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Chapter 26

Translation and Transliteration of 

1Like snow in summer and rain at harvest-time, So honor is not fitting for a dullard.

ka-SHE-leg ba-ka-YITZ v'-ka-ma-TAR ba-ka-TZIR, KEN lo-NA-veh lik-SIL ka-VOD

אכַּשֶּׁ֤לֶג ׀ בַּקַּ֗יִץ וְכַמָּטָ֥ר בַּקָּצִ֑יר כֵּ֤ן לֹֽא־נָאוֶ֖ה לִכְסִ֣יל כָּבֽוֹד׃

2As a sparrow must flit and a swallow fly, So a gratuitous curse must backfire.

ka-tzi-POR la-NUD ka-d'-ROR la-UF khen kil-LAT chi-NAM (LO) [LO] ta-VO

בכַּצִּפּ֣וֹר לָ֭נוּד כַּדְּר֣וֹר לָע֑וּף כֵּ֥ן קִֽלְלַ֥ת חִ֝נָּ֗ם (לא) [ל֣וֹ] תָבֹֽא׃

3A whip for a horse and a bridle for a donkey, And a rod for the back of dullards.

SHOT la-SUS, ME-TEG la-CHA-MOR, v'-SHE-vet le-GEV ke-SI-lim.

גשׁ֣וֹט לַ֭סּוּס מֶ֣תֶג לַחֲמ֑וֹר וְ֝שֵׁ֗בֶט לְגֵ֣ו כְּסִילִֽים׃

4Do not answer a dullard in accord with his folly, Else you will become like him.

al-TA-an k'-SIL k'-i-vul-TO pen-tish-VEH-lo gam-a-TAH

דאַל־תַּ֣עַן כְּ֭סִיל כְּאִוַּלְתּ֑וֹ פֶּֽן־תִּשְׁוֶה־לּ֥וֹ גַם־אָֽתָּה׃

5Answer a dullard in accord with his folly, Else he will think himself wise.

a-NEH k'-SEEL k'-i-vul-TO pen yi-HEH kha-KHAM b'-ay-NAV

העֲנֵ֣ה כְ֭סִיל כְּאִוַּלְתּ֑וֹ פֶּן־יִהְיֶ֖ה חָכָ֣ם בְּעֵינָֽיו׃

6He who sends a message by a dullard Will wear out legs and must put up with lawlessness.

m'-ka-TSEH rag-LA-yim KHA-mas sho-TEH sho-LE-akh d'-va-RIM b'-yad-K'-seel

ומְקַצֶּ֣ה רַ֭גְלַיִם חָמָ֣ס שֹׁתֶ֑ה שֹׁלֵ֖חַ דְּבָרִ֣ים בְּיַד־כְּסִֽיל׃

7As legs hang limp on a cripple, So is a proverb in the mouth of dullards.

dal-YU sho-KA-yim mi-pi-SE-akh u-ma-SHAL b'-fi k'-si-LIM

זדַּלְי֣וּ שֹׁ֭קַיִם מִפִּסֵּ֑חַ וּ֝מָשָׁ֗ל בְּפִ֣י כְסִילִֽים׃

8Like a pebble in a sling, So is paying honor to a dullard.

ki-TZ'-ror EV-en b'-mar-GE-mah, ken-no-TEN likh-SIL ka-VOD

חכִּצְר֣וֹר אֶ֭בֶן בְּמַרְגֵּמָ֑ה כֵּן־נוֹתֵ֖ן לִכְסִ֣יל כָּבֽוֹד׃

9As a thorn comes to the hand of a drunkard, So a proverb to the mouth of a dullard.

KHO-akh a-LAH b'-yad shi-KOR u-ma-SHAL b'-fi k'-see-LEEM

טח֭וֹחַ עָלָ֣ה בְיַד־שִׁכּ֑וֹר וּ֝מָשָׁ֗ל בְּפִ֣י כְסִילִֽים׃

10A master can produce anything, But he who hires a dullard is as one who hires transients.

