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18

The one who lives alone is self-indulgent,

showing contempt for all who have sound judgment.

2

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,

but only in expressing personal opinion.

3

When wickedness comes, contempt comes also;

and with dishonor comes disgrace.

4

The words of the mouth are deep waters;

the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream.

5

It is not right to be partial to the guilty,

or to subvert the innocent in judgment.

6

A fool’s lips bring strife,

and a fool’s mouth invites a flogging.

7

The mouths of fools are their ruin,

and their lips a snare to themselves.

8

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;

they go down into the inner parts of the body.

9

One who is slack in work

is close kin to a vandal.

10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;

the righteous run into it and are safe.

11

The wealth of the rich is their strong city;

in their imagination it is like a high wall.

12

Before destruction one’s heart is haughty,

but humility goes before honor.

13

If one gives answer before hearing,

it is folly and shame.

14

The human 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 gift opens doors;

it gives access to the great.

17

The one who first states a case seems right,

until the other comes and cross-examines.

18

Casting the lot puts an end to disputes

and decides between powerful contenders.

19

An ally offended is stronger than a city;

such quarreling is like the bars of a castle.

20

From the fruit of the mouth one’s stomach is satisfied;

the yield of the lips brings satisfaction.

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

Some friends play at friendship

but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.


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Pr 18:1-24.

1. Through desire … seeketh—that is, seeks selfish gratification.

intermeddleth … wisdom—or, "rushes on" (Pr 17:14) against all wisdom, or what is valuable (Pr 2:7).

2. that his heart … itself—that is, takes pleasure in revealing his folly (Pr 12:23; 15:2).

3. So surely are sin and punishment connected (Pr 16:4).

wicked, for "wickedness," answers to

ignominy, or the state of such; and

contempt, the feeling of others to them; and to

reproach, a manifestation of contempt.

4. Wise speech is like an exhaustless stream of benefit.

5. accept the person—(Compare Ps 82:2). "It is not good" is to be supplied before "to overthrow."

6, 7. The quarrelsome bring trouble on themselves. Their rash language ensnares them (Pr 6:2).

8. (Compare Pr 16:28).

as wounds—not sustained by the Hebrew; better, as "sweet morsels," which men gladly swallow.

innermost … belly—the mind, or heart (compare Pr 20:27-30; Ps 22:14).

9. One by failing to get, the other by wasting wealth, grows poor.

waster—literally, "master of washing," a prodigal.

10. name of the Lord—manifested perfections (Ps 8:1; 20:2), as faithfulness, power, mercy, &c., on which men rely.

is safe—literally, "set on high, out of danger" (Ps 18:2; 91:4).

11. contrasts with Pr 18:10 (compare Pr 10:15). Such is a vain trust (compare Ps 73:6).

12. (Compare Pr 15:33; 16:18).

13. Hasty speech evinces self-conceit, and ensures shame (Pr 26:12).

14. infirmity—bodily sickness, or outward evil. The spirit, which sustains, being wounded, no support is left, except, as implied, in God.

15. (Compare Pr 1:5, 15, 31).

16. (Compare Pr 17:8, 23). Disapproval of the fact stated is implied.

17. One-sided statements are not reliable.

searcheth—thoroughly (Pr 17:9, 19).

18. The lot—whose disposal is of God (Pr 16:13), may, properly used, be a right mode of settling disputes.

19. No feuds so difficult of adjustment as those of relatives; hence great care should be used to avoid them.

20. (Compare Pr 12:14; 13:2). Men's words are the fruit, or, increase of his lips, and when good, benefit them.

satisfied with—(Compare Pr 1:31; 14:14).

21. Death and life—or, the greatest evil and good.

that love it—that is, the tongue, or its use for good or evil.

eat … fruit—(Compare Pr 18:19; Jas 1:19).

22. The old versions supply "good" before the "wife," as the last clause and Pr 19:14 imply (compare Pr 31:10).

23. the rich … roughly—He is tolerated because rich, implying that the estimate of men by wealth is wrong.

24. A man … friendly—better, "A man … (is) to, or, may triumph (Ps 108:9), or, shout for joy (Ps 5:11), that is, may congratulate himself." Indeed, there is a Friend who is better than a brother; such is the "Friend of sinners" [Mt 11:19; Lu 7:34], who may have been before the writer's mind.




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