The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Proverbs
Here are more of Solomon’s proverbs, copied out by Ezechias’ men, that was king of Juda.
For mysteries unfathomable, praise God; for mysteries revealed, the king.
High as heaven thou must look, deep as earth, ere the mind of kings shall be made known to thee.
Rid silver of dross, and the cup shines bright;
rid the court of knaves, and the throne stands firm.
Never play the great lord at court, and mingle with men of rank;
who would not rather be beckoned to a higher place, than be put to the blush, and in the king’s presence?✻
When men go to law, do not disclose hastily what thy eyes have witnessed;✻ it may be thou hast tainted a friend’s name, and there is no undoing the mischief.
To thy friend’s private ear open thy wrongs; vent the secret abroad,
and he, hearing it, will turn on thee with reproaches, nor wilt thou lightly recover thy good name. (Favour and friendship are thy protection; to lose them is a foul blot.✻ )
Like a boss of gold amid silver tracery it shines out, the right word spoken.
Golden ear-ring nor pearl drop fits so well, as wise reproof given to a wise listener.
Find a trusty messenger; not snow in harvest-time will bring thee more relief.
Storm-wrack and cloud and no rain to follow; such thanks he wins that boasts much, and nothing accomplishes.
A prince, in his forbearance,✻ may yet be won over to thy cause; hard heart gives place to soft tongue.
Honey if thou find, eat thy fill and no more; nothing comes of surfeit but vomiting.
Rare be thy visits to a neighbour; he will soon have enough, and weary of thee.
What is worse than javelin, sword, and arrow all at once? One that bears false witness against his neighbour.
What is more frail than rotting tooth, or sprained foot? A false friend trusted in the hour of need; as well lose thy cloak in mid winter.
Vinegar goes ill with natron, and song with a discontented heart. (Moth cannot fret garment, or worm wood, as care the heart.)
Hungers thy enemy? Here is thy chance; feed him. Thirsts he? Of thy well let him drink.
So doing, thou wilt heap burning coals upon his head, and for thyself, the Lord will recompense thee.✻
The north wind stops rain, and a frown the backbiter.
Better lodge in a garret than share thy house with a scold.✻
Good news from a far land, refreshing as cold water to parched lips.
Fouled the spring, poisoned the well, when honest men bow down before knaves.
A surfeit harms, though it be of honey; search too high, and the brightness shall dazzle thee.✻
Like a city unwalled he lies defenceless, that cannot master himself, but ever speaks his mind.
The Holy Bible