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1He who is estranged seeks pretexts

to break out against all sound judgment.

2A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,

but only in expressing his opinion.

3When wickedness comes, contempt comes also;

and with dishonor comes disgrace.

4The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;

the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream.

5It is not good to be partial to a wicked man,

or to deprive a righteous man of justice.

6A fool’s lips bring strife,

and his mouth invites a flogging.

7A fool’s mouth is his ruin,

and his lips are a snare to himself.

8The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;

they go down into the inner parts of the body.

9He who is slack in his work

is a brother to him who destroys.

10The name of the Lord is a strong tower;

the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

11A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,

and like a high wall protecting him.

12Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,

but humility goes before honor.

13If one gives answer before he hears,

it is his folly and shame.

14A man’s 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 man’s gift makes room for him

and brings him before great men.

17He who states his case first seems right,

until the other comes and examines him.

18The lot puts an end to disputes

and decides between powerful contenders.

19A brother helped is like a strong city,

but quarreling is like the bars of a castle.

20From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied;

he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.

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.

24There are friends who pretend to be friends,

but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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