1 Like snow in summer and rain when the grain is being cut, so honour is not natural for the foolish. 2 As the sparrow in her wandering and the swallow in her flight, so the curse does not come without a cause. 3 A whip for the horse, a mouth-bit for the ass, and a rod for the back of the foolish. 4 Do not give to the foolish man a foolish answer, or you will be like him. 5 Give a foolish man a foolish answer, or he will seem wise to himself. 6 He who sends news by the hand of a foolish man is cutting off his feet and drinking in damage. 7 The legs of one who has no power of walking are hanging loose; so is a wise saying in the mouth of the foolish. 8 Giving honour to a foolish man is like attempting to keep a stone fixed in a cord. 9 Like a thorn which goes up into the hand of a man overcome by drink, so is a wise saying in the mouth of a foolish man. 10 Like an archer wounding all who go by, is a foolish man overcome by drink. 11 Like a dog going back to the food which he has not been able to keep down, is the foolish man doing his foolish acts over again. 12 Have you seen a man who seems to himself to be wise? There is more hope for the foolish than for him.
13 The hater of work says, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets. 14 A door is turned on its pillar, and the hater of work on his bed. 15 The hater of work puts his hand deep into the basin: lifting it again to his mouth is a weariness to him. 16 The hater of work seems to himself wiser than seven men who are able to give an answer with good sense.
17 He who gets mixed up in a fight which is not his business, is like one who takes a dog by the ears while it is going by. 18 As one who is off his head sends about flaming sticks and arrows of death, 19 So is the man who gets the better of his neighbour by deceit, and says, Am I not doing so in sport?
20 Without wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no secret talk, argument is ended. 21 Like breath on coals and wood on fire, so a man given to argument gets a fight started. 22 The words of one who says evil of his neighbour secretly are like sweet food, they go down into the inner parts of the stomach.
23 Smooth lips and an evil heart are like a vessel of earth plated with silver waste. 24 With his lips the hater makes things seem what they are not, but deceit is stored up inside him; 25 When he says fair words, have no belief in him; for in his heart are seven evils: 26 Though his hate is covered with deceit, his sin will be seen openly before the meeting of the people. 27 He who makes a hole in the earth will himself go falling into it: and on him by whom a stone is rolled the stone will come back again. 28 A false tongue has hate for those who have clean hearts, and a smooth mouth is a cause of falling.