Proverbs 26
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1  As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.

א  כַּשֶּׁלֶג בַּקַּיִץ וְכַמָּטָר בַּקָּצִיר כֵּן לֹא נָאוֶה לִכְסִיל כָּבוֹד.

2  As the wandering sparrow, as the flying swallow, so the curse that is causeless shall come home.

ב  כַּצִּפּוֹר לָנוּד כַּדְּרוֹר לָעוּף כֵּן קִלְלַת חִנָּם לא (לוֹ) תָבֹא.

3  A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the back of fools.

ג  שׁוֹט לַסּוּס מֶתֶג לַחֲמוֹר וְשֵׁבֶט לְגֵו כְּסִילִים.

4  Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

ד  אַל תַּעַן כְּסִיל כְּאִוַּלְתּוֹ פֶּן תִּשְׁוֶה לּוֹ גַם אָתָּה.

5  Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

ה  עֲנֵה כְסִיל כְּאִוַּלְתּוֹ פֶּן יִהְיֶה חָכָם בְּעֵינָיו.

6  He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off his own feet, and drinketh damage.

ו  מְקַצֶּה רַגְלַיִם חָמָס שֹׁתֶה שֹׁלֵחַ דְּבָרִים בְּיַד כְּסִיל.

7  The legs hang limp from the lame; so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

ז  דַּלְיוּ שֹׁקַיִם מִפִּסֵּחַ וּמָשָׁל בְּפִי כְסִילִים.

8  As a small stone in a heap of stones, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.

ח  כִּצְרוֹר אֶבֶן בְּמַרְגֵּמָה כֵּן נוֹתֵן לִכְסִיל כָּבוֹד.

9  As a thorn that cometh into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

ט  חוֹחַ עָלָה בְיַד שִׁכּוֹר וּמָשָׁל בְּפִי כְסִילִים.

10  A master performeth all things; but he that stoppeth a fool is as one that stoppeth a flood.

י  רַב מְחוֹלֵל כֹּל וְשֹׂכֵר כְּסִיל וְשֹׂכֵר עֹבְרִים.

11  As a dog that returneth to his vomit, so is a fool that repeateth his folly.

יא  כְּכֶלֶב שָׁב עַל קֵאוֹ כְּסִיל שׁוֹנֶה בְאִוַּלְתּוֹ.

12  Seest thou a man wise in his own eyes? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

יב  רָאִיתָ אִישׁ חָכָם בְּעֵינָיו תִּקְוָה לִכְסִיל מִמֶּנּוּ.

13  The sluggard saith: ‘There is a lion in the way; yea, a lion is in the streets.’

יג  אָמַר עָצֵל שַׁחַל בַּדָּרֶךְ אֲרִי בֵּין הָרְחֹבוֹת.

14  The door is turning upon its hinges, and the sluggard is still upon his bed.

יד  הַדֶּלֶת תִּסּוֹב עַל צִירָהּ וְעָצֵל עַל מִטָּתוֹ.

15  The sluggard burieth his hand in the dish; it wearieth him to bring it back to his mouth.

טו  טָמַן עָצֵל יָדוֹ בַּצַּלָּחַת נִלְאָה לַהֲשִׁיבָהּ אֶל פִּיו.

16  The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men that give wise answer.

טז  חָכָם עָצֵל בְּעֵינָיו מִשִּׁבְעָה מְשִׁיבֵי טָעַם.

17  He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife not his own, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

יז  מַחֲזִיק בְּאָזְנֵי כָלֶב עֹבֵר מִתְעַבֵּר עַל רִיב לֹּא לוֹ.

18  As a madman who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death;

יח  כְּמִתְלַהְלֵהַּ הַיֹּרֶה זִקִּים חִצִּים וָמָוֶת.

19  So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith: ‘Am not I in sport?’

יט  כֵּן אִישׁ רִמָּה אֶת רֵעֵהוּ וְאָמַר הֲלֹא מְשַׂחֵק אָנִי.

20  Where no wood is, the fire goeth out; and where there is no whisperer, contention ceaseth.

b’-E-fes ay-TZEEM tikh-BEH aysh uv-AYN nir-GAN yish-TOK ma-DON.

כ  בְּאֶפֶס עֵצִים תִּכְבֶּה אֵשׁ וּבְאֵין נִרְגָּן יִשְׁתֹּק מָדוֹן.

26:20   Where there is no whisperer, contention ceaseth

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 fight will end naturally if the parties involved are not egged on by gossip. The Torah warns against using ones speech to speak about others: “thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people” (Leviticus 19:16). The power of speech is so great, and potentially dangerous, that, according to the Sages, 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 badly about the Land of Israel, which delayed entry into the Holy Land and caused the nation of Israel to wander in the desert for 40 years.

Comment

21  As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

כא  פֶּחָם לְגֶחָלִים וְעֵצִים לְאֵשׁ וְאִישׁ מדונים (מִדְיָנִים) לְחַרְחַר רִיב.

22  The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

כב  דִּבְרֵי נִרְגָּן כְּמִתְלַהֲמִים וְהֵם יָרְדוּ חַדְרֵי בָטֶן.

23  Burning lips and a wicked heart are like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross.

כג  כֶּסֶף סִיגִים מְצֻפֶּה עַל חָרֶשׂ שְׂפָתַיִם דֹּלְקִים וְלֶב רָע.

24  He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, but he layeth up deceit within him.

כד  בִּשְׂפָתָו יִנָּכֵר שׂוֹנֵא וּבְקִרְבּוֹ יָשִׁית מִרְמָה.

25  When he speaketh fair, believe him not; for there are seven abominations in his heart.

כה  כִּי יְחַנֵּן קוֹלוֹ אַל תַּאֲמֶן בּוֹ כִּי שֶׁבַע תּוֹעֵבוֹת בְּלִבּוֹ.

26  Though his hatred be concealed with deceit, his wickedness shall be revealed before the congregation.

כו  תִּכַּסֶּה שִׂנְאָה בְּמַשָּׁאוֹן תִּגָּלֶה רָעָתוֹ בְקָהָל.

27  Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein; and he that rolleth a stone, it shall return upon him.

כז  כֹּרֶה שַּׁחַת בָּהּ יִפּוֹל וְגוֹלֵל אֶבֶן אֵלָיו תָּשׁוּב.

28  A lying tongue hateth those that are crushed by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

כח  לְשׁוֹן שֶׁקֶר יִשְׂנָא דַכָּיו וּפֶה חָלָק יַעֲשֶׂה מִדְחֶה.

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Proverbs 25
Proverbs 27

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Proverbs 26