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Proverbs 18

Chapter 18

Unfriendly people care only about themselves;

they lash out at common sense.

Fools have no interest in understanding;

they only want to air their own opinions.

Doing wrong leads to disgrace,

and scandalous behavior brings contempt.

Wise words are like deep waters;

wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.

It is not right to acquit the guilty

or deny justice to the innocent.

Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels;

they are asking for a beating.

The mouths of fools are their ruin;

they trap themselves with their lips.

Rumors are dainty morsels

that sink deep into one’s heart.

A lazy person is as bad as

someone who destroys things.

10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;

the godly run to him and are safe.

11 The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;

they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.

12 Haughtiness goes before destruction;

humility precedes honor.

13 Spouting off before listening to the facts

is both shameful and foolish.

14 The human spirit can endure a sick body,

but who can bear a crushed spirit?

15 Intelligent people are always ready to learn.

Their ears are open for knowledge.

16 Giving a gift can open doors;

it gives access to important people!

17 The first to speak in court sounds right—

until the cross-examination begins.

18 Flipping a coin* can end arguments;

it settles disputes between powerful opponents.

19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.

Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

20 Wise words satisfy like a good meal;

the right words bring satisfaction.

21 The tongue can bring death or life;

those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,

and he receives favor from the Lord.

23 The poor plead for mercy;

the rich answer with insults.

24 There are “friends” who destroy each other,

but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

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