18 1A person who isn’t friendly looks out only for himself. He opposes all good sense. 2A foolish person doesn’t want to understand. He takes delight in saying only what he thinks. 3People hate it when evil comes. And they refuse to honor those who bring shame. 4The words of a person’s mouth are like deep water. But the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing stream. 5It isn’t good to favor those who do wrong. And it isn’t good to hold back what is fair from those who aren’t guilty. 6What a foolish person says leads to arguing. He is just asking for a beating. 7The words of a foolish person drag him down. He is trapped by what he says. 8The words of anyone who talks about others are like tasty bites of food. They go deep down inside you. 9Anyone who doesn’t want to work is like someone who destroys. 10The name of the Lord is like a strong tower. Godly people run to it and are safe. 11The wealth of rich people is like a city that makes them feel safe. They think of it as a city with walls that can’t be climbed. 12If a man’s heart is proud, he will be destroyed. So don’t be proud if you want to be honored. 13To answer before listening is foolish and shameful. 14A man’s cheerful heart gives him strength when he is sick. You can’t keep going if you have a broken spirit. 15Those whose hearts understand what is right get knowledge. The ears of those who are wise listen for it. 16A gift opens the way for the one who gives it. It helps him meet important people. 17The first one to tell his case seems right. Then someone else comes forward and questions him. 18Casting lots will put a stop to arguing. It will keep the strongest enemies apart. 19A broken friendship is harder to deal with than a city that has high walls around it. And arguing is like the locked gates of a mighty city. 20A man can fill his stomach with what he says. The words from his lips can satisfy him. 21Your tongue has the power of life and death. Those who love to talk will eat the fruit of their words. 22The one who finds a wife finds what is good. He receives favor from the Lord. 23Poor people beg for mercy. But rich people answer in a mean way. 24Even a man who has many companions can be destroyed. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
New International Readers Version® / © 1984 Biblica, Inc. About