The Bible – Old Testament
1 These also are proverbs of Solomon. The men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transmitted them.
God has glory in what he conceals, kings have glory in what they fathom.
As the heavens in height, and the earth in depth, the heart of kings is unfathomable.
Remove the dross from silver, and it comes forth perfectly purified;
Remove the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne is made firm through righteousness.
2 Claim no honor in the king’s presence, nor occupy the place of great men;
For it is better that you be told, “Come up closer!” than that you be humbled before the prince.
What your eyes have seen bring not forth hastily against an opponent; For what will you do later on when your neighbor puts you to shame?
Discuss your case with your neighbor, but another man’s secret do not disclose;
Lest, hearing it, he reproach you, and your ill repute cease not.
Like golden apples in silver settings are words spoken at the proper time.
Like a golden earring, or a necklace of fine gold, is a wise reprover to an obedient ear.
Like the coolness of snow in the heat of the harvest is a faithful messenger for the one who sends him. (He refreshes the soul of his master.)
Like clouds and wind when no rain follows is the man who boastfully promises what he never gives.
By patience is a ruler persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.
If you find honey, eat only what you need, lest you become glutted with it and vomit it up.
Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house, lest he have more than enough of you, and hate you.
Like a club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow, is the man who bears false witness against his neighbor.
Like an infected tooth or an unsteady foot is (dependence on) a faithless man in time of trouble.
Like a moth in clothing, or a maggot in wood, sorrow gnaws at the human heart.
3 If your enemy be hungry, give him food to eat, if he be thirsty, give him to drink;
For live coals you will heap on his head, and the LORD will vindicate you.
The north wind brings rain, and a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop than in a roomy house with a quarrelsome woman.
Like cool water to one faint from thirst is good news from a far country.
Like a troubled fountain or a polluted spring is a just man who gives way before the wicked.
4 To eat too much honey is not good; nor to seek honor after honor.
Like an open city with no defenses is the man with no check on his feelings.
1 The men of Hezekiah: literary men at the royal court of Hezekiah who are represented as transcribing the proverbs from other collections. Hezekiah was a reformer of national religious life (⇒ 2 Chron 29:25-30).
2 [6-7] Compare the lesson on humility which was taught by Christ (⇒ Luke 14:7-11).
3 [21-22] Charity is invaluable in resolving enmities and restoring peace. Live coals: i.e., either remorse and embarrassment for the harm done, or increased punishment for refusing reconciliation. Cf ⇒ Matthew 5:44; ⇒ Romans 12:20.
4  Nor . . . honor after honor: the text is uncertain.