RAV me-KHO-lel-KOL v'-so-KHER ke-SIL v'-so-KHER o-ve-RIM

ירַ֥ב מְחוֹלֵֽל־כֹּ֑ל וְשֹׂכֵ֥ר כְּ֝סִ֗יל וְשֹׂכֵ֥ר עֹבְרִֽים׃

11As a dog returns to his vomit, So a dullard repeats his folly.

k'-khe-LEV shav al ke-O, k'-SEEYL sho-NEH v'-i-vul-TO

יאכְּ֭כֶלֶב שָׁ֣ב עַל־קֵא֑וֹ כְּ֝סִ֗יל שׁוֹנֶ֥ה בְאִוַּלְתּֽוֹ׃

12If you see a man who thinks himself wise, There is more hope for a dullard than for him.

ra-EE-ta EESH kha-KHAM b'-ay-NAV tik-VAH likh-SEEL mi-ME-nu

יברָאִ֗יתָ אִ֭ישׁ חָכָ֣ם בְּעֵינָ֑יו תִּקְוָ֖ה לִכְסִ֣יל מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃

13A lazy man says, “There's a cub on the road, a lion in the squares.”

a-MAR a-TSEL sha-KHAL ba-DA-rekh a-REE bein ha-r'-kho-VOT

יגאָמַ֣ר עָ֭צֵל שַׁ֣חַל בַּדָּ֑רֶךְ אֲ֝רִ֗י בֵּ֣ין הָרְחֹבֽוֹת׃

14The door turns on its hinge, And the lazy man on his bed.

ha-DE-let ti-SOV al-tzi-RAH v'-a-TSEL al-mi-TA-to

ידהַ֭דֶּלֶת תִּסּ֣וֹב עַל־צִירָ֑הּ וְ֝עָצֵ֗ל עַל־מִטָּתֽוֹ׃

15The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; He will not even bring it to his mouth.

ta-MAN a-TSEL ya-DO ba-tza-LA-khat ni-LA-a la-ha-SHI-va el-PI-u

טוטָ֘מַ֤ן עָצֵ֣ל יָ֭דוֹ בַּצַּלָּ֑חַת נִ֝לְאָ֗ה לַהֲשִׁיבָ֥הּ אֶל־פִּֽיו׃

16The lazy man thinks himself wiser Than seven men who give good advice.

KHAKHAM a-TSEL b'-ay-NAV, mi-SHEE-va m'-shi-VEI ta-AM.

טזחָכָ֣ם עָצֵ֣ל בְּעֵינָ֑יו מִ֝שִּׁבְעָ֗ה מְשִׁ֣יבֵי טָֽעַם׃

17A passerby who gets embroiled in someone else's quarrel Is like one who seizes a dog by its ears.

ma-cha-ZEEK b'-o-z'-NAY kha-LEV o-VAYR mit-a-BAYR al REEV lo-LO

יזמַחֲזִ֥יק בְּאׇזְנֵי־כָ֑לֶב עֹבֵ֥ר מִ֝תְעַבֵּ֗ר עַל־רִ֥יב לֹּא־לֽוֹ׃

18Like a madman scattering deadly firebrands, arrows,

k'-mi-t'-la-LEH-ha ha-YO-reh zi-KIM khit-SEEM va-MA-vet

יחכְּֽ֭מִתְלַהְלֵהַּ הַיֹּרֶ֥ה זִקִּ֗ים חִצִּ֥ים וָמָֽוֶת׃

19Is one who cheats his fellow and says, “I was only joking.”

KEN-ISH ri-MAH et-re-E-hu, v'-A-MAR ha-LO m'-sa-KHEK a-NEE.

יטכֵּֽן־אִ֭ישׁ רִמָּ֣ה אֶת־רֵעֵ֑הוּ וְ֝אָמַ֗ר הֲֽלֹא־מְשַׂחֵ֥ק אָֽנִי׃

20For lack of wood a fire goes out, And without a querulous man contention is stilled.

