1 These are more proverbs of Solomon,
collected by the advisers of King Hezekiah of Judah.
2 It is God’s privilege to conceal things
and the king’s privilege to discover them.
3 No one can comprehend the height of heaven, the depth of the earth,
or all that goes on in the king’s mind!
4 Remove the impurities from silver,
and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith.
5 Remove the wicked from the king’s court,
and his reign will be made secure by justice.
6 Don’t demand an audience with the king
or push for a place among the great.
7 It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table
than to be sent away in public disgrace.
Just because you’ve seen something,
8 don’t be in a hurry to go to court.
For what will you do in the end
if your neighbor deals you a shameful defeat?
9 When arguing with your neighbor,
don’t betray another person’s secret.
10 Others may accuse you of gossip,
and you will never regain your good reputation.
11 Timely advice is lovely,
like golden apples in a silver basket.
12 To one who listens, valid criticism
is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.
13 Trustworthy messengers refresh like snow in summer.
They revive the spirit of their employer.
14 A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it
is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
15 Patience can persuade a prince,
and soft speech can break bones.
16 Do you like honey?
Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!
17 Don’t visit your neighbors too often,
or you will wear out your welcome.
18 Telling lies about others
is as harmful as hitting them with an ax,
wounding them with a sword,
or shooting them with a sharp arrow.
19 Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble
is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.
20 Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather
or pouring vinegar in a wound.a
21 If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat.
If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
22 You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads,
and the Lord will reward you.
23 As surely as a north wind brings rain,
so a gossiping tongue causes anger!
24 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
25 Good news from far away
is like cold water to the thirsty.
26 If the godly give in to the wicked,
it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring.
27 It’s not good to eat too much honey,
and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself.
28 A person without self-control
is like a city with broken-down walls.
a. 25:20 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads pouring vinegar on soda.