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Proverbs 18Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

18 One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires;
he rebels against all sound judgment.

A fool does not delight in understanding,
but only wants to show off his opinions.[a]

When a wicked man comes, contempt also does,
and along with dishonor, disgrace.

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters,
a flowing river, a fountain of wisdom.[b]

It is not good to show partiality to the guilty
by perverting the justice due the innocent.

A fool’s lips lead to strife,
and his mouth provokes a beating.

A fool’s mouth is his devastation,
and his lips are a trap for his life.

A gossip’s words are like choice food
that goes down to one’s innermost being.[c]

The one who is truly lazy in his work
is brother to a vandal.[d]

10 The name of Yahweh is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are protected.[e]

11 A rich man’s wealth is his fortified city;
in his imagination it is like a high wall.

12 Before his downfall a man’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 man’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 gift opens doors[f] for a man
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[g]
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 satisfied;
he is filled with the product of his lips.

21 Life and death 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 man pleads,
but the rich one answers roughly.

24 A man with many friends may be harmed,[h]
but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.


  1. Proverbs 18:2 Lit to uncover his heart
  2. Proverbs 18:4 Or waters; a fountain of wisdom is a flowing river.
  3. Proverbs 18:8 Lit to the chambers of the belly
  4. Proverbs 18:9 Lit master of destruction
  5. Proverbs 18:10 Lit raised high
  6. Proverbs 18:16 Lit gift makes room
  7. Proverbs 18:19 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg read is stronger
  8. Proverbs 18:24 Some LXX mss, Syr, Tg, Vg read friends must be friendly

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