Contrast of the Upright and the Wicked

One who separates himself seeks his own desire;

He [a]quarrels against all sound wisdom.

A fool does not delight in understanding,

But in revealing his own [b]mind.

When a wicked person comes, contempt also comes,

And with dishonor comes taunting.

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

[c]The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

To show partiality to the wicked is not good,

Nor to suppress the righteous in judgment.

A fool’s lips [d]bring strife,

And his mouth invites beatings.

A fool’s mouth is his ruin,

And his lips are the snare of his soul.

The words of a gossiper are like dainty morsels,

And they go down into the [e]innermost parts of the body.

He also who is lax in his work

Is a brother to him who destroys.

10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;

The righteous runs into it and is [f]safe.

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

And like a high wall in his own imagination.

12 Before destruction the heart of a person is haughty,

But humility goes before honor.

13 One who gives an answer before he hears,

It is foolishness and shame to him.

14 The spirit of a person can endure his sickness,

But as for a broken spirit, who can endure it?

15 The [g]mind of the discerning acquires knowledge,

And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

16 A person’s gift makes room for him

And brings him before great people.

17 The first [h]to plead his case seems right,

Until [i]another comes and examines him.

18 The cast lot puts an end to quarrels,

And [j]decides between the mighty ones.

19 A brother who is offended is harder to be won than a strong city,

And quarrels are like the bars of a citadel.

20 With the [k]fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied;

He will be satisfied with the product of his lips.

21 Death and life are in the [l]power of the tongue,

And those who love it will eat its fruit.

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing

And obtains favor from the Lord.

23 A poor person utters pleadings,

But a rich person answers defiantly.

24 A person of too many friends comes to [m]ruin,

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


  1. Proverbs 18:1 Lit breaks out
  2. Proverbs 18:2 Lit heart
  3. Proverbs 18:4 Or A bubbling brook, a fountain of wisdom
  4. Proverbs 18:6 Lit come with
  5. Proverbs 18:8 Lit chambers of the belly
  6. Proverbs 18:10 Lit set on high
  7. Proverbs 18:15 Lit heart
  8. Proverbs 18:17 Lit in his plea
  9. Proverbs 18:17 Lit his neighbor
  10. Proverbs 18:18 Lit makes a division
  11. Proverbs 18:20 I.e., speech
  12. Proverbs 18:21 Lit hand
  13. Proverbs 18:24 Lit be broken in pieces