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18 He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.

A [self-confident] fool has no delight in understanding but only in revealing his personal opinions and himself.

When the wicked comes in [to the depth of evil], he becomes a contemptuous despiser [of all that is pure and good], and with inner baseness comes outer shame and reproach.

The words of a [discreet and wise] man’s mouth are like deep waters [plenteous and difficult to fathom], and the fountain of skillful and godly Wisdom is like a gushing stream [sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving].

To respect the person of the wicked and be partial to him, so as to deprive the [consistently] righteous of justice, is not good.

A [self-confident] fool’s lips bring contention, and his mouth invites a beating.

A [self-confident] fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to himself.

The words of a whisperer or talebearer are as dainty morsels; they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and [a]he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.

10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the [consistently] righteous man [upright and in right standing with God] runs into it and is safe, high [above evil] and strong.

11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as a high protecting wall in his own imagination and conceit.

12 Haughtiness comes before disaster, but humility before honor.

13 He who answers a matter before he hears the facts—it is folly and shame to him.(A)

14 The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear?

15 The mind of the prudent is ever getting knowledge, and the ear of the wise is ever seeking (inquiring for and craving) knowledge.

16 A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.(B)

17 He who states his case first seems right, until his rival comes and cross-examines him.

18 To cast lots puts an end to disputes and decides between powerful contenders.

19 A brother offended is harder to be won over than a strong city, and [their] contentions separate them like the bars of a castle.

20 A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].(C)

22 He who finds a [true] wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.(D)

23 The poor man uses entreaties, but the rich answers roughly.

24 The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


  1. Proverbs 18:9 This verse so reads in The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament). Its statement squarely addresses the problem of whether one has a moral right to neglect his body by “letting nature take its unhindered course” in illness.

18 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
    and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding
    but delight in airing their own opinions.(A)

When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
    and with shame comes reproach.

The words of the mouth are deep waters,(B)
    but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.

It is not good to be partial to the wicked(C)
    and so deprive the innocent of justice.(D)

The lips of fools bring them strife,
    and their mouths invite a beating.(E)

The mouths of fools are their undoing,
    and their lips are a snare(F) to their very lives.(G)

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
    they go down to the inmost parts.(H)

One who is slack in his work
    is brother to one who destroys.(I)

10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;(J)
    the righteous run to it and are safe.(K)

11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;(L)
    they imagine it a wall too high to scale.

12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.(M)

13 To answer before listening—
    that is folly and shame.(N)

14 The human spirit can endure in sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?(O)

15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,(P)
    for the ears of the wise seek it out.

16 A gift(Q) opens the way
    and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

17 In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
    until someone comes forward and cross-examines.

18 Casting the lot settles disputes(R)
    and keeps strong opponents apart.

19 A brother wronged(S) is more unyielding than a fortified city;
    disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.

20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
    with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.(T)

21 The tongue has the power of life and death,(U)
    and those who love it will eat its fruit.(V)

22 He who finds a wife finds what is good(W)
    and receives favor from the Lord.(X)

23 The poor plead for mercy,
    but the rich answer harshly.

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.(Y)

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