Passage: Proverbs 25, 26, 27 (RSV)

Proverbs 25

1These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezeki'ah king of Judah copied.
2It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.
3As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the mind of kings is unsearchable.
4Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;
5take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.
6Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great;
7for it is better to be told, "Come up here," than to be put lower in the presence of the prince. What your eyes have seen
8do not hastily bring into court; for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not disclose another's secret;
10lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end.
11A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
13Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him, he refreshes the spirit of his masters.
14Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
15With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.
16If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you be sated with it and vomit it.
17Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.
18A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19Trust in a faithless man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
20He who sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on a wound.
21If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22for you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.
23The north wind brings forth rain; and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
25Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
26Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
27It is not good to eat much honey, so be sparing of complimentary words.
28A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Proverbs 26

1Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.
2Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.
3A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the back of fools.
4Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
5Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6He who sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8Like one who binds the stone in the sling is he who gives honor to a fool.
9Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10Like an archer who wounds everybody is he who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
11Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool that repeats his folly.
12Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!"
14As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.
15The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer discreetly.
17He who meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
19is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I am only joking!"
20For lack of wood the fire goes out; and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are smooth lips with an evil heart.
24He who hates, dissembles with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;
25when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26though his hatred be covered with guile, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back upon him who starts it rolling.
28A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 27

1Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
2Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
3A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
4Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming; but who can stand before jealousy?
5Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
6Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7He who is sated loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8Like a bird that strays from its nest, is a man who strays from his home.
9Oil and perfume make the heart glad, but the soul is torn by trouble.
10Your friend, and your father's friend, do not forsake; and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
11Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.
12A prudent man sees danger and hides himself; but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
13Take a man's garment when he has given surety for a stranger, and hold him in pledge when he gives surety for foreigners.
14He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.
15A continual dripping on a rainy day and a contentious woman are alike;
16to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in his right hand.
17Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
18He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored.
19As in water face answers to face, so the mind of man reflects the man.
20Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
21The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is judged by his praise.
22Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.
23Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds;
24for riches do not last for ever; and does a crown endure to all generations?
25When the grass is gone, and the new growth appears, and the herbage of the mountains is gathered,
26the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field;
27there will be enough goats' milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your maidens.

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