25 These too are proverbs of Solomon,
which the men of King Hezekiah of Judah copied.
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter
and the glory of kings to investigate a matter.
3 As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
so the hearts of kings cannot be investigated.
4 Remove impurities from silver,
and material will be produced[a] for a silversmith.[b]
5 Remove the wicked from the king’s presence,
and his throne will be established in righteousness.
6 Don’t boast about yourself before the king,
and don’t stand in the place of the great;
7 for it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here!”
than to demote you in plain view of a noble.[c]
8 Don’t take a matter to court hastily.
Otherwise, what will you do afterward
if your opponent[d] humiliates you?
9 Make your case with your opponent
without revealing another’s secret;
10 otherwise, the one who hears will disgrace you,
and you’ll never live it down.[e]
11 A word spoken at the right time
is like gold apples in silver settings.
12 A wise correction to a receptive ear
is like a gold ring or an ornament of gold.
13 To those who send him, a trustworthy envoy
is like the coolness of snow on a harvest day;
he refreshes the life of his masters.
14 The one who boasts about a gift that does not exist
is like clouds and wind without rain.
15 A ruler can be persuaded through patience,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
16 If you find honey, eat only what you need;
otherwise, you’ll get sick from it and vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house;
otherwise, he’ll get sick of you and hate you.
18 A person giving false testimony against his neighbor
is like a club, a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19 Trusting an unreliable person in a difficult time
is like a rotten tooth or a faltering foot.
20 Singing songs to a troubled heart
is like taking off clothing on a cold day
or like pouring vinegar on soda.[f]
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat,
and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22 for you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.
23 The north wind produces rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24 Better to live on the corner of a roof
than to share a house with a nagging wife.
25 Good news from a distant land
is like cold water to a parched throat.[g]
26 A righteous person who yields to the wicked
is like a muddied spring or a polluted well.
27 It is not good to eat too much honey
or to seek glory after glory.[h]
28 A person who does not control his temper
is like a city whose wall is broken down.
26 Like snow in summer and rain at harvest,
honor is inappropriate for a fool.
2 Like a flitting sparrow or a fluttering swallow,
an undeserved curse goes nowhere.
3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools.
4 Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness
or you’ll be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his foolishness
or he’ll become wise in his own eyes.
6 The one who sends a message by a fool’s hand
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7 A proverb in the mouth of a fool
is like lame legs that hang limp.
8 Giving honor to a fool
is like binding a stone in a sling.
9 A proverb in the mouth of a fool
is like a stick with thorns,
brandished by[i] the hand of a drunkard.
10 The one who hires a fool or who hires those passing by
is like an archer who wounds everyone indiscriminately.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so also a fool repeats his foolishness.
12 Do you see a person who is wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13 The slacker says, “There’s a lion in the road—
a lion in the public square!”
14 A door turns on its hinges,
and a slacker, on his bed.
15 The slacker buries his hand in the bowl;
he is too weary to bring it to his mouth!
16 In his own eyes, a slacker is wiser
than seven who can answer sensibly.
17 A person who is passing by and meddles in a quarrel that’s not his
is like one who grabs a dog by the ears.
18 Like a madman who throws flaming darts and deadly arrows,
19 so is the person who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”
20 Without wood, fire goes out;
without a gossip, conflict dies down.
21 As charcoal for embers and wood for fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 A gossip’s words are like choice food
that goes down to one’s innermost being.[j]
23 Smooth[k] lips with an evil heart
are like glaze on an earthen vessel.
24 A hateful person disguises himself with his speech
and harbors deceit within.
25 When he speaks graciously, don’t believe him,
for there are seven detestable things in his heart.
26 Though his hatred is concealed by deception,
his evil will be revealed in the assembly.
27 The one who digs a pit will fall into it,
and whoever rolls a stone—
it will come back on him.
28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes,
and a flattering mouth causes ruin.
27 Don’t boast about tomorrow,
for you don’t know what a day might bring.
2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—
a stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy, and sand a burden,
but aggravation from a fool outweighs them both.
4 Fury is cruel, and anger a flood,
but who can withstand jealousy?
5 Better an open reprimand
than concealed love.
6 The wounds of a friend are trustworthy,
but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.
7 A person who is full tramples on a honeycomb,
but to a hungry person, any bitter thing is sweet.
8 Anyone wandering from his home
is like a bird wandering from its nest.
9 Oil and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel.[l]
10 Don’t abandon your friend or your father’s friend,
and don’t go to your brother’s house
in your time of calamity;
better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.
11 Be wise, my son, and bring my heart joy,
so that I can answer anyone who taunts me.
12 A sensible person sees danger and takes cover;
the inexperienced keep going and are punished.
13 Take his garment,
for he has put up security for a stranger;
get collateral if it is for foreigners.[m]
14 If one blesses his neighbor
with a loud voice early in the morning,
it will be counted as a curse to him.
15 An endless dripping on a rainy day
and a nagging wife are alike;
16 the one who controls her controls the wind
and grasps oil with his right hand.
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one person sharpens another.[n]
18 Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and whoever looks after his master will be honored.
19 As water reflects the face,
so the heart reflects the person.
20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and people’s eyes are never satisfied.
21 As a crucible refines silver,
and a smelter refines gold,
so a person should refine his praise.
22 Though you grind a fool
in a mortar with a pestle along with grain,
you will not separate his foolishness from him.
23 Know well the condition of your flock,
and pay attention to your herds,
24 for wealth is not forever;
not even a crown lasts for all time.
25 When hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grain from the hills is gathered in,
26 lambs will provide your clothing,
and goats, the price of a field;
27 there will be enough goat’s milk for your food—
food for your household
and nourishment for your female servants.
Look at this verse with me. 17 Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another. This verse deals with discipleship. There is no such thing as a lone ranger Christian. As Christ followers we need each other. We need to be in community. If you are a follower of Christ it is our responsibility to live in community with other believers. This doesn’t mean Sunday church attendance but has a much deeper meaning. If you aren’t in a Christian community that can help disciple and sharpen you in your spiritual life, you need to find that small group of people who can help you.