1It isn’t proper to honor a foolish person.
That’s like having snow in summer or rain at harvest time.

2A curse given for no reason is like a wandering bird or a flying sparrow.
It doesn’t go anywhere.

3A whip is for a horse, and a harness is for a donkey.
And a beating is for the backs of foolish people.

4Don’t answer a foolish person in keeping with their foolish acts.
If you do, you yourself will be just like them.

5Answer a foolish person in keeping with their foolish acts.
If you do not, they will be wise in their own eyes.

6Sending a message in the hand of a foolish person
is like cutting off your feet or drinking poison.

7A proverb in the mouth of a foolish person
is like disabled legs that are useless.

8Giving honor to a foolish person
is like tying a stone in a slingshot.

9A proverb in the mouth of a foolish person
is like a thorn in the hand of someone who is drunk.

10Anyone who hires a foolish person or someone who is passing by
is like a person who shoots arrows at just anybody.

11Foolish people who do the same foolish things again
are like a dog that returns to where it has thrown up.

12Do you see a person who is wise in their own eyes?
There is more hope for a foolish person than for them.

13A person who doesn’t want to work says, “There’s a lion in the road!
There’s an angry lion wandering in the streets!”

14A person who doesn’t want to work turns over in bed
just like a door that swings back and forth.

15A person who doesn’t want to work leaves his hand in his plate.
He acts as if he is too tired to bring his hand back up to his mouth.

16A person who doesn’t want to work is wiser in his own eyes
than seven people who give careful answers.

17Don’t be quick to get mixed up in someone else’s fight.
That’s like grabbing a stray dog by its ears.

18Suppose a crazy person shoots
flaming arrows that can kill.
19Someone who lies to their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!” is just like that crazy person.

20If you don’t have wood, your fire goes out.
If you don’t talk about others, arguing dies down.

21Coal glows, and wood burns.
And a person who argues stirs up conflict.

22The words of anyone who talks about others are like tasty bites of food.
They go deep down inside you.

23Warm words that come from an evil heart
are like a shiny coating on a clay pot.

24Enemies use their words as a mask.
They hide their evil plans in their hearts.
25Even though what they say can be charming, don’t believe them.
That’s because seven things God hates fill that person’s heart.
26Their hatred can be hidden by lies.
But their evil plans will be shown to everyone.

27Whoever digs a pit will fall into it.
If someone rolls a big stone, it will roll back on them.

28A tongue that tells lies hates the people it hurts.
And words that seem to praise you destroy you.