One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires;
he rebels against all sound wisdom.
2 A fool does not delight in understanding,
but only wants to show off his opinions.[p]
3 When a wicked person comes, contempt also comes,
and along with dishonor, derision.
4 The words of a person’s mouth are deep waters,
a flowing river, a fountain of wisdom.[q]
5 It is not good to show partiality to the guilty,
denying an innocent person justice.
6 A fool’s lips lead to strife,
and his mouth provokes a beating.
7 A fool’s mouth is his devastation,
and his lips are a trap for his life.
8 A gossip’s words are like choice food
that goes down to one’s innermost being.[r]
9 The one who is lazy in his work
is brother to a vandal.[s]
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are protected.[t]
11 The wealth of the rich is his fortified city;
in his imagination it is like a high wall.
12 Before his downfall a person’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
13 The one who gives an answer before he listens—
this is foolishness and disgrace for him.
14 A person’s spirit can endure sickness,
but who can survive a broken spirit?
15 The mind of the discerning acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks it.
16 A person’s gift opens doors[u] for him
and brings him before the great.
17 The first to state his case seems right
until another comes and cross-examines him.
18 Casting the lot ends quarrels
and separates powerful opponents.
19 An offended brother is harder to reach[v]
than a fortified city,
and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.
20 From the fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is filled with the product of his lips.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 A man who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.
23 The poor person pleads,
but the rich one answers roughly.
24 One with many friends may be harmed,[w]
but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.