17. Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18. Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19. is the man who deceives his neighbour
and says, “I am only joking!”
20. For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarrelling ceases.
21. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23. Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24. Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbours deceit in his heart;
25. when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26. though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27.Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28.A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
Comment: Look and see if you can see these illusions scattered through these proverbs. They are not in order of the writing.
- the danger in playing with an unknown dog.
- covering defects with a coat of paint.
- gossip needing added information.
- the titillating nature of gossip.
- don’t give into flattery and smooth talk.
- starting a fire with tinder – feeding a quarrel.
There is a lot of good stuff in these proverbs to guide our talk relationships in our neighbourhood and with our friends.
Prayer: May I be a true friend to my friends!