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XXVI. 6. He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
No more can a fool do his message, than a man without feet can go: he therefore doth as it were cut off his own feet, that sends a fool on his errand; for both he is disappointed, and sustains loss.
XXVI. 7. The legs of the lame are not equal : so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
As there is a disproportion in the legs of the lame man ; whereof one is longer, another shorter ; both, unfit for motion : so there is much unmeetness in a fool's parable ; it doth neither agree with itself, nor with him that speaks it.
XXVI. 8. As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.
He, that giveth applause and honour to the person or speech of a fool, doth as unseasonably, as he, that binds up a stone in a sling which should be altogether for ejaculation; and should no more be fastened therein, than a high conceit should be raised and fixed in the mind of a fool, by our flattering approbation.
XXVI. 9. As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
It is no more fit for a fool to meddle with a wise speech, than for a drunken man to handle a thorn bush: this wounds him ; that shames him.
XXVI. 16. The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
The sluggard will not be beaten out of his sloth ; and, let never so many wise men persuade him to shake off his dull idleness, yet he persists in his error, and thinks himself herein wiser than they all.
XXVI. 18, 19. As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?
There is little difference in this case, betwixt fraud and fury: he, that purposely deceives his neighbour under a colour of jest, is no less prejudicial to him, than a lunatic, that doth wrong out of frenzy and distemper.
XXVI. 23. Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
Lips full of secret detraction and slander, joined with a false and malicious heart, are like a base potsherd of earth, covered over with some filings of silver : under some shews of friendship, there is nothing within but filthy hypocrisy.
XXVI. 25. There are seven abominations in his heart. . There are many varieties of secret wickednesses in his heart. XXVI. 28. Å lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it.
A man of a lying tongue hates those, whom he hath wronged ; only out of the conscience of his own injury; because he knows he hath deserved to be hated by them.
· XXVII. 1. Boast not thyself of to-morrow ; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Be not too jocund, or too confident of that which thou wilt do or have to-morrow ; for thou knowest not what changes may fall out in a day.
XXVII. 3. A fool's wrath is heavier than them both.
A fool's wrath is more troublesome to bear, and more intolerable, than they
XXVII. 10. Neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity; for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
Do not rather make choice, in the day of thine adversity, to to repair for comfort to the house of thy brother, than of thy tried and faithful friend; for a true hearted loving neighbour, is better than an overlie and unrespective brother.
XXVII. 14. He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
The false acclamation and hollowly officious compliment of a formal friend, shall speed no better with a wise man, than if he had entertained him with a curse ; and that flattery of his shall turn to a curse upon his own head.
XXVII. 16. Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.
She can no more be hid, than the wind that bloweth upon the face, or the oily substance of the ointment upon the hand; these both of them will be perceived : so will the unquiet spirit of a contentious woman.
XXVII. 17. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
As iron or steel getteth an edge by the attrition of metal of the same kind ; so by the conversation of one friend with another, are the good parts and faculties of men increased.
XXVII, 19. As in water face answereth to face, so the heart og man to man.
As he, that looks into the water, sees there his own face ; so he, that looks into his friend's heart, sees there his own heart.
XXVII. 21. As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold ; so to a man is his praise.
There is no way so sure to try a man's discretion and temper, as by praising him : if he be vain and light, he will be puffed up with it; if he be wise and solid, he will be no whit moved therewith.
XXVII. 23. Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
Be diligent, above all parts of husbandry, in that which concerns thy cattle, whether flocks or herds, as that which affordeth the most certain and constant increase.
XXVII. 24. For riches are not for ever : and doth the crown endure to every generation ?
For the money, that thou layest up, and household treasure, is fickle, and subject to sudden loss, and thy honour and dignity will not last always; but the benefit, that arises from thy cattle, continues.
XXVII. 25. The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself.
For the earth in a constant succession yields thee grass and hay, &c.
XXVIII. 1. The wicked flee when no man pursues.
The wicked man hath such affrights within his own conscience, that he is subject to be terrified with every outward occasion : and when he hath no enemy, is apt to pursue himself.
XXVIII. 2. For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof.
The wickedness of a land is the cause of the manifold changes of the princes and governors thereof, whereby both the people and rulers conspiring in evil are punished.
XXVIII. 3. A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
A rich oppressor leaves a man poor, but a poor oppressor leaves him nothing.
XXVIII. 4. They that forsake the law praise the wicked.
Those, that do willingly break, and cast off the law of God, do, in so doing, give approbation and encouragement to wick
They that seek the bone and conscionab!
