1These are more proverbs of Solomon, collected by the scribes of Hezekiah, king of Judah.
2God's greatness is in doing things that can't be known, while the greatness of kings is in revealing things.
3Just as the height of the heavens or the depth of the earth can't be known, the king's thinking can't be known.
4Remove the waste from the silver, and the silversmith has pure silver to work with.
5Remove the wicked from the king's presence and the king will rule securely and justly.
6Don't try to make yourself look great before the king, and don't pretend to be among the important people,
7for it's better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be humiliated before a nobleman. Even though you've seen something with your own eyes,
8don't rush to take legal action, for what are you going to do in the end when your neighbor shows you're wrong and humiliates you?
9Discuss the case with your neighbor himself, and don't betray someone else's secret,
10otherwise whoever hears it will make you ashamed and you'll never lose your bad reputation.
11Advice given at the right time is like golden apples set in silver.
12Constructive criticism from the wise to someone who listens is like a gold ring and a necklace of fine gold.
13Faithful messengers are as refreshing to their master as cold snow on a hot harvest day.
14Someone who boasts about a gift they never give is like cloud and wind without rain.
15If you're patient you can persuade your superior, and soft words can break down opposition.
16If you find honey, eat just enough, for if you eat too much, you'll be sick.
17Don't set foot in your neighbors' homes too often, otherwise they'll get fed up with you and hate you.
18Telling lies in court against a friend is like attacking them with a mace, or a sword, or an arrow.
19Trusting in unreliable people in times of trouble is like eating with a broken tooth or walking on a bad foot.
20Singing happy songs to someone who's broken-hearted is like taking off your coat on a cold day, or pouring vinegar onto an open wound.
21If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if he's thirsty, give him a drink of water.
22This will make him ashamed as if he had burning coals piled on his head, and the Lord will reward you.
23In the same way that the north wind brings rain, slandering people makes them angry.
24It's better to live in a corner of a housetop than to share a whole house with an argumentative wife.
25Good news from a distant country is like cold water to an exhausted traveler.
26Good people who give in to the wicked are like a muddied spring or a polluted well.
27It's not good to eat too much honey, or to want too much praise.
28Someone without control is as exposed as a town whose walls have been breached.