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15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—
    both are detestable to the Lord.

16 It is senseless to pay to educate a fool,
    since he has no heart for learning.

17 A friend is always loyal,
    and a brother is born to help in time of need.

18 It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt
    or put up security for a friend.

19 Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin;
    anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster.

20 The crooked heart will not prosper;
    the lying tongue tumbles into trouble.

21 It is painful to be the parent of a fool;
    there is no joy for the father of a rebel.

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

23 The wicked take secret bribes
    to pervert the course of justice.

24 Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom,
    but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25 Foolish children[a] bring grief to their father
    and bitterness to the one who gave them birth.

26 It is wrong to punish the godly for being good
    or to flog leaders for being honest.

27 A truly wise person uses few words;
    a person with understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
    with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.

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Footnotes

  1. 17:25 Hebrew A foolish son.

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