Chapter 4

    These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

  1. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings to search out a matter.
  2. The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
  3. Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the metalsmith.
  4. Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
  5. Put not forth yourself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men; for better it is that it be said unto you, Come up here — than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince whom your eyes have seen.
  6. Go not forth hastily to quarrel, lest you know not what to do in the end thereof, when your neighbor has put you to shame. Debate your cause with your neighbor himself, and reveal not a secret to another, lest he that hears it put you to shame, and your infamy turns not away.
  7. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
  8. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
  9. As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him; for he refreshes the soul of his masters.
  10. Whoever boasts himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
  11. By long enduring is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone.
  12. Have you found honey? Eat so much as is sufficient for you, lest you be filled with it and vomit it.
  13. Withdraw your foot from your neighbor’s house, lest he be weary of you and so hate you.
  14. A man that bears false witness against his neighbor is a club, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
  15. Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
  16. As he that takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon natron, so is he that sings songs to a heavy heart.
  17. If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you shall heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward you.
  18. The north wind drives away rain; so does an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
  19. It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
  20. As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
  21. A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain and a corrupt spring.
  22. It is not good to eat much honey; so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
  23. He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.
  24. As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.
  25. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the causeless curse shall not come.
  26. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.
  27. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like unto him.
  28. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
  29. He that sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off the feet and drinks damage.
  30. The legs of the lame are not equal; so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
  31. As he that binds a stone in a sling, so is he that gives honor to a fool.
  32. As a thorn goes up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
  33. The great God that formed all things both rewards the fool and rewards transgressors.
  34. As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.
  35. Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than of him.
  36. The slothful man says, There is a lion in the way, a lion is in the streets.
  37. As the door turns upon his hinges, so does the slothful upon his bed.
  38. The slothful hides his hand in his bosom, it grieves him to bring it again to his mouth.
  39. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men that can render a reason.
  40. He that passes by, and meddles with strife belonging not to him, is like one that takes a dog by the ears.
  41. As a madman who casts fiery darts, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceives his neighbor and says, Am I not in sport?
  42. Where no wood is, there the fire goes out; so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.
  43. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
  44. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
  45. Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hates disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within him. When he speaks fair, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart whose hatred is covered by deceit; his wickedness shall be shown before the whole congregation.
  46. Whoever digs a pit shall fall therein; and he that rolls a stone, it will return upon him.
  47. A lying tongue hates those that are afflicted by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
  48. Boast not yourself of tomorrow, for you know not what a day may bring forth.
  49. Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
  50. A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both.
  51. Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before envy?
  52. Open rebuke is better than secret love.
  53. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
  54. The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.
  55. As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man that wanders from his place.
  56. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
  57. Your own friend, and your father’s friend, forsake not, neither go into your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; for better is a neighbor that is near than a brother far off.
  58. My son, be wise and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.
  59. A prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.
  60. Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
  61. He that blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
  62. A continual dripping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. Whoever hides her hides the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which betrays itself.
  63. Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
  64. Whoever keeps the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof; so he that waits on his master shall be honored.
  65. As in water face answers to face, so the heart of man to man.
  66. Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
  67. As the refining pot for silver and the furnace for gold, so is a man to his praise.
  68. Though you should grind a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
  69. Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds; for riches are not for ever, and does the crown endure to every generation? The hay appears, and the tender grass shows itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And you shall have goats’ milk enough for your food, for the food of your household, and for the maintenance of your maidens.
  70. The wicked flee when no man pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
  71. For the transgression of a land, many are the princes thereof; but by a man of understanding and knowledge, the state thereof shall be prolonged.
  72. A poor man that oppresses the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food.
  73. They that forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them.
  74. Evil men understand not judgment, but they that seek the Lord understand all things.
  75. Better is the poor that walks in his uprightness than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
  76. Whoever keeps the law is a wise son, but he that is a companion of riotous men shames his father.
  77. He that by usury and unjust gain increases his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
  78. He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
  79. Whoever causes the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit; but the upright shall have good things in possession.
  80. The rich man is wise in his own eyes, but the poor that has understanding searches him out.
  81. When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory; but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.
  82. He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.
  83. Happy is the man that fears always, but he that hardens his heart shall fall into mischief.
  84. As a roaring lion and a roaming bear, so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.
  85. The prince that lacks understanding is also a great oppressor, but he that hates covetousness shall prolong his days.
  86. A man that does violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stop him.
  87. Whoever walks uprightly shall be saved, but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.
  88. He that tills his land shall have plenty of bread, but he that follows after vain people shall have poverty enough.
  89. A faithful man shall abound with blessings, but he that makes haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
  90. To have respect of persons is not good; for, for a piece of bread, that man will transgress.
  91. He that hastens to be rich has an evil eye, and considers not that poverty shall come upon him.
  92. He that rebukes a man afterward shall find more favor than he that flatters with the tongue.
  93. Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, It is no transgression — the same is the companion of a destroyer.
  94. He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he that puts his trust in the Lord shall be made fat.
  95. He that trusts in his own heart is a fool; but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered.
  96. He that gives unto the poor shall not lack, but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse.
  97. When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous increase.
  98. He that being often reproved hardens his neck shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
  99. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked bears rule, the people mourn.
  100. Whoever loves wisdom rejoices his father, but he that keeps company with harlots spends his substance.
  101. The king by judgment establishes the land, but he that receives bribes overthrows it.
  102. A man that flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
  103. In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare, but the righteous does sing and rejoice.
  104. The righteous considers the cause of the poor, but the wicked regards not to know it.
  105. Scornful men bring a city into a snare, but wise men turn away wrath.
  106. If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.
  107. The bloodthirsty hate the upright, but the just seek his soul.
  108. A fool utters all his mind, but a wise man keeps it in until afterward.
  109. If a ruler listen to lies, all his servants are wicked.
  110. The poor and the deceitful man meet together; the Lord lightens both their eyes.
  111. The king that faithfully judges the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.
  112. The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.
  113. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; but the righteous shall see their fall.
  114. Correct your son and he shall give you rest, yea, he shall give delight unto your soul.
  115. Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keeps the law, happy is he.
  116. A servant will not be corrected by words; for though he understand, he will not answer.
  117. Do you see a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
  118. He that delicately brings up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.
  119. An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression.
  120. A man’s pride shall bring him low, but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.
  121. Whoever is partner with a thief hates his own soul; he hears cursing, and betrays it not.
  122. The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
  123. Many seek the ruler’s favor, but every man’s judgment comes from the Lord.
  124. An unjust man is an abomination to the just, and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.