1The one who lives alone is self-indulgent,
showing contempt for all who have sound judgement.
2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing personal opinion.
3 When wickedness comes, contempt comes also;
and with dishonour comes disgrace.
4 The words of the mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream.
5 It is not right to be partial to the guilty,
or to subvert the innocent in judgement.
6 A fool’s lips bring strife,
and a fool’s mouth invites a flogging.
7 The mouths of fools are their ruin,
and their lips a snare to themselves.
8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
9 One who is slack in work
is close kin to a vandal.
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run into it and are safe.
11 The wealth of the rich is their strong city;
in their imagination it is like a high wall.
12 Before destruction one’s heart is haughty,
but humility goes before honour.
13 If one gives answer before hearing,
it is folly and shame.
14 The human spirit will endure sickness;
but a broken spirit—who can bear?
15 An intelligent mind acquires knowledge,
and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16 A gift opens doors;
it gives access to the great.
17 The one who first states a case seems right,
until the other comes and cross-examines.
18 Casting the lot puts an end to disputes
and decides between powerful contenders.
19 An ally offended is stronger than a city;
such quarrelling is like the bars of a castle.
20 From the fruit of the mouth one’s stomach is satisfied;
the yield of the lips brings satisfaction.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
and obtains favour from the Lord.
23 The poor use entreaties,
but the rich answer roughly.
24 Some friends play at friendship
but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.