1Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest,
So honor is not fitting for a [shortsighted] [a]fool.
Like the sparrow in her wandering, like the swallow in her flying,
So the curse without cause does not come and alight [on the undeserving].
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
And a rod for the backs of fools [who refuse to learn].
Do not answer [nor pretend to agree with the frivolous comments of] a [closed-minded] fool according to his folly,
Otherwise you, even you, will be like him.
Answer [and correct the erroneous concepts of] a fool according to his folly,
Otherwise he will be wise in his own eyes [if he thinks you agree with him].
He who sends a message by the hand of a fool
Cuts off his own feet (sabotages himself) and drinks the violence [it brings on himself as a consequence].
Like the legs which are useless to the lame,
So is a proverb in the mouth of a fool [who cannot learn from its wisdom].
Like one who [absurdly] binds a stone in a sling [making it impossible to throw],
So is he who [absurdly] gives honor to a fool.
Like a thorn that goes [without being felt] into the hand of a drunken man,
So is a proverb in the mouth of a fool [who remains unaffected by its wisdom].
Like a [careless] archer who [shoots arrows wildly and] wounds everyone,
So is he who hires a fool or those who [by chance just] pass by.
Like a dog that returns to his vomit
Is a fool who repeats his foolishness.
Do you see a man [who is unteachable and] wise in his own eyes and full of self-conceit?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
The lazy person [who is self-indulgent and relies on lame excuses] says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion is in the open square [and if I go outside to work I will be killed]!”
As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy person on his bed [never getting out of it].
The lazy person buries his hand in the dish [losing opportunity after opportunity];
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
The lazy person is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven [sensible] men who can give a discreet answer.
Like one who grabs a dog by the ears [and is likely to be bitten]
Is he who, passing by, stops to meddle with a dispute that is none of his business.
Like a madman who throws
Firebrands, arrows, and death,
So is the man who deceives his neighbor (acquaintance, friend)
And then says, “Was I not joking?”
For lack of wood the fire goes out,
And where there is no whisperer [who gossips], contention quiets down.
Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
The words of a whisperer (gossip) are like dainty morsels [to be greedily eaten];
They go down into the innermost chambers of the body [to be remembered and mused upon].
Like a [common] clay vessel covered with the silver dross [making it appear silver when it has no real value]
Are burning lips [murmuring manipulative words] and a wicked heart.
He who hates, disguises it with his lips,
But he stores up deceit in his heart.
When he speaks graciously and kindly [to conceal his malice], do not trust him,
For seven abominations are in his heart.
Though his hatred covers itself with guile and deceit,
His malevolence will be revealed openly before the assembly.
Whoever digs a pit [for another man’s feet] will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone [up a hill to do mischief], it will come back on him.
A lying tongue hates those it wounds and crushes,
And a flattering mouth works ruin.