XXVIII. 5. They that seek the Lord understand all things.
They, that are true hearted to God, and conscionable in their ways, have so much light from God's spirit, as that they understand their whole duty to God : they know both what they should do, and how they should perform it.
XXVIII. 17. A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.
A man, that hath imbrued his hand in innocent blood, driven by the horror of his conscience, flies he knows not whither; even into the mouth of the pit : such a man runs into the very jaws of death ; neither let any man offer to stay him from that deserved judgment: it is not for any eye to pity him, that hath been so cruel to another.
XXVIII. 19. He that followeth strange persons shall have poverty enough.
He, that followeth vain and idle persons, shall fall into extreme poverty.
XXVIII. 22. He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
He, that would be rich too soon, not caring by what means, how indirect soever, he obtain wealth, that man hath a covetous eye, and a base niggardly heart; and knows not, that, through the just judgment of God, this his immoderate eagerness shall be punished with want and beggary.
XXVIII. 24. Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is a companion of a destroyer.
A rebellious unthrift, that, notwithstanding all good counsel to the contrary, wasteth the goods of his parents, and will not be convinced of his offence, but persists in the maintenance of his lawless courses, is, for the heinousness of his sin, in the next degree to a murtherer.
XXIX. 5. A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.
A man, that flattereth his neighbour, goes about to do him a secret mischief; and doth, as it were, lay a net to catch and entangle him to his ruin.
XXIX. 8. Scornful men bring a city into a snare.
Those, that are wilfully wicked, and do scornfully reject all good counsel and reproof, are the means to draw down judgments upon the very city where they dwell. · XXIX. 9. Whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest. • Whether a wise man deal with him seriously and severely, or whether jestingly and merrily, all is one ; he shall not be able to prevail ; either for his own peace, or the other's reformation.
XXIX. 10. But the just seek his soul.
But the righteous man, contrarily, seeks to preserve his life, and to save his soul.
XXIX. 12. If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.
Such as the ruler is, such will be his attendants : if the governor be one, whose ears are open to either flatteries or slanders, his followers will frame themselves to feed his wicked humours in all things.
XXIX. 13. The poor and the deceitful man meet together : the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.
The innocent poor man and the crafty griping usurer meet both together, and the Lord causeth his sun to shine upon them both ; maintaining both in life ; doing good outwardly, even to the worst deserving.
XXIX. 18. Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Where God withdraweth himself, and doth not reveal his will to any nation or people, there is no ordinary means of keeping their souls from perishing.
XXIX. 19. A servant will not be corrected with words : for though he understand he will not answer.
· He, that is of a servile and sturdy disposition, will not be corrected without blows ; for though he do well enough understand a verbal reproof, yet he is no whit moved to an answerable regard of it.
XXIX. 24. He heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not. · He heareth men urged with adjurations, whether they have stolen the thing, or know the thief ; and yet keeps his wicked counsel, and will not betray the malefactor.
XXIX. 25. The fear of a man bringeth a snare.
That man, whose heart is overcome with a weak and diffident fear, not daring to cast himself upon the care and providence of the Almighty, bringeth misery upon himself.
XXIX. 26. Many seek the ruler's face (or, favour ;) but every man's judgment cometh of the LORD.
It is ordinary for men, when their cause is to be heard, to make friends to the judge; neglecting, in the mean time, to commit themselves and their case to the Almighty, in whose hand the judge's heart is; whereas they ought first to begin with God, which can overrule all the actions and purposes of men,
XXX. 2, 3. Surely I am more brutish than any man, &c. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.
Surely, I, Agur, am sufficiently conscious to mine own ignorance and unworthiness : of myself, I do, I can know nothing; and therefore am, as of myself, utterly unable to reach unto the great mysteries of salvation.
XXX. 4. Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell ?
Indeed, what man can do it? Alas, how poor and impotent creatures are we? Is there any of us able to ascend up into heaven, and to descend thence again ; yea, have we power to command ought in these lower regions? Have we the rule of the winds, of the waters, of the earth? Shew me the man, that can or dare arrogate this power to himself?
XXX. 10. Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.
Offer no unjust measure to the meanest person : do not wrongfully accuse a servant to his master; lest, in the bitterness of his soul, he curse thee, and God hearing him shall punish thy guiltiness.
XXX. 11. There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
There are four kinds of men, worthy of our avoidance and detestation : the first is of graceless children, who curse those parents, from whom they have received their life and being;