1 Unfriendly people care only about themselves;
they lash out at common sense.
2 Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions.
3 Doing wrong leads to disgrace,
and scandalous behavior brings contempt.
4 Wise words are like deep waters;
wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
5 It is not right to acquit the guilty
or deny justice to the innocent.
6 Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels;
they are asking for a beating.
7 The mouths of fools are their ruin;
they trap themselves with their lips.
8 Rumors are dainty morsels
that sink deep into one’s heart.
9 A lazy person is as bad as
someone who destroys things.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
the godly run to him and are safe.
11 The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;
they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.
12 Haughtiness goes before destruction;
humility precedes honor.
13 Spouting off before listening to the facts
is both shameful and foolish.
14 The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15 Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
Their ears are open for knowledge.
16 Giving a gift can open doors;
it gives access to important people!
17 The first to speak in court sounds right—
until the cross-examination begins.
18 Flipping a coina can end arguments;
it settles disputes between powerful opponents.
19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.
Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
20 Wise words satisfy like a good meal;
the right words bring satisfaction.
21 The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
and he receives favor from the Lord.
23 The poor plead for mercy;
the rich answer with insults.
24 There are “friends” who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
a. 18:18 Hebrew Casting lots.