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18 Unfriendly people care only about themselves;
    they lash out at common sense.

Fools have no interest in understanding;
    they only want to air their own opinions.

Doing wrong leads to disgrace,
    and scandalous behavior brings contempt.

Wise words are like deep waters;
    wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.

It is not right to acquit the guilty
    or deny justice to the innocent.

Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels;
    they are asking for a beating.

The mouths of fools are their ruin;
    they trap themselves with their lips.

Rumors are dainty morsels
    that sink deep into one’s heart.

A lazy person is as bad as
    someone who destroys things.

10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
    the godly run to him and are safe.

11 The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;
    they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.

12 Haughtiness goes before destruction;
    humility precedes honor.

13 Spouting off before listening to the facts
    is both shameful and foolish.

14 The human spirit can endure a sick body,
    but who can bear a crushed spirit?

15 Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
    Their ears are open for knowledge.

16 Giving a gift can open doors;
    it gives access to important people!

17 The first to speak in court sounds right—
    until the cross-examination begins.

18 Flipping a coin[a] can end arguments;
    it settles disputes between powerful opponents.

19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.
    Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

20 Wise words satisfy like a good meal;
    the right words bring satisfaction.

21 The tongue can bring death or life;
    those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
    and he receives favor from the Lord.

23 The poor plead for mercy;
    the rich answer with insults.

24 There are “friends” who destroy each other,
    but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Footnotes

  1. 18:18 Hebrew Casting lots.

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