The one who lives alone is self-indulgent,
showing contempt for all who have sound judgement.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing personal opinion.
When wickedness comes, contempt comes also;
and with dishonour comes disgrace.
The words of the mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream.
It is not right to be partial to the guilty,
or to subvert the innocent in judgement.
A fool’s lips bring strife,
and a fool’s mouth invites a flogging.
The mouths of fools are their ruin,
and their lips a snare to themselves.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
One who is slack in work
is close kin to a vandal.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run into it and are safe.
The wealth of the rich is their strong city;
in their imagination it is like a high wall.
Before destruction one’s heart is haughty,
but humility goes before honour.
If one gives answer before hearing,
it is folly and shame.
The human spirit will endure sickness;
but a broken spirit—who can bear?
An intelligent mind acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A gift opens doors;
it gives access to the great.
The one who first states a case seems right,
until the other comes and cross-examines.
Casting the lot puts an end to disputes
and decides between powerful contenders.
An ally offended is stronger than a city;
such quarrelling is like the bars of a castle.
From the fruit of the mouth one’s stomach is satisfied;
the yield of the lips brings satisfaction.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
and obtains favour from the Lord.
The poor use entreaties,
but the rich answer roughly.
Some friends play at friendship
but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.