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1The one who lives alone is self-indulgent,

showing contempt for all who have sound judgment.

2A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,

but only in expressing personal opinion.

3When wickedness comes, contempt comes also;

and with dishonor comes disgrace.

4The words of the mouth are deep waters;

the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream.

5It is not right to be partial to the guilty,

or to subvert the innocent in judgment.

6A fool’s lips bring strife,

and a fool’s mouth invites a flogging.

7The mouths of fools are their ruin,

and their lips a snare to themselves.

8The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;

they go down into the inner parts of the body.

9One who is slack in work

is close kin to a vandal.

10The name of the Lord is a strong tower;

the righteous run into it and are safe.

11The wealth of the rich is their strong city;

in their imagination it is like a high wall.

12Before destruction one’s heart is haughty,

but humility goes before honor.

13If one gives answer before hearing,

it is folly and shame.

14The human spirit will endure sickness;

but a broken spirit—who can bear?

15An intelligent mind acquires knowledge,

and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

16A gift opens doors;

it gives access to the great.

17The one who first states a case seems right,

until the other comes and cross-examines.

18Casting the lot puts an end to disputes

and decides between powerful contenders.

19An ally offended is stronger than a city;

such quarreling is like the bars of a castle.

20From the fruit of the mouth one’s stomach is satisfied;

the yield of the lips brings satisfaction.

21Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

and those who love it will eat its fruits.

22He who finds a wife finds a good thing,

and obtains favor from the Lord.

23The poor use entreaties,

but the rich answer roughly.

24Some friends play at friendship

but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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