1 Just like [SIM] it is not appropriate for snow to fall in summer time, or rain to fall at harvest time,
it is not appropriate to praise/honor foolish people.
2 Like [SIM] birds that fly by and do not alight/land on anything,
if someone curses you, it cannot hurt you if you ◄do not deserve them/have not done to him what is wrong►.
3 It is necessary to whip a horse and to put a bridle on a donkey to force them to go where we want them to go,
and similarly [SIM] it is often necessary to strike foolish people with a stick to cause them to do what is right.
4 If a foolish person asks a foolish question, do not answer him,
because if you answer his question, you are just as foolish as he is.
5 If you give a foolish answer to someone who asks a foolish question,
he will realize that he is ◄not very wise/foolish►.
6 Anyone who asks a foolish person to take a message to someone
is himself doing something as foolish as cutting off his own feet
or drinking poison.
7 A lame man cannot use his legs,
and similarly [SIM] it is useless for a foolish person to speak [MTY] ◄proverbs/wise sayings►.
8 Tying a stone in a sling so that it cannot be thrown at a target
is as foolish as [SIM] honoring a foolish person.
9 If a drunk person waves some thorns/brambles with his hand,
he is not able to accomplish anything useful by doing that (OR, he does not feel it when a thorn sticks in his hand);
similarly, if foolish people speak [MTY] proverbs,
they do not help anyone who hears them.
10 A man who shoots arrows to try to wound everybody who is near is foolish;
similarly, anyone who hires a foolish person who passes by is very foolish.
11 A foolish person will foolishly do something stupid a second time;
it is like [SIM] a dog returning to eat what it has vomited.
12 God can help/bless foolish people more easily
than he can help/bless people who are not wise [RHQ], but think that they are wise.
13 Lazy people just stay inside their houses and do nothing;
they keep saying “I think there is a lion in the street!”
14 A door continually swings back and forth on its hinges and does not go anywhere;
similarly [SIM], lazy people just continually turn over in their beds and never do anything.
15 Some people are extremely lazy;
they put their hand in a dish to get some food but do not even lift the food up to their mouths.
16 Lazy people think that they are wiser than seven/several people
who can answer others’ questions with good sense.
17 Anyone who ◄meddles/involves himself► in a quarrel that does not concern him
is as foolish as [SIM] someone who tries to grab a passing dog by its ears.
18 Crazy people who shoot burning arrows to kill people
19 are as foolish as those who deceive someone else
and then say, “I was only joking.”
20 If there is no more firewood to put on the fire, the fire will go out;
similarly [SIM], if there are no people who ◄gossip/tell people things that are not true►, quarreling will end.
21 Putting charcoal on burning coals or putting wood on a fire causes the fire to keep burning;
similarly, people who like to quarrel cause people to keep arguing.
22 People enjoy listening to what gossips say about others just like [SIM] they enjoy tasty food;
they enjoy listening to what gossips tell them like they enjoy swallowing tasty food.
23 People who say nice things when they are thinking about doing evil things
are like a nice glaze/covering on a cheap clay pot.
24 Those who hate someone and are saying [MTY] something very different from what they are thinking are hypocrites;
they are only planning to harm that person.
25 When they say nice things, do not believe them,
because in their inner beings are many things that Yahweh hates.
26 They try to deceive people to cause them to think that they do not hate that person,
but in a public meeting, the people will find out the evil things that they have done.
27 Those who dig a deep pit for other people to fall into will fall into it themselves;
rocks will roll down on those who start to cause rocks to roll down to crush someone.
28 Those [MTY] who tell lies to others really hate them,
and those who deceive others ruin them.