By the blessing [of the influence] of the upright the city is exalted,
But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.
He who despises his neighbor lacks sense,
But a man of understanding keeps silent.
He who goes about as a gossip reveals secrets,
But he who is trustworthy and faithful keeps a matter hidden.
Where there is no [wise, intelligent] guidance, the people fall [and go off course like a ship without a helm],
But in the abundance of [wise and godly] counselors there is victory.
He who puts up security and guarantees a debt for an outsider will surely suffer [for his foolishness],
But he who hates (declines) being a guarantor is secure [from its penalties].
A gracious and good woman attains honor,
And ruthless men attain riches [but not respect].
The merciful and generous man benefits his soul [for his behavior returns to bless him],
But the cruel and callous man does himself harm.
The wicked man earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness and lives his life with integrity will have a true reward [that is both permanent and satisfying].