A A A A A
Bible Book List

Proverbs 26 New King James Version (NKJV)

Honor Is Not Fitting for a Fool

26 As snow in summer and rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a fool.

Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow,
So a curse without cause shall not alight.

A whip for the horse,
A bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the fool’s back.
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
He who sends a message by the hand of a fool
Cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
Like the legs of the lame that hang limp
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like one who binds a stone in a sling
Is he who gives honor to a fool.
Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 [a]The great God who formed everything
Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.
11 As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road!
A fierce lion is in the [b]streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy man on his bed.
15 The lazy man buries his hand in the [c]bowl;
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can answer sensibly.

17 He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own
Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 Is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, “I was only joking!”

20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no [d]talebearer, strife ceases.
21 As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a [e]talebearer are like [f]tasty trifles,
And they go down into the [g]inmost body.

23 Fervent lips with a wicked heart
Are like earthenware covered with silver dross.

24 He who hates, disguises it with his lips,
And lays up deceit within himself;
25 When [h]he speaks kindly, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 Though his hatred is covered by deceit,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.

28 A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 26:10 Heb. difficult in v. 10; ancient and modern translators differ greatly
  2. Proverbs 26:13 Or plazas, squares
  3. Proverbs 26:15 LXX, Syr. bosom; Tg., Vg. armpit
  4. Proverbs 26:20 gossip or slanderer, lit. whisperer
  5. Proverbs 26:22 gossip or slanderer
  6. Proverbs 26:22 A Jewish tradition wounds
  7. Proverbs 26:22 Lit. rooms of the belly
  8. Proverbs 26:25 Lit. his voice is gracious
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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