18 Whoever pulls away from others to focus solely on his own desires
disregards any sense of sound judgment.
2 A fool never delights in true knowledge
but only wants to express what’s on his mind.
3 When wrongdoers arrive, disgrace is right there with them,
for shame is the companion of dishonor.
4 Words bubble up from waters deep within a person;
a stream gushes from the fountain of wisdom.
5 It is wrong for a judge to show partiality to the guilty
or to rob the innocent of justice.
6 When a fool’s lips move, a fight breaks out;
it’s as if his mouth is begging for a beating.
7 The mouths of fools are their destruction,
and their lips entrap their very souls.
8 Whispered gossip is like a delicious first course:
it is devoured with pleasure and penetrates deeply.
9 Those who slack off at work
are no different from vandals.
10 The Eternal is known to be like a sturdy watchtower;
those who do right flee to Him for protection.
11 The rich think their wealth is their sturdy fortress;
they imagine it to be an invincible wall of security.
12 A proud heart precedes destruction,
and before honor is humility.
13 To respond to a matter before you hear about it
shows foolishness and brings shame.
14 The human spirit can endure a long illness,
but who can survive a crushed spirit?
15 Clever people go after knowledge to obtain it,
and wise people attune their ears to hear it.
16 The right gift at the right time can open up new opportunities
and gains access to influential people.
17 The first ones to tell their side of a story seem right
until cross-examined by their peers.
18 Casting lots can settle conflicts
and decide between powerful opponents.
19 Winning over an offended brother is harder than breaching a strong city’s defenses;
such fights are as tough as the iron gates of a castle.
20 Good words satisfy like a fine meal;
yes, good conversations are sure to satisfy.
21 Words have power in matters of life and death,
and those who love them will savor their fruit.
22 The man who finds a wife finds something good,
and the favor of the Eternal is indeed his.
23 The poor plead for help,
but the rich respond harshly.
24 Someone with many so-called friends may end up friendless,
but a true friend is closer than a brother.