Chapter 26

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

2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.

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

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

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

7 The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

8 As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.

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

10 The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

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

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

13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.

15 The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

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

18 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,

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

20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

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

22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

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

26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

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

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

Commentary for Proverbs 26

1 Honour is out of season to those unworthy and unfit for it. 2|. He that is cursed without cause, the curse shall do him no more harm than the bird that flies over his head. #3|. Every creature must be dealt with according to its nature, but careless and profligate sinners never will be ruled by reason and persuasion. Man indeed is born like the wild ass's colt; but some, by the grace of God, are changed. #4,5|. We are to fit our remarks to the man, and address them to his conscience, so as may best end the debate. #6-9|. Fools are not fit to be trusted, nor to have any honour. Wise sayings, as a foolish man delivers and applies them, lose their usefulness. #10|. This verse may either declare how the Lord, the Creator of all men, will deal with sinners according to their guilt, or, how the powerful among men should disgrace and punish the wicked. #11|. The dog is a loathsome emblem of those sinners who return to their vices, #2Pe 2:22|. #12|. We see many a one who has some little sense, but is proud of it. This describes those who think their spiritual state to be good, when really it is very bad. #13|. The slothful man hates every thing that requires care and labour. But it is foolish to frighten ourselves from real duties by fancied difficulties. This may be applied to a man slothful in the duties of religion. #14|. Having seen the slothful man in fear of his work, here we find him in love with his ease. Bodily ease is the sad occasion of many spiritual diseases. He does not care to get forward with his business. Slothful professors turn thus. The world and the flesh are hinges on which they are hung; and though they move in a course of outward services, yet they are not the nearer to heaven. #15|. The sluggard is now out of his bed, but he might have lain there, for any thing he is likely to bring to pass in his work. It is common for men who will not do their duty, to pretend they cannot. Those that are slothful in religion, will not be at the pains to feed their souls with the bread of life, nor to fetch in promised blessings by prayer. #16|. He that takes pains in religion, knows he is working for a good Master, and that his labour shall not be in vain. #17|. To make ourselves busy in other men's matters, is to thrust ourselves into temptation. #18,19|. He that sins in jest, must repent in earnest, or his sin will be his ruin. #20-22|. Contention heats the spirit, and puts families and societies into a flame. And that fire is commonly kindled and kept burning by whisperers and backbiters. #23|. A wicked heart disguising itself, is like a potsherd covered with the dross of silver. 24-26|. Always distrust when a man speaks fair unless you know him well. Satan, in his temptations, speaks fair, as he did to Eve; but it is madness to give credit to him. #27|. What pains men take to do mischief to others! but it is digging a pit, it is rolling a stone, hard work; and they prepare mischief to themselves. #28|. There are two sorts of lies equally detestable. A slandering lie, the mischief of this every body sees. A flattering lie, which secretly works ruin. A wise man will be more afraid of a flatterer than of a slanderer.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Proverbs 26

  • Justme
    Pray for me that sounds like me my habit.
  • Ernesto Diaz
    One thing says the market owner but another says the butcher. God says one thing but we interpret another. Please do not compare a human being to a dog. We are to live for ever in Jesus dogs live and then die to never come back to life.
  • BSP
    A dog going back to its vomit is something disgusting and we can't imagine how they could even do that. Fools returning to their stupidity are likened to these dogs.
  • Jerry
    "Only the dead sin not." Paul said Romans 7:18, "...In my flesh dwelleth not good thing." Thank God there is a resurrection, and a new body coming one day! Yes, the flesh loves to sin, but we must control our fleshly appetites! It is a choice, a daily choice that must be made.
  • James walker
    The process of spiritual growth is journey that is a daily war fare of the flesh vs the spirit the decision to do the basic elements of the Faith study and meditate on the word with application prayer and praise with fellowship of likeminded people then only will we walk in the fullness of life and peace we must have a spiritual. Mind that comes through a thirst and a hunger for the things of Ya
  • Wanda Anderson
    I think every one has been in the same situation , Tara. Of repeating the same sin, but the scriptures 1 John 1: 9 says If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Keep coming to him, our Saviour and confessing till its gone.

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Bible Trivia

Getting involved in an argument that doesn't concern you is like:
  • Running in the dark
  • Taking a dog by the ears
  • Sticking your hand in fire
  • Mocking a lion