1An unfriendly person cares only about himself.
He makes fun of all wisdom.
2A foolish person does not want to understand anything.
He only enjoys telling others what he thinks.
3Do something evil, and people won’t like you.
Do something shameful, and they will make fun of you.
4Understanding people’s words is as hard as getting water out of a deep well.
But understanding wisdom is as easy as getting water from a flowing stream.
5It is not good to honor the wicked.
Nor is it good to be unfair to the innocent.
6A fool’s words start quarrels.
They make people want to give him a beating.
7A fool’s words will ruin him.
He will be trapped by his own words.
8The words of a gossip are like tasty bits of food.
People take them all in.
9A person who doesn’t work hard
is just like a person who destroys things.
10The Lord is like a strong tower.
Those who do what is right can run to him for safety.
11Rich people trust their wealth to protect them.
They think it is like the high walls of a city.
12People who are proud will be ruined.
But those who are not proud will be honored.
13A person who answers without listening
is foolish and disgraceful.
14The will to live can get you through sickness.
But no one can live with a broken spirit.
15The mind of a smart person is ready to get knowledge.
The wise person listens to learn more.
16Taking a gift to an important person
will help get you in to see him.
17The first person to tell his side of a story seems right.
But that may change when somebody comes and asks him questions.
18Throwing lots settles arguments.
It keeps the two sides from fighting.
19A brother who has been insulted is harder to win back than a walled city.
And arguments separate people like the barred gates of a palace.
20What you say affects how you live.
You will be rewarded by how you speak.
21What you say can mean life or death.
Those who love to talk will be rewarded for what they say.
22A man who finds a wife finds something good.
She shows that the Lord is pleased with him.
23Poor people beg for mercy.
Rich people give rude answers.
24Some friends may ruin you.
But a real friend will be more loyal than a brother.