1 It is not right to give honour to a fool.
It is as silly as snow that falls in summer,
or rain that falls at the time of harvest.
2 If someone curses you for no reason, it will not stay with you.
Their words will be like birds that never stop to rest.
3 There are right ways to punish a horse or a donkey.
The right way to punish a fool is to beat him with a stick.
4 If someone asks you a silly question, do not give him a silly answer.
Be careful that you do not become as silly as he is.
5 If someone asks you a silly question, give him a silly answer.
Then he will know that he is not as wise as he thinks he is.
26:5Verses 4 and 5 seem to say opposite things. But they look at the same truth in different ways. Do not think in the same silly way that a foolish person thinks (verse 4). But also, do not let a foolish person think that he is wise when he says silly things (verse 5).
6 If you send a message with a fool, there will be trouble.
It would be better to cut off your own feet!
7 A lame person cannot use his legs properly.
A fool cannot use a proverb properly.
8 If you tie a stone into a sling, it will be a useless weapon.
It is also useless to give honour to a fool.
9 A fool who speaks a proverb is like a drunk person with a thorn in his finger.
He does not know what to do with it.
10 A soldier who shoots his arrows everywhere is useless.
It is the same if you ask a stupid person to do work for you.
11 A sick dog goes back to eat what it could not keep in its stomach.
A fool goes back and makes the same mistakes again.
12 Some men think that they are already wise.
A fool is more likely to learn something than they are.
13 A lazy person does not go out of his house.
He says, ‘There is a lion outside in the street!’
14 A lazy person turns over in his bed,
like a door that continues to open and close.
15 A lazy person pushes his hand into his bowl of food.
But then he is too tired to lift his hand up to his mouth.
16 A lazy person thinks that he is very wise.
He thinks that he is wiser than seven people who can answer questions well.
17 When strangers are arguing, only a fool joins the argument.
It would be better if he took hold of a wild dog's ears!
18 A crazy man may shoot sharp arrows to kill people.
19 If a person deceives his friend and then laughs about it,
he is as bad as that crazy person.
20 Without wood, a fire stops burning.
When people do not tell their friends' secrets, quarrels stop.
21 But when a fire has wood, it continues to burn.
When people love to quarrel, there will always be arguments.
22 We love to hear other people's secrets.
They seem like good food that we can really enjoy.
23 When a hypocrite says nice words,
that is like a cheap pot with silver paint.
24 A hypocrite can say nice things to hide his thoughts,
but he is still thinking about ways to hurt people.
25 Do not believe him when he speaks kind words.
His mind is still full of evil things.
26 He may not seem to hate people, but he is telling lies.
In a public meeting, everyone will recognize his sins.
27 If a man digs a deep hole as a trap, he will fall into it himself.
If a man pushes a stone to fall on someone, it will fall back on him.
28 If you tell lies, it shows that you hate other people.
If you deceive people with sweet words, you will destroy them.