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CHAPTER 26 Apr. 16 
The Folly of Fools 
Like snow in summer and as rain in harvest, so honour is not fitting for a fool. 2Like a fluttering sparrow, like a darting swallow, so the undeserved curse doesn’t come to rest. 3A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools! 4Don’t answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. 5Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. 6One who sends a message by the hand of a fool is cutting off his own feet and drinking violence. 7Like the legs of the lame that hang loose: so is a parable in the mouth of fools. 8As one who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honour to a fool. 9Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunk person, so is a parable in the mouth of fools. 10As an archer who wounds all, so is he who hires a fool or he who hires those who pass by. 11As a dog that returns to his vomit, so is a fool who repeats his folly. 12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 13The lazy person says, There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion roams the streets! 14As the door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy one on his bed. 15The lazy one buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.

The Power of Bad Words
16The lazy one is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer with discretion. 17Like one who grabs a dog’s ears is one who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own. 18Like a madman who shoots burning torches, arrows, and death, 19so is the man who deceives his neighbour and says, Am I not joking? 20For lack of wood a fire goes out; without gossip, a quarrel dies down. 21As coals are to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindling strife. 22The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels, they go down into the innermost parts. 23Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are smooth words with an evil heart. 24A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but he harbours evil in his heart. 25When his speech is charming, don’t believe him; for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. 27Whoever digs a pit shall fall into it; whoever rolls a stone, it will come back on him. 28A lying tongue hates those it hurts; and a flattering mouth works ruin.


26:4,5 These verses don’t contradict, rather the intention is to teach us that we must treat people in different ways at different times; sometimes we should say something, others we should remain silent. It is wisdom which teaches us. It’s too simplistic to respond to people the same way every time.
26:11 This verse is applied in 2 Pet. 2:22 to baptized Christian believers who return to their old way of life. The implication is that at our conversion we as it were vomited up our old way of life; to return to it is as vile as a dog returning to its own vomit.
26:13 Laziness is often justified as caution.
26:16 Just assuming that we are right and refusing to be self-critical, allowing discretion or wisdom to teach us, is a form of laziness. 
26:22 We all naturally like to hear gossip, we find it tasty; let’s not deceive ourselves that actually, we aren’t like that; we are, and must make conscious effort not to listen to it.
26:26 Exposed in the assembly- Yet the wicked prosper in this life, and often go to their graves without their deceitful words having been revealed. Yet they shall be exposed “in the assembly”. There is a theme in Bible teaching about the day of judgment, that our individual judgment will somehow be visible to all (Lk. 12:1-3; Rev. 16:15). All our secret words, thoughts and real intentions will then be made public to all; there’s therefore no point to be hypocritical in this life, thinking we have cleverly hidden our real positions and feelings, because ultimately all will be public knowledge to everyone for eternity.