A A A A A
Bible Book List

Proverbs 26 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

26 Like snow in summer and rain at harvest,
honor is inappropriate for a fool.
Like a flitting sparrow or a fluttering swallow,
an undeserved curse goes nowhere.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools.
Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness
or you’ll be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his foolishness
or he’ll become wise in his own eyes.
The one who sends a message by a fool’s hand
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
A proverb in the mouth of a fool
is like lame legs that hang limp.
Giving honor to a fool
is like binding a stone in a sling.[a]
A proverb in the mouth of a fool
is like a stick with thorns,
brandished by[b] the hand of a drunkard.
10 The one who hires a fool or who hires those passing by
is like an archer who wounds everyone.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so a fool repeats his foolishness.
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, “There’s a lion in the road—
a lion in the public square!”
14 A door turns on its hinges,
and a slacker, on his bed.
15 The slacker buries his hand in the bowl;
he is too weary to bring it to his mouth.
16 In his own eyes, a slacker is wiser
than seven men who can answer sensibly.

17 A person who is passing by and meddles in a quarrel that’s not his
is like one who grabs a dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws flaming darts and deadly arrows,
19 so is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”

20 Without wood, fire goes out;
without a gossip, conflict dies down.
21 As charcoal for embers and wood for fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 A gossip’s words are like choice food
that goes down to one’s innermost being.[c]

23 Smooth[d] lips with an evil heart
are like glaze on an earthen vessel.
24 A hateful person disguises himself with his speech
and harbors deceit within.
25 When he speaks graciously, don’t believe him,
for there are seven abominations in his heart.
26 Though his hatred is concealed by deception,
his evil will be revealed in the assembly.
27 The one 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 26:8 A stone bound in a sling would not release and could harm the person using the sling. A modern equivalent is jamming a cork in a gun barrel.
  2. Proverbs 26:9 Lit thorn that goes up into
  3. Proverbs 26:22 Lit to the chambers of the belly
  4. Proverbs 26:23 LXX; MT reads Burning

Proverbs 26 New International Version (NIV)

26 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
    honor is not fitting for a fool.
Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
    an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
    and a rod for the backs of fools!
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    or you yourself will be just like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or he will be wise in his own eyes.
Sending a message by the hands of a fool
    is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
Like the useless legs of one who is lame
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
Like tying a stone in a sling
    is the giving of honor to a fool.
Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10 Like an archer who wounds at random
    is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
    so fools repeat their folly.
12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?
    There is more hope for a fool than for them.

13 A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road,
    a fierce lion roaming the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
    so a sluggard turns on his bed.
15 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
    he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
    than seven people who answer discreetly.

17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
    is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

18 Like a maniac shooting
    flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
    and says, “I was only joking!”

20 Without wood a fire goes out;
    without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
    so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
    they go down to the inmost parts.

23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
    are fervent[a] lips with an evil heart.
24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,
    but in their hearts they harbor deceit.
25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,
    for seven abominations fill their hearts.
26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,
    but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
    if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.
28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
    and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 26:23 Hebrew; Septuagint smooth
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes