1 An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends;
he defies all sound judgment.
2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding
but delights in airing his own opinions.
3 When wickedness comes, so does contempt,
and with shame comes disgrace.
4 The words of a man's mouth are deep waters,
but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked
or to deprive 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 undoing,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to a man's inmost parts.
9 One who is slack in his work
is brother to one who destroys.
10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it an unscalable wall.
12 Before his downfall a man's heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.
13 He who answers before listening—
that is his folly and his shame.
14 A man's spirit sustains him in sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge;
the ears of the wise seek it out.
16 A gift opens the way for the giver
and ushers him into the presence of the great.
17 The first to present his case seems right,
till another comes forward and questions him.
18 Casting the lot settles disputes
and keeps strong opponents apart.
19 An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city,
and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.
20 From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled;
with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.
21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the LORD.
23 A poor man pleads for mercy,
but a rich man answers harshly.
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.