Proverbs 26: Wise Sayings

What is wrong with honoring a fool? How can a fool earn honors?

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Proverbs 26:1 Honor suits a fool as much as snow in the summer or rain when dry times are needed for harvest.
Proverbs 26:8 Honoring a fool is like tying the stone so it can’t be thrown from the sling.
King James
Proverbs 26:1 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.
Proverbs 26:8 As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.

Many employees think they are overworked and underpaid. Why might they be getting what they deserve? Why might they not be?

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Proverbs 26:2 An undeserved curse falling upon you is as likely as a bird in midflight stopping to rest on your shoulder.
King James
Proverbs 26:2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

How can people be convinced against their will?

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Proverbs 26:3 Drive a horse forward with a whip, guide a donkey with a bridle, and with strong discipline lead the fool to do right.
King James
Proverbs 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.

How should we respond to foolish questions?

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Proverbs 26:4–5 Responding to fools with foolish answers will make you a fool as well.
Answer fools with agreement, and they will become wise in their own eyes.
King James
Proverbs 26:4–5 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

What kind of message is a fool likely to communicate? Why?

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Proverbs 26:6–7 Trusting a fool to communicate a message correctly is like cutting off your feet or drinking poison.
A fool’s proverb is like a lame man whose legs aren’t right.
Proverbs 26:9 A fool’s proverb is like a thorny branch being waved by a drunkard.
King James
Proverbs 26:6–7 He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage. The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
Proverbs 26:9 As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

How can the qualifications of prospects be determined prior to their becoming employees?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 26:10 Hiring a fool or someone passing by is like an archer aiming just anywhere.
King James
Proverbs 26:10 The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

What do repeated mistakes say about the people who commit them?

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Proverbs 26:11 Fools repeating their mistakes are like a dog returning to its vomit.
King James
Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

How can we make ourselves aware of all the things we don’t know?

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Proverbs 26:12 Those who think they know everything are worse than a fool.
King James
Proverbs 26:12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

Why do lazy people have a fear of work?

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Proverbs 26:13–15 Lazy people say, “It’s too dangerous to venture out. There’s a lion roaming the streets.”
As a door turns on its hinges, so do lazy people turn on their beds.
Lazy people will rub their stomachs in hunger but won’t lift a hand to feed themselves.
King James
Proverbs 26:13–15 he slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets. As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed. The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

What keeps lazy people from heeding good advice?

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Proverbs 26:16 Lazy people think they’re smarter than seven counselors who say they should work.
King James
Proverbs 26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

Under what kind of circumstance should we get involved in someone else’s dispute? What’s the best approach?

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Proverbs 26:17 Intervening in someone else’s dispute is like grabbing a mad dog by the ears.
King James
Proverbs 26:17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

When our words cause people to react different from what we expected, what should we do?

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Proverbs 26:18 Like a crazy person shooting fiery arrows, causing death,
King James
Proverbs 26:18 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,

What is the danger of kidding when we’re serious or vice-versa?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 26:18–19 Like a crazy person shooting fiery arrows, causing death, so are people who mislead their neighbors and then say, “I was only joking.”
King James
Proverbs 26:18–19 As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

What are the best ways to diffuse an argument? Why might silence be a bad idea?

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Proverbs 26:20–21 Like the absence of fuel causes the fire to go out, quarreling must end when people quit arguing their positions.
Contentious people stir up strife like wood, when added to hot coals, will burst into flames.
King James
Proverbs 26:20–21 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

Why do words sometimes cut like a dagger?

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Proverbs 26:22 Slanderous words cut deep wounds, sending sharp pain to the core of one’s being.
King James
Proverbs 26:22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Should we always be open and honest? Why? What problems might that cause? How might that be a benefit?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 26:23–24 Smooth talk covers a wicked heart like silver paint on a clay pot.
With pleasant talk, people conceal their hatred, deceiving others.
King James
Proverbs 26:23–24 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

How well can we trust what people say? Why?

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Proverbs 26:25 When seven abominations lurk in people’s hearts while they speak kind words, you can’t trust what they say.
King James
Proverbs 26:25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

What are the benefits and liabilities of concealing our feelings?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 26:26 Hatred may be concealed for a while, but the deception and wrongdoing will eventually become known.
King James
Proverbs 26:26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

How can trappers be caught in their own devices? Can’t they recognize the danger? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 26:27 People fall into their own traps. Boulders intended to roll onto someone else will wind up crushing them.
King James
Proverbs 26:27 Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

How does lying differ from flattery? Which is worse? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Proverbs 26:28 Liars reveal their hatred to those they injure, and flattery is destructive.
King James
Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.