord will see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from them.

19  Do not fret because of evildoers. Do not envy the wicked; 20  for the evil have no future; the lamp of the wicked will go out.

21  My child, fear the Lord and the king, and do not disobey either of them; 22  for disaster comes from them suddenly, and who knows the ruin that both can bring?

23  These also are sayings of the wise: Partiality in judging is not good. 24  Whoever says to the wicked, "You are innocent," 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  One who gives an honest answer gives a kiss on the lips.

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

28  Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips. 29  Do not say, "I will do to others as they have done to me; I will pay them back for what they have done."

30  I passed by the field of one who was lazy, by the vineyard of a stupid person; 31  and see, 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 warrior.

Comparisons and Moral Lessons

25 1  These are other proverbs of Solomon that the officials of King Hezekiah of Judah copied.

2  It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. 3  Like the heavens for height, like the earth for depth, so the mind 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 what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame? 9  Argue your case with your neighbor directly, and do not disclose another's secret; 10  or else someone who hears you will bring shame upon you, and your ill repute will 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 rebuke to a listening ear.

13  Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest are faithful messengers to those who send them; they refresh the spirit of their masters.

14  Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of a gift never given.

15  With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue can break bones.

16  If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, or else, having too much, you will vomit it.

17  Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, otherwise the neighbor will become weary of you and hate you.

18  Like a war club, a sword, or a sharp arrow is one who bears false witness against a neighbor.

19  Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is trust in a faithless person in time of trouble.

20  Like vinegar on a wound is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. Like a moth in clothing or a worm in wood, sorrow gnaws at the human heart.

21  If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; 22  for you will heap coals of fire on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.

23  The north wind produces 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 contentious 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 are the righteous who give way before the wicked.

27  It is not good to eat much honey, or to seek honor on top of honor.

28  Like a city breached, without walls, is one who lacks self-control.

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, an undeserved curse goes nowhere.

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

4  Do not answer fools according to their folly, or you will be a fool yourself. 5  Answer fools according to their folly, or they will be wise in their own eyes.

6  It is like cutting off one's foot and drinking down violence, to send a message by a fool. 7  The legs of a disabled person hang limp; so does a proverb in the mouth of a fool. 8  It is like binding a stone in a sling to give honor to a fool. 9  Like a thornbush brandished by the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

10  Like an archer who wounds everybody is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.

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

12  Do you see persons wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for fools than for them.

13  The lazy person 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 lazy person in bed.

15  The lazy person buries a hand in the dish, and is too tired to bring it back to the mouth.

16  The lazy person is wiser in self-esteem than seven who can answer discreetly.

17  Like somebody who takes a passing dog by the ears is one who meddles in the quarrel of another.

18  Like a maniac who shoots deadly firebrands and arrows, 19  so is one who deceives a 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 is to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person 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 covering an earthen vessel are smooth lips with an evil heart.

24  An enemy dissembles in speaking while harboring deceit within; 25  when an enemy speaks graciously, do not believe it, for there are seven abominations concealed within; 26  though hatred is covered with guile, the enemy's wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

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

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

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