The Selfishness of the Unfriendly
1 He who isolates himself pursues selfish desires;
he rebels against all sound judgment.
2 A fool does not delight in understanding,
but only in airing his opinions.
3 With a wicked man comes contempt as well,
and shame is accompanied by disgrace.
4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
nor is depriving the innocent of justice.
6 A fool’s lips bring him strife,
and his mouth invites a beating.
7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels
that go down into the inmost being.
9 Whoever is slothful in his work
is brother to him who destroys.
10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it b and are safe.
11 A rich man’s wealth is his fortified city;
it is like a high wall in his imagination.
12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
13 He who answers a matter before he hears it—
this is folly and disgrace to him.
14 The spirit of a man can endure his sickness,
but who can survive a broken spirit?
15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks it out.
16 A man’s gift opens doors for him,
and brings him before great men.
17 The first to state his case seems right
until another comes and cross-examines him.
18 Casting the lot ends quarrels
and separates strong opponents.
19 An offended brother is harder to win than a fortified city,
and disputes are like the bars of a castle.
20 From the fruit of his mouth a man’s belly is filled;
with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.
21 Life and death are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the LORD.
23 The poor man pleads for mercy,
but the rich man answers harshly.
24 A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.
5 a Hebrew Lifting the face
10 b Or to Him