1 One who has isolated himself seeks his own desires;
he rejects all sound judgment.
2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding
but only in disclosing what is on his mind.
3 When a wicked person arrives, contempt shows up with him,
and with shame comes a reproach.
4 The words of a person’s mouth are like deep waters,
and the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing brook.
5 It is terrible to show partiality to the wicked,
by depriving a righteous man of justice.
6 The lips of a fool enter into strife,
and his mouth invites a flogging.
7 The mouth of a fool is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare for his life.
8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down into the person’s innermost being.
9 The one who is slack in his work
is a brother to one who destroys.
10 The name of the Lord is like a strong tower;
the righteous person runs to it and is set safely on high.
11 The wealth of a rich person is like a strong city,
and it is like a high wall in his imagination.
12 Before destruction the heart of a person is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
13 The one who gives an answer before he listens –
that is his folly and his shame.
14 A person’s spirit sustains him through sickness –
but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15 The discerning person acquires knowledge,
and the wise person seeks knowledge.
16 A person’s gift makes room for him,
and leads him before important people.
17 The first to state his case seems right,
until his opponent begins to cross-examine him.
18 A toss of a coin ends disputes,
and settles the issue between strong opponents.
19 A relative offended is harder to reach than a strong city,
and disputes are like the barred gates of a fortified citadel.
20 From the fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach is satisfied,
with the product of his lips is he satisfied.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love its use will eat its fruit.
22 The one who finds a wife finds what is enjoyable,
and receives a pleasurable gift from the Lord.
23 A poor person makes supplications,
but a rich man answers harshly.
24 A person who has friends may be harmed by them,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.