1He who separates himself indulges his desires
and shows contempt for sound advice of any kind.
2A fool takes no pleasure in trying to understand;
he only wants to express his own opinion.
3When a wicked person comes, contempt comes too,
and with disdain, provocation.
4The words of a man’s mouth are deep water,
a gushing torrent, a fountain of wisdom.
5It is not good to be partial to the guilty
and thus deprive the innocent of justice.
6A fool’s words get him into fights;
yes, his mouth calls out for a beating.
7A fool’s mouth is his ruin;
his words are a trap for him.
8A slanderer’s words are tasty morsels;
they slide right down into the belly.
9Whoever is lazy in doing his work
is brother to the destroyer.
10The name of Adonai is a strong tower;
a righteous person runs to it and is raised high [above danger].
11The wealth of the rich is his fortified city,
like a high wall, in his own imagination.
12Before being ruined, a person’s heart is proud;
before being honored, a person must be humble.
13To answer someone before hearing him out
is both stupid and embarrassing.
14A person’s spirit can sustain him when ill,
but a crushed spirit — who can bear it?
15The mind of a person with discernment gets knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16A person’s gift clears his way
and gives him access to the great.
17The first to state his case seems right,
till the other one comes and cross-examines.
18Casting lots puts an end to strife
and separates powerful disputants.
19It is harder to win an offended brother than a strong city;
their fights are like the bars of a fortress.
20A person’s belly will be filled with the fruit of his mouth;
with what his lips produce he will be filled.
21The tongue has power over life and death;
those who indulge it must eat its fruit.
22He who finds a wife finds a great good;
he has won the favor of Adonai.
23The poor man speaks beseechingly,
the rich man’s answer is blunt.
24Some “friends” pretend to be friends,
but a true friend sticks closer than a brother.