12 Let a man meet (A)a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly.

13 Whoever (B)rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.

14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore (C)stop contention before a quarrel starts.

15 (D)He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.

16 Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?

17 (E)A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.

18 (F)A man devoid of [a]understanding [b]shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes [c]surety for his friend.

19 He who loves transgression loves strife,
And (G)he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.

20 He who has a [d]deceitful heart finds no good,
And he who has (H)a perverse tongue falls into evil.

21 He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.

22 A (I)merry heart [e]does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

23 A wicked man accepts a bribe [f]behind the back
To pervert the ways of justice.

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  1. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. heart
  2. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. strikes the hands
  3. Proverbs 17:18 guaranty or collateral
  4. Proverbs 17:20 crooked
  5. Proverbs 17:22 Or makes medicine even better
  6. Proverbs 17:23 Under cover, lit. from the bosom

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