Proverbs 25

More of Solomon’s Wise Sayings

1 Here are more
of Solomon’s proverbs.
    They were copied by the officials
        of King Hezekiah of Judah.
2 God is praised
        for being mysterious;
    rulers are praised
        for explaining mysteries.
3 Who can fully understand
        the thoughts of a ruler?
    They reach beyond the sky
        and go deep in the earth.

4 Silver must be purified
    before it can be used
        to make something of value.
5 Evil people must be removed
    before anyone can rule
        with justice.

6 Don’t try to seem important
        in the court of a ruler.
7 It’s better for the ruler
        to give you a high position
    than for you to be embarrassed
        in front of royal officials.
    Be sure you are right
8      before you sue someone,
    or you might lose your case
        and be embarrassed.

9 When you and someone else
    can’t get along,
        don’t gossip about it.
10 Others will find out,
     and your reputation
        will then be ruined.

11 The right word
        at the right time
     is like precious gold
        set in silver.
12 Listening to good advice
     is worth much more
        than jewelry made of gold.
13 A messenger you can trust
     is just as refreshing
        as cool water in summer.
14 Broken promises
     are worse than rain clouds
        that don’t bring rain.
15 Patience and gentle talk
     can convince a ruler
        and overcome any problem.

16 Eating too much honey
        can make you sick.
17 Don’t visit friends too often,
     or they will get tired of it
        and start hating you.
18 Telling lies about friends
        is like attacking them
     with clubs and swords
        and sharp arrows.
19 A friend you can’t trust
        in times of trouble
     is like having a toothache
        or a sore foot.
20 Singing to someone
        in deep sorrow
     is like pouring vinegar
        in an open cut.

21 If your enemies are hungry,
        give them something to eat.
     And if they are thirsty,
     give them something
        to drink.
22 This will be the same
     as piling burning coals
        on their heads.
     And the Lord
        will reward you.
23 As surely as rain blows in
         from the north,
     anger is caused
        by cruel words.
24 It’s better to stay outside
        on the roof of your house
     than to live inside
        with a nagging wife.

25 Good news from far away
     refreshes like cold water
        when you are thirsty.
26 When a good person gives in
        to the wicked,
     it’s like dumping garbage
        in a stream of clear water.
27 Don’t eat too much honey
        or always want praise.
28 Losing self-control
     leaves you as helpless
        as a city without a wall.    

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary