241 Don’t be envious of evil men;
neither desire to be with them: 2 for their hearts plot violence,
and their lips talk about mischief.

3 Through wisdom a house is built;
by understanding it is established; 4 by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all rare and beautiful treasure. 5 A wise man has great power;
and a knowledgeable man increases strength; 6 for by wise guidance you wage your war;
and victory is in many advisors.

7 Wisdom is too high for a fool:
he doesn’t open his mouth in the gate. 8 One who plots to do evil
will be called a schemer. 9 The schemes of folly are sin.
The mocker is detested by men.

10 If you falter in the time of trouble,
your strength is small.

11 Rescue those who are being led away to death!
Indeed, hold back those who are staggering to the slaughter! 12 If you say, “Behold, we didn’t know this;”
doesn’t he who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, doesn’t he know it?
Shall he not render to every man according to his work?

13 My son, eat honey, for it is good;
the droppings of the honeycomb, which are sweet to your taste: 14 so you shall know wisdom to be to your soul;
if you have found it, then there will be a reward,
your hope will not be cut off.

15 Don’t lay in wait, wicked man, against the habitation of the righteous.
Don’t destroy his resting place: 16 for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again;
but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.

17 Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls.
Don’t let your heart be glad when he is overthrown; 18 lest Yahweh see it, and it displease him,
and he turn away his wrath from him.

19 Don’t fret yourself because of evildoers;
neither be envious of the wicked: 20 for there will be no reward to the evil man;
and the lamp of the wicked shall be snuffed out.

21 My son, fear Yahweh and the king.
Don’t join those who are rebellious: 22 for their calamity will rise suddenly;
the destruction from them both—who knows?

23 These also are sayings of the wise.

To show partiality in judgment is not good. 24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous;”
peoples shall curse him, and nations shall abhor him— 25 but it will go well with those who convict the guilty,
and a rich blessing will come on them. 26 An honest answer
is like a kiss on the lips.

27 Prepare your work outside,
and get your fields ready.
Afterwards, build your house.

28 Don’t be a witness against your neighbor without cause.
Don’t deceive with your lips. 29 Don’t say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work.”

30 I went by the field of the sluggard,
by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 Behold, it was all grown over with thorns.
Its surface was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down. 32 Then I saw, and considered well.
I saw, and received instruction: 33 a little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to sleep; 34 so your poverty will come as a robber,
and your want as an armed man.

Comparisons and Moral Lessons

251 These also are proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing,
but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. 3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

4 Take away the dross from the silver,
and material comes out for the refiner; 5 Take away the wicked from the king’s presence,
and his throne will be established in righteousness.

6 Don’t exalt yourself in the presence of the king,
or claim a place among great men; 7 for it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,”
than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince,
whom your eyes have seen.

8 Don’t be hasty in bringing charges to court.
What will you do in the end when your neighbor shames you? 9 Debate your case with your neighbor,
and don’t betray the confidence of another; 10 lest one who hears it put you to shame,
and your bad reputation never depart.

11 A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in settings of silver. 12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold,
so is a wise reprover to an obedient ear.

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

14 As clouds and wind without rain,
so is he who boasts of gifts deceptively.

15 By patience a ruler is persuaded.
A soft tongue breaks the bone.

16 Have you found honey?
Eat as much as is sufficient for you,
lest you eat too much, and vomit it.

17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house,
lest he be weary of you, and hate you.

18 A man who gives false testimony against his neighbor
is like a club, a sword, or a sharp arrow.

19 Confidence in someone unfaithful in time of trouble
is like a bad tooth, or a lame foot.

20 As one who takes away a garment in cold weather,
or vinegar on soda,
so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat.
If he is thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 for you will heap coals of fire on his head,
and Yahweh will reward you.

23 The north wind brings forth rain:
so a backbiting tongue brings an angry face.

24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop,
than to share a house with a contentious woman.

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

26 Like a muddied spring, and a polluted well,
so is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

27 It is not good to eat much honey;
nor is it honorable to seek one’s own honor.

28 Like a city that is broken down and without walls
is a man whose spirit is without restraint.

261 Like snow in summer, and as rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.

2 Like a fluttering sparrow,
like a darting swallow,
so the undeserved curse doesn’t come to rest.

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

4 Don’t answer a fool according to his folly,
lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.

6 One who sends a message by the hand of a fool
is cutting off feet and drinking violence. 7 Like the legs of the lame that hang loose:
so is a parable in the mouth of fools. 8 As one who binds a stone in a sling,
so is he who gives honor to a fool. 9 Like a thornbush that goes into the hand of a drunkard,
so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

10 As an archer who wounds all,
so is he who hires a fool
or he who hires those who pass by.

11 As a dog that returns to his vomit,
so is a fool who repeats his folly.

12 Do you see a man 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!
A fierce lion roams the streets!”

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

15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish.
He is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.

16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who answer with discretion.

17 Like one who grabs a dog’s ears
is one who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own.

18 Like a madman who shoots torches, arrows, and death, 19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “Am I not joking?”

20 For lack of wood a fire goes out.
Without gossip, a quarrel dies down. 21 As coals are to hot embers,
and wood to fire,
so is a contentious man to kindling strife. 22 The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels,
they go down into the innermost parts.

23 Like silver dross on an earthen vessel
are the lips of a fervent one with an evil heart.

24 A malicious man disguises himself with his lips,
but he harbors evil in his heart. 25 When his speech is charming, don’t believe him;
for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26 His malice may be concealed by deception,
but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27 Whoever digs a pit shall fall into it.
Whoever rolls a stone, it will come back on him.

28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts;
and a flattering mouth works ruin.