CHAPTER 18 18 1One who is alienated seeks a pretext, with all persistence picks a quarrel. 2Fools take no delight in understanding, but only in displaying what they think.[A] 3With wickedness comes contempt, and with disgrace, scorn. 4The words of one’s mouth are deep waters, the spring of wisdom, a running brook.[B] 5It is not good to favor the guilty, nor to reject the claim of the just. 6The lips of fools walk into a fight, and their mouths are asking for a beating.[C] 7The mouths of fools are their ruin; their lips are a deadly snare. 8The words of a talebearer are like dainty morsels: they sink into one’s inmost being. 9Those slack in their work are kin to the destroyer. 10[D] The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the just run to it and are safe. 11The wealth of the rich is their strong city; they fancy it a high wall. 12Before disaster the heart is haughty, but before honor is humility. 13Whoever answers before listening, theirs is folly and shame.[E] 14One’s spirit supports one when ill, but a broken spirit who can bear?[F] 15The heart of the intelligent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.[G] 16Gifts clear the way for people, winning access to the great. 17Those who plead the case first seem to be in the right; then the opponent comes and cross–examines them.[H] 18The lot puts an end to disputes, and decides a controversy between the mighty.[I] 19A brother offended is more unyielding than a stronghold; such strife is more daunting than castle gates.[J] 20With the fruit of one’s mouth one’s belly is filled, with the produce of one’s lips one is sated.[K] 21Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who choose one shall eat its fruit.[L] 22To find a wife is to find happiness, a favor granted by the LORD. 23The poor implore, but the rich answer harshly. 24There are friends who bring ruin, but there are true friends more loyal than a brother.  
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