Proverbs 25–26

1 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing,

but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.

3 As the heaven for height, and the earth for depth,

so the heart of kings is unsearchable.

4 Take away the dross from the silver,

and there will come forth a vessel for the refiner.

5 Take away the wicked from before the king,

and his throne will be established in righteousness.

6 Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king,

and do not stand in the place of great men;

7 for it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,”

than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince,

whom your eyes have seen.

8 Do not go forth hastily to strive;

lest you do not know what to do in the end,

when your neighbor has put you to shame.

9 Debate your cause with your neighbor himself,

and do not disclose a secret to another;

10 lest he who hears it put you to shame,

and your reputation be ruined.

11 A word fitly spoken

is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

12 As an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold,

so is a wise reprover to an obedient ear.

13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest,

so is a faithful messenger to those who send him,

for he refreshes the soul of his masters.

14 Whoever boasts himself of a false gift

is like clouds and wind without rain.

15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded,

and a soft tongue breaks the bone.

16 Have you found honey? Eat only as much as is sufficient for you,

lest you be filled with it and vomit it.

17 Withdraw your foot from your neighbor’s house,

lest he be weary of you and so hate you.

18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor

is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble

is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint.

20 As he who takes away a garment in cold weather,

and as vinegar on soda,

so is he who sings songs to a heavy heart.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;

and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;

22 for you will heap coals of fire upon his head,

and the Lord will reward you.

23 The north wind brings rain,

and a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.

24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop

than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul,

so is good news from a far country.

26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked

is as a troubled fountain and a corrupt spring.

27 It is not good to eat much honey;

so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

28 He who has no rule over his own spirit

is like a city that is broken down and without walls.

Chapter 26

1 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest,

so honor is not seemly for a fool.

2 As the bird by flitting, as the swallow by flying,

so the curse without cause will not alight.

3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,

and a rod for the fool’s back.

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,

lest you also be like unto him.

5 Answer a fool according to his folly,

lest he be wise in his own conceit.

6 He who sends a message by the hand of a fool

cuts off the feet and drinks violence.

7 The legs of the lame are not equal;

so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

8 As he who binds a stone in a sling,

so is he who gives honor to a fool.

9 As a thorn goes into the hand of a drunkard,

so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

10 The great God who formed all things

rewards the fool and rewards the transgressor.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit,

so a fool returns to his folly.

12 Do you see a man wise in his own conceit?

There is more hope for a fool than for him.

13 The slothful man says, “There is a lion in the way!

A lion is in the streets!”

14 As the door turns upon his hinges,

so does the slothful upon his bed.

15 The slothful buries his hand in his bowl;

it grieves him to bring it again to his mouth.

16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit

than seven men who can answer reasonably.

17 He who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him

is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

18 As a madman who casts

firebrands, arrows, and death,

19 so is the man who deceives his neighbor,

and says, “I was only joking.”

20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;

so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.

21 As charcoal is 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 go down into the innermost parts of the body.

23 Burning lips and a wicked heart

are like earthenware covered with silver dross.

24 He who hates dissembles with his lips,

and lays up deceit within him;

25 when he speaks kindly, do not believe him,

for there are seven abominations in his heart;

26 though his hatred is covered by deceit,

his wickedness will be shown before the whole congregation.

27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,

and he who rolls a stone, it will return upon him.

28 A lying tongue hates those who are afflicted by it,

and a flattering mouth works ruin.

2 Corinthians 9

1 It is redundant for me to write to you concerning the ministry to the saints. 2 I know your willingness, for which I boast of you to those in Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago, and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 Yet I have sent the brothers, lest our boasting of you might be in vain in this case, that, as I said, you may be ready; 4 and lest if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you) should be ashamed of this confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brothers to go ahead to you and arrange beforehand your bountiful gift you previously promised, that it might be prepared as a gift, not as a matter of greed.

6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Let every man give according to the purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you, always having enough of everything, may abound to every good work. 9 As it is written:

“He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor;

His righteousness remains forever.”

10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and supplies bread for your food will also multiply your seed sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness. 11 So you will be enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which makes us give thanks to God.

12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the need of the saints, but is abundant also through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Meanwhile, through the performance of this ministry, they glorify God for the profession of your faith in the gospel of Christ and for your liberal sharing with them and with all others. 14 And in their prayer for you, they long for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.