December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 These also are proverbs of Solomon. The men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transmitted them.
- God has glory in what he conceals, kings have glory in what they fathom.
- As the heavens in height, and the earth in depth, the heart of kings is unfathomable.
- Remove the dross from silver, and it comes forth perfectly purified;
- Remove the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne is made firm through righteousness.
- 2 Claim no honor in the king's presence, nor occupy the place of great men;
- For it is better that you be told, "Come up closer!" than that you be humbled before the prince.
- What your eyes have seen bring not forth hastily against an opponent; For what will you do later on when your neighbor puts you to shame?
- Discuss your case with your neighbor, but another man's secret do not disclose;
- Lest, hearing it, he reproach you, and your ill repute cease not.
- Like golden apples in silver settings are words spoken at the proper time.
- Like a golden earring, or a necklace of fine gold, is a wise reprover to an obedient ear.
- Like the coolness of snow in the heat of the harvest is a faithful messenger for the one who sends him. (He refreshes the soul of his master.)
- Like clouds and wind when no rain follows is the man who boastfully promises what he never gives.
- By patience is a ruler persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.
- If you find honey, eat only what you need, lest you become glutted with it and vomit it up.
- Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he have more than enough of you, and hate you.
- Like a club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow, is the man who bears false witness against his neighbor.
- Like an infected tooth or an unsteady foot is (dependence on) a faithless man in time of trouble.
- Like a moth in clothing, or a maggot in wood, sorrow gnaws at the human heart.
- 3 If your enemy be hungry, give him food to eat, if he be thirsty, give him to drink;
- For live coals you will heap on his head, and the LORD will vindicate you.
- The north wind brings rain, and a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.
- It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop than in a roomy house with a quarrelsome woman.
- Like cool water to one faint from thirst is good news from a far country.
- Like a troubled fountain or a polluted spring is a just man who gives way before the wicked.
- 4 To eat too much honey is not good; nor to seek honor after honor.
- Like an open city with no defenses is the man with no check on his feelings.
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Footnotes1 The men of Hezekiah: literary men at the royal court of Hezekiah who are represented as transcribing the proverbs from other collections. Hezekiah was a reformer of national religious life (2 Chron 29:25-30).
2 [6-7] Compare the lesson on humility which was taught by Christ (Luke 14:7-11).
3 [21-22] Charity is invaluable in resolving enmities and restoring peace. Live coals: i.e., either remorse and embarrassment for the harm done, or increased punishment for refusing reconciliation. Cf Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:20.
4  Nor . . . honor after honor: the text is uncertain.
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