18 Whoever isolates himself pursues selfish ends; he resists all sound advice.
2 A fool finds no satisfaction in trying to understand, for he would rather express his own opinion.
3 When an evil person comes, contempt also comes, along with dishonor and disgrace.
4 The words a man says are as deep waters— a fountain of wisdom is an overflowing stream.
5 It’s not good to be partial towards an evil person, thereby depriving the righteous of justice.
6 A fool’s words[a] bring strife, and his mouth invites fighting. 7 A fool’s mouth is his unraveling, and his lips entrap himself. 8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels as they descend to the innermost parts of the body.
Avoiding Fools and Their Foolishness
9 Whoever is lazy regarding his work is also a brother to the master of destruction.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; a righteous person rushes to it and is lifted up above the danger.[b] 11 The wealth of a rich person is his fortified city; in his own imagination, it is like a high wall.
12 Before a man’s downfall, his mind[c] is arrogant, but humility precedes honor.
13 Whoever answers before listening is both foolish and shameful.
14 A man’s spirit can sustain him during his illness, but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15 The mind[d] of a discerning person gains knowledge, while the ears of wise people seek out knowledge.
16 A person’s gift opens doors for him, bringing him access to important people.
17 The first to put forth his case seems right, until someone else steps forward and cross-examines him.
18 Casting dice settles a dispute, deciding between strong contenders.
19 An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and his disputes are like the bars of a fortress.
20 The positive words that a man speaks[e] fill his stomach; he will be satisfied with what his lips produce. 21 The power of the tongue is life and death— those who love to talk[f] will eat what it produces.
22 Whoever finds a wife finds what is good, and receives favor from the Lord.
23 The poor person pleads for mercy, but the wealthy man responds harshly.
24 A man with many[g] friends can still be ruined, but one who keeps on loving sticks closer than a brother.
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