b'-E-fes ay-TZEEM tikh-beh AYSH uv-AYN nir-GAN yish-TOK ma-DON

כבְּאֶ֣פֶס עֵ֭צִים תִּכְבֶּה־אֵ֑שׁ וּבְאֵ֥ין נִ֝רְגָּ֗ן יִשְׁתֹּ֥ק מָדֽוֹן׃

 26:20   And without a querulous man contention is stilled

Rumors and slander add fuel to the fire of human contention. Just as a fire will burn itself out when it runs out of wood, so too, a disagreement will end naturally if the parties involved are not continually provoked by gossip. The Torah warns against speaking ill about others. The verse in Sefer Vayikra (19:16), “Do not deal basely with your countrymen,” is usually translated as “thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people.” Speech is so powerful and potentially dangerous that, according to the Sages (Erchin 15a), the tongue had to be hidden behind two protective barriers, the lips and the teeth, in order to protect it from being used for slander. Indeed, it was the slander of the spies, who spoke evil about the Land of Israel, which delayed entry into the Holy Land and caused the Nation of Israel to wander in the desert for forty years.

21Charcoal for embers and wood for a fire And a contentious man for kindling strife.

PE-kham le-ge-KHA-leem v'-e-TZEEM le-ESH v'-ISH (mi-do-NEEM) [mid-YA-neem] le-khar-KHAR-reev. {PE}

כאפֶּחָ֣ם לְ֭גֶחָלִים וְעֵצִ֣ים לְאֵ֑שׁ וְאִ֥ישׁ (מדונים) [מִ֝דְיָנִ֗ים] לְחַרְחַר־רִֽיב׃

22The words of a querulous man are bruising; They penetrate one's inmost parts.

di-v'-REI nir-GAN k'-mi-t'-la-ha-MEEM v'-HEM yar-DU chad-rei-va-TEN

כבדִּבְרֵ֣י נִ֭רְגָּן כְּמִֽתְלַהֲמִ֑ים וְ֝הֵ֗ם יָרְד֥וּ חַדְרֵי־בָֽטֶן׃

23Base silver laid over earthenware Are ardent lips with an evil mind.

KE-sef SI-gim m'-Tzu-PEH al-KHA-resh, se-FA-ta-YIM dol-KIM v'-LEV ra

כגכֶּ֣סֶף סִ֭יגִים מְצֻפֶּ֣ה עַל־חָ֑רֶשׂ שְׂפָתַ֖יִם דֹּלְקִ֣ים וְלֶב־רָֽע׃

24An enemy dissembles with his speech, Inwardly he harbors deceit.

bi-sfa-TAV yi-na-KHER so-NE u-ve-kir-BO ya-SHEET mir-MAH

כדבִּ֭שְׂפָתָו יִנָּכֵ֣ר שׂוֹנֵ֑א וּ֝בְקִרְבּ֗וֹ יָשִׁ֥ית מִרְמָֽה׃

25Though he be fair-spoken do not trust him, For seven abominations are in his mind.

ki-y'-kha-NAYN ko-LO al-ta-a-MEN bo, ki SHE-va to-E-vot b'-li-BO

כהכִּֽי־יְחַנֵּ֣ן ק֭וֹלוֹ אַל־תַּאֲמֶן־בּ֑וֹ כִּ֤י שֶׁ֖בַע תּוֹעֵב֣וֹת בְּלִבּֽוֹ׃

26His hatred may be concealed by dissimulation, But his evil will be exposed to public view.

ti-KA-seh sin-AH b'-ma-SHA-on ti-GA-leh ra-A-to b'-ka-HAL

כותִּכַּסֶּ֣ה שִׂ֭נְאָה בְּמַשָּׁא֑וֹן תִּגָּלֶ֖ה רָֽעָת֣וֹ בְקָהָֽל׃

27He who digs a pit will fall in it, And whoever rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.

ko-REH sha-KHAT ba YI-pol, ve-go-LEL e-VEN e-LA-yav ta-SHU-v

כזכֹּֽרֶה־שַּׁ֭חַת בָּ֣הּ יִפּ֑וֹל וְג֥וֹלֵֽל אֶ֝֗בֶן אֵלָ֥יו תָּשֽׁוּב׃

28A lying tongue hates those crushed by it; Smooth speech throws one down.

l'-SHON she-KER yis-NAH da-KA-yav u-fe kha-LAK ya-a-SEH mid-KHEH

כחלְֽשׁוֹן־שֶׁ֭קֶר יִשְׂנָ֣א דַכָּ֑יו וּפֶ֥ה חָ֝לָ֗ק יַעֲשֶׂ֥ה מִדְחֶֽה׃