26:1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.
26:2 Like a fluttering bird or like a flying swallow,
so a curse without cause does not come to rest.
26:3 A whip for the horse and a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the backs of fools!
26:4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
lest you yourself also be like him.
26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own estimation.
26:6 Like cutting off the feet or drinking violence,
so is sending a message by the hand of a fool.
26:7 Like legs that hang limp from the lame,
so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
26:8 Like tying a stone in a sling,
so is giving honor to a fool.
26:9 Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard,
so is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
26:10 Like an archer who wounds at random,
so is the one who hires a fool or hires any passer-by.
26:11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly.
26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
26:13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion in the streets!”
26:14 Like a door that turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed.
26:15 The sluggard plunges his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own estimation
than seven people who respond with good sense.
26:17 Like one who grabs a wild dog by the ears,
so is the person passing by who becomes furious over a quarrel not his own.
26:18 Like a madman who shoots
firebrands and deadly arrows,
26:19 so is a person who deceives his neighbor,
and says, “Was I not only joking?”
‘Verses 18–19 could be taken to condemn any kind of antics (such as modern practical jokes played on a groom on his wedding day). While practical jokes can be destructive and hurtful, the larger context here implies that such may not be precisely the nature of the deceit implied here. Rather, this is a person who enjoys gossiping about or tampering with the affairs of other people. Such a person will purposefully confuse others and engage in a kind of social disinformation. When called to account, he or she will treat the whole thing as a game and be oblivious to all the hurt such actions created.’ (Garret)