Similitudes and Instructions1 Like snow in summer and rain at harvest, honor does not befit a fool. 2 Like a fluttering sparrow or darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. 3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools! 4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he become wise in his own eyes. 6 Like cutting off one’s own feet or drinking violence is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool. 7 Like lame legs hanging limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. 8 Like binding a stone into a sling is the giving of honor to a fool. 9 [Like] a thorn [that] falls into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. 10 Like an archer who wounds at random is he who hires a fool or passer-by. 11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool 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 slacker says, “A lion [is] in the road! A fierce lion [roams] the public square!” 14 [As] a door turns on its hinges, so the sluggard [turns] 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 discreetly. 17 Like one who grabs a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own . 18 Like a madman shooting firebrands and deadly arrows, 19 so is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” 20 Without wood, a fire goes out; without gossip, a conflict ceases. 21 Like charcoal for embers and wood for fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. 22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels that go down to the inmost being. 23 Like glaze covering an earthen vessel are burning ▼
▼ Hebrew; LXX smoothlips and a wicked heart. 24 A hateful man disguises himself with his speech, but he lays up deceit in his heart. 25 When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, for seven abominations [fill] his heart. 26 Though his hatred is concealed by deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. 27 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever rolls a stone, it will come back on him. 28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth causes ruin.
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