18 Whoever isolates himself pursues his own selfish desires;
He rejects* all practical wisdom.
2 A stupid person takes no pleasure in understanding;
He would rather disclose what is in his heart.+
3 When a wicked person comes, contempt also comes,
And along with dishonor there is disgrace.+
4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters.+
The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
5 It is not good to show partiality to the wicked one+
Or to deprive the righteous one of justice.+
6 The speech of the stupid one leads to quarrels,+
And his mouth invites a beating.+
7 The mouth of the stupid is his ruin,+
And his lips are a snare for his life.*
8 The words of a slanderer are like tasty morsels;*+
They are gulped right down into the stomach.+
9 Whoever is lazy in his work
Is a brother to the one who causes ruin.+
10 The name of Jehovah is a strong tower.+
Into it the righteous one runs and receives protection.*+
11 The wealth of the rich is his fortified city;
It is like a protective wall in his imagination.+
12 Before a crash a man’s heart is lofty,+
And before glory there is humility.+
13 When anyone replies to a matter before he hears the facts,
It is foolish and humiliating.+
14 A person’s spirit can sustain him through illness,+
But who can bear a crushed spirit?*+
15 The heart of the understanding one acquires knowledge,+
And the ear of the wise seeks to find knowledge.
16 A man’s gift opens the way for him;+
It gives him access to great people.
17 The first to state his case seems right,+
Until the other party comes and cross-examines him.*+
18 Casting lots puts an end to disputes+
And decides between* strong opponents.
19 A brother offended is more unyielding than a fortified city,+
And there are disputes like the bars of a fortress.+
20 From the fruitage of a man’s speech* his stomach will be filled;+
He will be satisfied with what his lips produce.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue;+
Those who love to use it will eat its fruitage.+
22 The one who finds a good wife has found something good,+
And he receives Jehovah’s favor.*+
23 The poor man implores when speaking,
But the rich man answers harshly.
24 There are companions ready to crush one another,+
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.+