A loner is out to get what he wants for himself. He opposes all sound reasoning. 2 A fool does not find joy in understanding but only in expressing his own opinion.
3 When wickedness comes, contempt also comes, and insult comes along with disgrace. 4 The words of a person’s mouth are like deep waters. The fountain of wisdom is an overflowing stream. 5 It is not good to be partial toward a wicked person, thereby depriving an innocent person of justice.
6 By talking, a fool gets into an argument, and his mouth invites a beating. 7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin. His lips are a trap to his soul. 8 The words of a gossip are swallowed greedily, and they go down into a person’s innermost being.
How to Avoid Fools and Foolishness
9 Whoever is lazy in his work is related to a vandal. 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower. A righteous person runs to it and is safe. 11 A rich person’s wealth is his strong city and is like a high wall in his imagination.
12 Before destruction a person’s heart is arrogant, but humility comes before honor. 13 Whoever gives an answer before he listens is stupid and shameful. 14 A person’s spirit can endure sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit? 15 The mind of a person who has understanding acquires knowledge. The ears of wise people seek knowledge. 16 A gift opens doors for the one who gives it and brings him into the presence of great people.
17 The first to state his case seems right until his neighbor comes to cross-examine him. 18 Flipping a coin ends quarrels and settles issues between powerful people. 19 An offended brother is more resistant than a strong city, and disputes are like the locked gate of a castle tower.
20 A person’s speaking ability provides for his stomach. His talking provides him a living. 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love to talk will have to eat their own words.
22 Whoever finds a wife finds something good and has obtained favor from the Lord. 23 A poor person is timid when begging, but a rich person is blunt when replying. 24 Friends can destroy one another,[a] but a loving friend can stick closer than family.
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