Proverbs 26 (The Message MSG)

Fools Recycle Silliness

1 We no more give honors to fools
    than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.

You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse
    as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow.

A whip for the racehorse, a tiller for the sailboat—
    and a stick for the back of fools!

Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
    you’ll only look foolish yourself.

Answer a fool in simple terms
    so he doesn’t get a swelled head.

You’re only asking for trouble
    when you send a message by a fool.

A proverb quoted by fools
    is limp as a wet noodle.

Oh my

Putting a fool in a place of honor
    is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.

To ask a moron to quote a proverb
    is like putting a scalpel in the hands of a drunk.

10 Hire a fool or a drunk
    and you shoot yourself in the foot.

11 As a dog eats its own vomit,
    so fools recycle silliness.

This gets me every time. This is the King James Version (KJV): As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. The KJV actually packs more punch to me. In the KJV, the dog isn’t merely eating it and the fool recycling sounds more tame. The dog goes back. The fool goes back. When I see recycle, I think of actual recycling. But, to see return, the fool and the dog keep going back for more of something that is foolish and disgusting.

12 See that man who thinks he’s so smart?
    You can expect far more from a fool than from him.

13 Loafers say, “It’s dangerous out there!
    Tigers are prowling the streets!”
    and then pull the covers back over their heads.

14 Just as a door turns on its hinges,
    so a lazybones turns back over in bed.

15 A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie,
    but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.

Like Glaze on Cracked Pottery

16 Dreamers fantasize their self-importance;
    they think they are smarter
    than a whole college faculty.

17 You grab a mad dog by the ears
    when you butt into a quarrel that’s none of your business.

18-19 People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,
    saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,”
Are worse than careless campers
    who walk away from smoldering campfires.

20 When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;
    when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.

21 A quarrelsome person in a dispute
    is like kerosene thrown on a fire.

22 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
    do you want junk like that in your belly?

23 Smooth talk from an evil heart
    is like glaze on cracked pottery.

24-26 Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
    all the while plotting against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
    he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how shrewdly he conceals his malice,
    eventually his evil will be exposed in public.

27 Malice backfires;
    spite boomerangs.

28 Liars hate their victims;
    flatterers sabotage trust.

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