26 Like snow in summer or urain in harvest,
so vhonor is wnot fitting for a fool.
2 Like xa sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
ya curse that is causeless does not alight.
3 zA whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and aa rod for the back of fools.
4 bAnswer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
5 cAnswer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be dwise in his own eyes.
6 Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and edrinks violence.
7 Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is fone who gives honor to a fool.
9 Like ga thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10 Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.1
11 Like ha dog that returns to his vomit
is ia fool who repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man who is jwise in his own eyes?
kThere is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 lThe sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
15 mThe sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is jwiser in his own eyes
nthan seven men who can answer sensibly.
17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws ofirebrands, arrows, and death
19 is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no pwhisperer, qquarreling ceases.
21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is ra quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22 sThe words of pa whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 tLike the uglaze2 covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 vwhen he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are wseven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 xWhoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
yfor you do not know what a day may bring.
2 Let zanother praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but aa fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
but who can stand before bjealousy?
5 cBetter is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Faithful are dthe wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7 One who is full loathes ehoney,
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
8 Like fa bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.
9 gOil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.1
10 Do not forsake your friend and hyour father’s friend,
and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
iBetter is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.
11 jBe wise, kmy son, and lmake my heart glad,
that I may manswer him who reproaches me.
12 nThe prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but othe simple go on and suffer for it.
13 pTake a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.2
14 Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
15 qA continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp3 oil in one’s right hand.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.4
18 rWhoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who sguards his master will be honored.
19 As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
20 tSheol and Abaddon are unever satisfied,
and vnever satisfied are the eyes of man.
21 wThe crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and a man is tested by his praise.
22 xCrush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
along with crushed grain,
yet his folly will not depart from him.
23 yKnow well the condition of your flocks,
and ygive attention to your herds,
24 for zriches do not last forever;
and does a crown endure to all generations?
25 aWhen the grass is gone and the new growth appears
and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26 bthe lambs will provide your clothing,
and the goats the price of a field.
27 bThere will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
for the food of your household
and maintenance for your girls.
28 cThe wicked flee when no one pursues,
but dthe righteous are bold as a lion.
2 When a land transgresses, eit has many rulers,
but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
its stability will long continue.
3 fA poor man who oppresses the poor
is a beating rain that leaves no food.
4 Those who forsake the law gpraise the wicked,
but those who keep the law hstrive against them.
5 Evil men ido not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord junderstand it completely.
6 kBetter is a poor man who lwalks in his integrity
than a rich man who is lcrooked in his ways.
7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but ma companion of gluttons shames his father.
8 Whoever multiplies his wealth nby interest and profit1
ogathers it for him who is pgenerous to the poor.
9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his qprayer is an abomination.
10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
rwill fall into his own pit,
but the blameless swill have a goodly inheritance.
11 A rich man is wise in his town eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding uwill find him out.
12 When vthe righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when wthe wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13 Whoever xconceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who yconfesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14 Blessed is the one who zfears the Lord2 always,
but whoever ahardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15 Like ba roaring lion or ca charging bear
is da wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 A ruler who elacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17 If one is burdened with fthe blood of another,
he will be a fugitive until death;3
let no one help him.
18 gWhoever hwalks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
19 iWhoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 A faithful man will abound with blessings,
but whoever hastens to be rich jwill not go unpunished.
21 To show kpartiality is not good,
but for la piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22 A mstingy man4 nhastens after wealth
and does not know that opoverty will come upon him.
23 Whoever prebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than qhe who flatters with his tongue.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, “That is no transgression,”
is ra companion to a man who destroys.
25 A greedy man sstirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will tbe enriched.
26 Whoever utrusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27 Whoever vgives to the poor will not want,
but he who whides his eyes will get many a curse.
28 When xthe wicked rise, ypeople hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.
29 zHe who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be abroken bbeyond healing.
2 When cthe righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when dthe wicked rule, the people groan.
3 He who eloves wisdom makes his father glad,
but fa companion of prostitutes gsquanders his wealth.
4 By justice a king hbuilds up the land,
but he who exacts gifts1 tears it down.
5 iA man who flatters his neighbor
spreads ja net for his feet.
6 An evil man is kensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man lsings and rejoices.
7 A righteous man mknows the rights of the poor;
a wicked man does not nunderstand such knowledge.
8 oScoffers set a city aflame,
but the wise turn away wrath.
9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is pno quiet.
10 Bloodthirsty men qhate one who is blameless
and seek the life of the upright.2
11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
12 If a ruler listens to falsehood,
all his officials will be wicked.
13 The poor man and the oppressor rmeet together;
the Lord sgives light to the eyes of both.
14 If a king tfaithfully judges the poor,
his throne will ube established forever.
15 vThe rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself wbrings shame to his mother.
16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but xthe righteous will look upon their downfall.
17 yDiscipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
18 Where zthere is no prophetic vision the people acast off restraint,3
but blessed is he who bkeeps the law.
19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.
20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
cThere is more hope for a fool than for him.
21 Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir.4
22 dA man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
23 eOne’s pride will bring him low,
fbut he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24 The partner of a thief ghates his own life;
hhe hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25 iThe fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
26 Many jseek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that a man kgets justice.
27 lAn unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.
The Words of Agur
30 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.1
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.2
2 Surely I am too mstupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
3 I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of nthe Holy One.
4 Who has oascended to heaven and come down?
Who has pgathered the wind in his fists?
Who has qwrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all rthe ends of the earth?
sWhat is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!
5 tEvery word of God proves true;
he is ua shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 vDo not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
7 Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me wbefore I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is xneedful for me,
9 lest I be yfull and zdeny you
and say, a“Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
band profane the name of my God.
10 cDo not slander a servant to his master,
dlest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
11 There are those3 who ecurse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are those who are fclean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
13 There are those—how glofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
14 There are those whose teeth are hswords,
whose ifangs are knives,
to jdevour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mankind.
15 The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.4
kThree things are never satisfied;
kfour never say, “Enough”:
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
17 The eye that nmocks a father
and oscorns to obey a mother
will pbe picked out by qthe ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
18 kThree things are rtoo wonderful for me;
kfour I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.
20 This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have done no wrong.”
21 Under kthree things sthe earth trembles;
under kfour it cannot bear up:
22 ta slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is ufilled with food;
23 van unloved woman when she wgets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
24 kFour things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 xthe ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 ythe rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no zking,
yet all of them march in arank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces.
29 bThree things are stately in their tread;
bfour are stately in their stride:
30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and cdoes not turn back before any;
31 the dstrutting rooster,5 the he-goat,
and a king whose army is with him.6
32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
eput your hand on your mouth.
33 For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.