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A Fool’s Big Mouth

18 One who isolates oneself seeks his own desire;
he defies all sound judgment.
A fool finds no delight in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
and with dishonor comes disgrace.
The words of one’s mouth are deep waters,
a fountain of wisdom, a flowing brook.
Showing partiality to the wicked is not good,
nor is depriving the innocent of justice.
The lips of a fool enter into an argument
and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
The words of a gossip are tasty morsels,
going down into one’s innermost being.

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

10 The Name of Adonai is a strong tower.
The righteous one runs into it and is set safely up high.
11 A rich person’s wealth is a strong city
or like a high wall—in his imagination.

12 Before ruin a person’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.

13 One who answers before listening—
that is his folly and his shame.

14 One’s spirit sustains him through illness,
but who can bear a crushed spirit?

15 A discerning heart gains knowledge,
the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Overcoming Opposition and Offenses

16 A man’s gift makes room for him,
and leads him before great men.
17 The first to state his case seems just, until another comes
and cross-examines him.
18 Casting lots ends quarrels
and decides between mighty opponents.
19 An offended brother is more formidable than a fortified city,
and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.

20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled—
with the harvest of his lips he is satisfied.

21 Death and life are in the control of the tongue.
Those who indulge in it will eat its fruit.

22 Whoever finds a wife finds good,
and receives favor from Adonai.

23 The poor request favor,
but the rich answer harshly.

24 A man with many friends may be harmed by them,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.