Meditation and Prayer Journey – Proverbs 26

Proverbs 26


NIV Version,  Message VersionEnglish Standard Version (see the list of related scriptures at the bottom of the ESV page), King James Version

Amplified Version

LIKE SNOW in summer and like rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a [self-confident] fool.(A)

2Like the sparrow in her wandering, like the swallow in her flying, so the causeless curse does not alight.(B)

3A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a [straight, slender] rod for the backs of [self-confident] fools.

4Answer not a [self-confident] fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.

5Answer a [self-confident] fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes and conceit.(C)

6He who sends a message by the hand of a [a]fool cuts off the feet [of satisfactory delivery] and drinks the damage.(D)

7Like the legs of a lame man which hang loose, so is a parable in the mouth of a fool.

8Like he who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honor to a [self-confident] fool.

9Like a thorn that goes [without being felt] into the hand of a drunken man, so is a proverb in the mouth of a [self-confident] fool.

10[But] like an archer who wounds all, so is he who hires a fool or chance passers-by.

11As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.

12Do you see a man wise in his own eyes and conceit? There is more hope for a [self-confident] fool than for him.(E)

13The sluggard says, There is a lion in the way! A lion is in the streets!(F)

14As the door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man [move not from his place] upon his bed.

15The slothful and self-indulgent buries his hand in his bosom; it distresses and wearies him to bring it again to his mouth.(G)

16The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes and conceit than seven men who can render a reason and answer discreetly.

17He who, passing by, stops to meddle with strife that is none of his business is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

18Like a madman who casts firebrands, arrows, and death,

19So is the man who deceives his neighbor and then says, Was I not joking?(H)

20For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention ceases.

21As coals are to hot embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man to inflame strife.(I)

22The words of a whisperer or slanderer are like dainty morsels or words of sport [to some, but to others are like deadly wounds]; and they go down into the innermost parts of the body [or of the victim’s nature].

23Burning lips [uttering insincere words of love] and a wicked heart are like an earthen vessel covered with the scum thrown off from molten silver [making it appear to be solid silver].

24He who hates pretends with his lips, but stores up deceit within himself.

25When he speaks kindly, do not trust him, for seven abominations are in his heart.

26Though his hatred covers itself with guile, his wickedness shall be shown openly before the assembly.

27Whoever digs a pit [for another man’s feet] shall fall into it himself, and he who rolls a stone [up a height to do mischief], it will return upon him.(J)

28A lying tongue hates those it wounds and crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

* NOTE: Other views expressed by those whose materials has been referenced here, do not necessarily reflect this author’s personal views.

Further Study

Proverb-A-Day: Chapter 26

Proverbs Spiritual Checkup

Proverbs 26:12

In 1984, the House of Representatives disciplined two United States congressmen for immoral behavior. The first, a conservative known for his stand against abortion-on-demand and pornography, tearfully confessed his wrongdoing and voted with his colleagues for his own censure. Many newspeople, however, continued to criticize him. They focused on his prior hypocrisy, refusing to commend him for repent­ing and turning from his immorality. The second politician, a liberal who openly favored abortion and pornography, defiantly maintained he had done nothing wrong and admitted he was a homosexual. Many newspeople who condemned the first man were far less critical of the second. Apparently they were more comfortable with an open, cal-loused attitude toward immorality than an open and genuine sorrow for sin.

This incident points out our greatest sin—the refusal to acknowl­edge our transgressions. The Lord Jesus reached down to the most despised people of His day—publicans and harlots—and forgave them when they repented. But He condemned self-righteous people and resisted all who didn’t face up to their sin. Refusing to acknowledge sin is a sure ticket to hell!

Insisting we don’t need His forgiveness is life’s greatest sin. God can forgive us no matter what we do, but we must repent and turn to Jesus. —H. V. Lugt  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Forgiveness flourishes in the soil of confession.


Proverbs 26:17-21
Stop At The Start


In the spring of 1894, the Baltimore Orioles came to Boston to play the Red Sox in what was expected to be a routine baseball game. But what happened was anything but routine. The Orioles’ John McGraw got into a fight with Boston’s third baseman. Within minutes all the players from both teams had joined in the brawl.

Soon the conflict spread to the grandstands and quickly went from bad to worse. Someone set fire to the stands and the entire ballpark burned to the ground. The fire then spread to 107 other Boston buildings.

Proverbs 26:21 reminds us that “as charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.” How difficult it is to take back angry words! A raised gun, a clenched fist, and an angry voice all have one thing in common—they are easier to lift up than to put down. Because God loves us and knows the awful danger of strife, He pleads with us not to play with it. We may think that a little conflict makes life (including sports) more interesting, but the Lord wants us to think of its devastating consequences.

Father, help us never to forget the terrible destructive power of strife. When a desire to lash out at someone wells up within us, help us stop it before it starts a “fire.” —Mart De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Fire Prevention
When have I spoken or acted in anger? What are the advantages of holding my tongue, stopping my hand, or giving a “soft answer”? (Proverbs 15:1).

The best time to stop a fight is before it starts

Multi Media

The Book of Proverbs as narrated by Max McLean – Proverbs 26

Chapter 26


Proverbs 26:6 matched very lit­er­al­ly to a clay­ma­tion

A Better Way to Live, Proverbs 26:7

A Better Way to Live Proverbs 26:12

A Better Way to Live Proverbs 26:17



STUDIES ON PROVERBS Exposition: Proverbs

Bible commentaries: Here are a few I personally use: John Darby’s SynopsisMatthew Henry’s Concise Commentary;John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes; John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

Bible Explained: An interactive commentary on the whole Bible.

My Reflections

Wise or Foolish? There are only two kinds of people, which one are you?

Personal pop out verses:

Proverbs 26:4-5
4Answer not a [self-confident] fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.

5Answer a [self-confident] fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes and conceit.(A

V 4-5
These seem to contradict each other, so I wanted to check them out.



A Christian can sometimes do the cause of God great harm if he answers a wicked man in such a way as to be like him. This confirms the wicked man’s opinion that he is no different than a Christian, except perhaps a little wiser. “Sometimes a fool, or wicked man, is not to be answered at all…and when an answer is returned, it should not be in his foolish way and manner, rendering evil for evil, and railing for railing, in the same virulent, lying, calumniating, and reproachful language,” [Gill]. Examples: 2 Kings 18:36; Mark 15:3-5. For some things silence is the best answer.


The first part of this and verse 4 are exactly the same except for the tense of “answer” and the word “not”, so that it requires spiritual discernment to know what is taught. “The Scripture-style seems to contradict itself, but really does not. Wise men have need to be directed how to deal with fools; and they have need of wisdom in dealing with such, to know when to keep silence and when to speak, for there may be a time for both,” [M. Henry]. “Regard to the difference of times and circumstances harmonizes the seeming contrariety of the two precepts…The reason added by Solomon draws the distinction. Do not answer when thy answer will make thee like the fool: answer when thy silence will give him a handle for self-conceit,” [Faussett].

Ok, so they make much more sense now. 😀


Father, thank you so much for Your love, mercy, and kindness. Thank you for showing us how to live by providing us an example through Jesus Christ. Father, thank you that You did not send Him down here just to die, but to live and teach and guide. Thank you for leaving us with the Holy Spirit to continue to guide and direct us through the hard roads laid out before us here on earth. Father, help us to not be foolish. Show us when we are foolish and what we need to do to be wise in YOUR eyes and not our own and not other’s around us. Father, let us not answer fools in their own foolish ways, but in ways that are right and wise in Your eyes. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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