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