He who is estranged[a] seeks pretexts[b]

to break out against all sound judgment.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,

but only in expressing his opinion.

When wickedness comes, contempt comes also;

and with dishonor comes disgrace.

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

the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream.

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

or to deprive a righteous man of justice.

A fool’s lips bring strife,

and his mouth invites a flogging.

A fool’s mouth is his ruin,

and his lips are a snare to himself.

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;

they go down into the inner parts of the body.

He who is slack in his work

is a brother to him who destroys.

10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;

the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

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

and like a high wall protecting him.[c]

12 Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,

but humility goes before honor.

13 If one gives answer before he hears,

it is his folly and shame.

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

and brings him before great men.

17 He who states his case first seems right,

until the other comes and examines him.

18 The lot puts an end to disputes

and decides between powerful contenders.

19 A brother helped is like a strong city,[d]

but quarreling is like the bars of a castle.

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

he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.

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 favor from the Lord.

23 The poor use entreaties,

but the rich answer roughly.

24 There are[e] friends who pretend to be friends,[f]

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


  1. Proverbs 18:1 Heb separated
  2. Proverbs 18:1 Gk Vg: Heb desire
  3. Proverbs 18:11 Or in his imagination
  4. Proverbs 18:19 Gk Syr Vg Tg: The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  5. Proverbs 18:24 Syr Tg: Heb A man of
  6. Proverbs 18:24 Cn Compare Syr Vg Tg: Heb to be broken