1 Some people like to do things their own way, and they get upset when people give them advice.
2 Fools don’t want to learn from others. They only want to tell their own ideas.
3 Do something evil, and people will hate you. Do something shameful, and they will have no respect for you.
4 Words from wise people are like water bubbling up from a deep well—the well of wisdom.
5 You must be fair in judging others. It is wrong to favor the guilty and rob the innocent of justice.
6 Fools say things to start arguments. They are just asking for a beating.
7 Fools hurt themselves when they speak. Their own words trap them.
8 People love to hear gossip. It is like tasty food on its way to the stomach.
9 Someone who does careless work is as bad as someone who destroys things.
10 The name of the LORD is like a strong tower. Those who do what is right can run to him for protection.
11 The rich think their wealth will protect them. They think it is a strong fortress.
12 A proud person will soon be ruined, but a humble person will be honored.
13 Let people finish speaking before you try to answer them. That way you will not embarrass yourself and look foolish.
14 A good attitude will support you when you are sick, but if you give up, nothing can help.* help Literally, “lift up” or “heal.”
15 Wise people want to learn more, so they listen closely to gain knowledge.
16 Gifts can open many doors and help you meet important people.
17 The first person to speak always seems right until someone comes and asks the right questions.
18 The best way to settle an argument between two powerful people may be to use lots.
19 An insulted brother is harder to win back than a city with strong walls. Arguments separate people like the strong bars of a palace gate.
20 Your words can be as satisfying as fruit, as pleasing as the food that fills your stomach.
21 The tongue can speak words that bring life or death. Those who love to talk must be ready to accept what it brings.
22 If you find a wife, you have found something good. She shows that the LORD is happy with you.
23 The poor are polite when they beg for help. The rich are rude with their answer.
24 Some friends are fun to be with,† Some friends … with Or “Some friends can bring disaster.” but a true friend can be better than a brother.
*18:14 help Literally, “lift up” or “heal.”
†18:24 Some friends … with Or “Some friends can bring disaster.”