1 He who is selfish seeks a craving;#Or “boundary”
against all sound judgment he shows contempt.
2A fool will not take pleasure in understanding,
but in expressing his heart.#Or “mind”
3With the coming of wickedness comes contempt also,
and with dishonor, disgrace.
4Deep waters are words of the mouth of a man;
a gushing stream is a fountain of wisdom.
5Being partial to faces of evil is not good,
nor to subvert the righteous at the judgment.
6The lips of a fool will bring strife,
and his mouth calls out for a flogging.
7The mouth of a fool is ruin to him,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.#Or “life,” or “inner self”
8The words of a whisper are like delicious morsels,
and they themselves go down to inner parts of the body.
9Even he who is slack in his work,
he is brother to a master#Or “owner” of destruction.
10A tower of strength is the name of Yahweh;
into him#Or “it” the righteous will run and be safe.
11The wealth of the rich is his strong city,#Literally “a city of his strength”
and like a wall, it is high in his imagination.
12In the presence of destruction, the heart#Or “mind” of a man will be haughty,
but in the presence of honor, humble.
13He who returns a word before he will hear,
folly itself belongs to him as well as#Hebrew “and” shame.
14The spirit of a man will endure his sickness,
but a broken spirit, who may bear it?
15An intelligent mind#Literally “heart” will acquire knowledge,
and the ear of the wise will seek knowledge.
16The gift of a person will open doors for him,
and before the great, it gives him access.
17The first in his dispute is deemed righteous,
but his neighbor will come and examine him.
18The lot will put an end to disputes,
and between powerful contenders it will decide.
19A brother who is offended is worse than a city of strength,
and quarrels are like the bars of a fortification.
20From the fruit of a man’s mouth, his stomach will be satisfied,
as for the yield of his lips, it will satisfy.
21Death and life are in the power#Literally “hand” of the tongue,
and those who love her#That is, the power of the tongue will eat of her fruit.
22He who finds a wife#Or “woman” finds good,
and he will obtain favor from Yahweh.
23The poor may speak entreaties,
but the rich will answer roughly.
24A man of many friends will come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.