Proverbs 26 – New International Version (NIV)

  1. Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool.
  2. Like a fluttering sparrow or a 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 just like him.
  5. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
  6. Sending a message by the hands of a fool is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
  7. Like the useless legs of one who is lame is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
  8. Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool.
  9. 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.


a. Proverbs 26:23 Hebrew; Septuagint smooth

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Proverbs 26 – King James Version (KJV)

  1. As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, So honour is not seemly for a fool.
  2. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, So the curse causeless shall not come.
  3. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, And a rod for the fool’s back.
  4. Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him.
  5. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit.
  6. He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool Cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
  7. The legs of the lame are not equal: So is a parable in the mouth of fools.
  8. As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, So is he that giveth honour to a fool.
  9. As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, So is a parable in the mouth of fools.
  10. The great God that formed all things Both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.
  11. As a dog returneth to his vomit, So a fool returneth to his folly.
  12. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
  13. The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; A lion is in the streets.
  14. As the door turneth upon his hinges, So doth the slothful upon his bed.
  15. The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; It grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.
  16. The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit Than seven men that can render a reason.
  17. He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, Is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
  18. As a mad man who casteth firebrands, Arrows, and death,
  19. So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, And saith, Am not I in sport?
  20. Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: So where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
  21. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
  22. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, And they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
  23. Burning lips and a wicked heart Are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
  24. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, And layeth up deceit within him;
  25. When he speaketh fair, believe him not: For there are seven abominations in his heart.
  26. Whose hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.
  27. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: And he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.
  28. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; And a flattering mouth worketh ruin.