A selection from the Book of Proverbs
I've grouped these as best I can...
Wisdom and foolishness
The primary characteristic of the fool seems to be that he will not
learn, so this gets a subsection of its own.
- [9:6] Leave the company of ignorant people, and live.
- [13:20] Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined.
- [14:9] Foolish people don't care if they sin, but good people want to be forgiven.
- [15:14] Intelligent people want to learn, but stupid people are satisfied with ignorance.
- [16:21] A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.
- [26:12] The most stupid fool is better off than someone who thinks he is wise when he is not.
- [27:12] Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.
- [7:4] Treat wisdom as your sister, and insight as your closest friend.
- [31:6] Alcohol is for people who are dying, for those who are in misery.  Let them drink and forget their poverty and unhappiness.
- [17:12] It is better to meet a mother bear robbed of her cubs than to meet some fool busy with a stupid project.
- [26:4] If you answer a silly question, you are just as silly as the person who asked it.
- [26:7] A fool can use a proverb about as well as a crippled man can use his legs.
- [26:11] A fool doing some stupid thing a second time is like a dog going back to its vomit.
Haste and deliberation
- [12:16] When a fool is annoyed, he quickly lets it be known. Sensible people will ignore an insult.
- [13:16] Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance.
- [14:16] Wise people are careful to stay out of trouble, but stupid people are careless and act too quickly.
- [15:28] Good people think before they answer. Evil people have a quick reply, and it causes trouble.
- [29:20] There is more hope for a stupid fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.
Correcting the wise and the foolish
- [9:8] Never correct a conceited man; he will hate you for it. But if you correct a wise man, he will respect you.
- [10:17] People who listen when they are corrected will live, but those who will not admit that they are wrong are in danger.
- [12:15] Stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice.
- [13:24] If you don't punish your son, you don't love him. If you do love him, you will correct him.
- [16:22] Wisdom is a fountain of life to the wise, but trying to educate stupid people is a waste of time.
- [25:12] A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable than gold rings or jewellery made of the finest gold.
- [27:5] Better to correct someone openly than to let him think you don't care for him at all.
- [27:17] People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron.
- [27:22] Even if you beat a fool until he's half dead, you still can't beat his foolishness out of him.
Calm and anger
- [10:12] Hate stirs up trouble, but love overlooks all offences.
- [14:17] People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm.
- [14:29] If you stay calm, you are wise, but if you have a hot temper, you only show how stupid you are.
- [15:18] Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.
- [27:4] Anger is cruel and destructive, but it is nothing compared to jealousy.
- [29:22] People with quick tempers cause a lot of quarrelling and trouble.
The good and the wicked
- [4:16] Wicked people cannot sleep unless they have done something wrong. They lie awake unless they have hurt someone.
- [11:7] When a wicked man dies, his hope dies with him. Confidence placed in riches comes to nothing.
- [13:23] Unused fields could yield plenty of food for the poor, but unjust men keep them from being farmed. (I think this describes
the Common Agricultural Policy, grain mountains, etc!)
- [16:30] Watch out for people who grin and wink at you; they have thought of something evil.
- [28:1] The wicked run when no one is chasing them, but an honest person is as brave as a lion.
- [28:5] If you have no regard for the law, you are on the side of the wicked; but if you obey it, you are against them.
- [29:27] The righteous hate the wicked, and the wicked hate the righteous.
Good and bad speech
- [10:32] Righteous people know the kind thing to say, but the wicked are always saying things that hurt.
- [11:12] It is foolish to speak scornfully of others. If you are sensible, you will keep quiet.
- [12:18] Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal.
- [15:23] What a joy it is to find just the right word for the right occasion!
- [16:28] Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.
- [17:14] The start of an argument is like the first break in a dam; stop it before it goes any further.
- [20:3] Any fool can start arguments; the honourable thing is to stay out of them.
- [25:11] An idea well-expressed is like a design of gold, set in silver.
- [26:2] Curses cannot hurt you unless you deserve them. They are like birds that fly by and never settle.
- [26:17] Getting involved in an argument that is none of your business is like going down the street and grabbing a dog by the ears.
Truth and lies
- [10:10] Someone who holds back the truth causes trouble, but one who openly criticizes works for peace.
- [4:23] Be careful of how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.
- [12:25] Worry can rob you of happiness, but kind words will cheer you up.
- [14:10] Your joy is your own; your bitterness is your own. No one can share them with you.
- [14:13] Laughter may hide sadness. When happiness is gone, sorrow is always there.
- [17:22] Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.
- [27:21] Fire tests gold and silver -- a person's reputation can also be tested.
- [14:12] What you think is the right road may lead to death.
- [15:22] Get all the advice you can, and you will succeed; without it, you will fail.
- [17:17] Friends always show their love. What are brothers for if not to share trouble?
- [27:6] A friend means well, even when he hurts you. But when an enemy puts his arm round your shoulder -- watch out!
Pride and humility
- [16:18] Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall.
- [27:20] Human desires are like the world of the dead --- there is always room for more.
- [29:25] It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.
Rich and poor values
- [12:9] It is better to be an ordinary man working for a living than to play the part of a great man but go hungry.
- [15:17] Better to eat vegetables with people you love than to eat the finest meat where there is hate.
The industrious and the lazy
- [3:28] Never tell your neighbour to wait until tomorrow if you can help him now.
- [6:9] How long is the lazy man going to lie in bed? When is he ever going to get up?  "I'll just take a short nap" he says; "I'll fold my hands and rest a while."  But while he sleeps, poverty will attack him like an armed robber.
- [12:11] A hard-working farmer has plenty to eat, but it is stupid to waste time on useless projects.
- [12:24] Hard work will give you power; being lazy will make you a slave.
- [13:4] No matter how much a lazy person wants something, he will never get it. A hard worker will get everything he wants.
- [13:11] The more easily you get your wealth, the sooner you will lose it. The harder it is to earn, the more you will have.
- [14:23] Work and you will earn a living; if you sit around talking you will be poor.
- [16:24] Some people are too lazy to put food into their mouths.
John C. G. Sturdy
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Last modified: Thu Jun 21 11:31:20 GMT Daylight Time 2007