1A man who isolates himself pursues selfishness,
and defies all sound judgement.
2A fool has no delight in understanding,
but only in revealing his own opinion.
3When wickedness comes, contempt also comes,
and with shame comes disgrace.
4The words of a man’s mouth are like deep waters.
The fountain of wisdom is like a flowing brook.
5To be partial to the faces of the wicked is not good,
nor to deprive the innocent of justice.
6A fool’s lips come into strife,
and his mouth invites beatings.
7A fool’s mouth is his destruction,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8The words of a gossip are like dainty morsels:
they go down into a person’s innermost parts.
9One who is slack in his work
is brother to him who is a master of destruction.
10The Lord’s name is a strong tower:
the righteous run to him, and are safe.
11The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
like an unscalable wall in his own imagination.
12Before destruction the heart of man is proud,
but before honour is humility.
13He who answers before he hears,
that is folly and shame to him.
14A man’s spirit will sustain him in sickness,
but a crushed spirit, who can bear?
15The heart of the discerning gets knowledge.
The ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16A man’s gift makes room for him,
and brings him before great men.
17He who pleads his cause first seems right;
until another comes and questions him.
18The lot settles disputes,
and keeps strong ones apart.
19A brother offended is more difficult than a fortified city.
Disputes are like the bars of a fortress.
20A man’s stomach is filled with the fruit of his mouth.
With the harvest of his lips he is satisfied.
21Death and life are in the power of the tongue;
those who love it will eat its fruit.
22Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing,
and obtains favour of the Lord.
23The poor plead for mercy,
but the rich answer harshly.
24A man of many companions may be ruined,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.