Chapter 18
In estrangement one seeks pretexts: with all persistence he picks a quarrel.
The fool takes no delight in understanding, but rather in displaying what he thinks.
With wickedness comes contempt, and with disgrace comes scorn.
The words from a man's mouth are deep waters, but the source of wisdom is a flowing brook.
It is not good to be partial to the guilty, and so to reject a rightful claim.
The fool's lips lead him into strife, and his mouth provokes a beating.
The fool's mouth is his ruin; his lips are a snare to his life.
The words of a talebearer are like dainty morsels that sink into one's inmost being.
The man who is slack in his work is own brother to the man who is destructive.
1 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the just man runs to it and is safe.
The rich man's wealth is his strong city; he fancies it a high wall.
2 Before his downfall a man's heart is haughty, but humility goes before honors.
3 He who answers before he hears-- his is the folly and the shame.
A man's spirit sustains him in infirmity-- but a broken spirit who can bear?
The mind of the intelligent gains knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A man's gift clears the way for him, and gains him access to great men.
The man who pleads his case first seems to be in the right; then his opponent comes and puts him to the test.
4 The lot puts an end to disputes, and is decisive in a controversy between the mighty.
A brother is a better defense than a strong city, and a friend is like the bars of a castle.
5 From the fruit of his mouth a man has his fill; with the yield of his lips he sates himself.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who make it a friend shall eat its fruit.
He who finds a wife finds happiness; it is a favor he receives from the LORD.
The poor man implores, but the rich man answers harshly.
Some friends bring ruin on us, but a true friend is more loyal than a brother.
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1 [10-11] Religion is a strong support and sure refuge in the struggle of life. The rich foolishly rely on their wealth for such support.

2 [12] Compare the Savior's words: "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted" (Matthew 23:12).

3 [13] To speak without first listening is characteristic of a fool; cf Proverb 10:14; Sirach 11:8.

4 [18] See note on Proverb 16:33.

5 [20-21] Everyone must accept the consequences, of benefit or harm to himself, which his words produce.

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