1These also are the proverbs of Solomon that the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed:
2It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but it is the glory of kings to search out a matter.
3As to the height of the heavens and to the depth of the earth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
4Remove the dross from silver, and a vessel comes out for the refiner;
5remove the wicked person from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.
6Do not honor yourself in the presence of the king, and do not stand among great people;
7for it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” than to be placed lower in the presence of a noble. What your eyes have seen,
8do not go out to argue your dispute too hastily; otherwise, what will you do in the end when your neighbor humiliates you?
9Argue your dispute with your neighbor, but do not reveal another person’s secret,
10lest the one who hears it puts you to shame, and your bad reputation will not go away.
11Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken at the proper moment.
12Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise person reproving a listening ear.
13Like the cold of snow at the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters.a
14Like clouds and wind but no rain is a person who boasts of a gift never given.
15With patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break someone’s strength.
16Did you find some honey? Eat just enough for you, lest you have too much of it and then vomit it up.
17Let your foot visit your neighbor’s house sparingly, lest he have too much of you and hate you.
18Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is a person bearing false witness against his neighbor.
19Like a bad tooth or a foot that slips is confidence in a person who acts unfaithfully in a time of distress.
20Like one who removes clothing on a cold day, or vinegar upon a wound, is one who sings a song to a heavy heart.
21If the one who hates you is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22for you will heap burning coals upon his head, and Yahweh will reward you.
23The north wind brings rain, and a tongue telling secrets brings an angry face.
24It is better to sit on the corner of a rooftop than in a house with a contentious wife.
25As cold water is to a weary soul, so is a good report from a distant land.
26Like a spring that has been trampled in and like a ruined fountain is a righteous person who wavers in the presence of a wicked person.
27It is not good to eat much honey, nor for people to seek glory after glory.
28Like a city broken into, one without a wall, is a person who has no self-control over his emotions.