The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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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.



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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