Proverbs 18

1 People who do not get along with others are interested only in themselves; they will disagree with what everyone else knows is right.
2 A fool does not care whether he understands a thing or not; all he wants to do is show how smart he is.
3 Sin and shame go together. Lose your honor, and you will get scorn in its place.
4 A person's words can be a source of wisdom, deep as the ocean, fresh as a flowing stream.
5 It is not right to favor the guilty and keep the innocent from receiving justice.
6 When some fool starts an argument, he is asking for a beating.
7 When a fool speaks, he is ruining himself; he gets caught in the trap of his own words.
8 Gossip is so tasty - how we love to swallow it!
9 A lazy person is as bad as someone who is destructive.
10 The Lord is like a strong tower, where the righteous can go and be safe.
11 Rich people, however, imagine that their wealth protects them like high, strong walls around a city.
12 No one is respected unless he is humble; arrogant people are on the way to ruin.
13 Listen before you answer. If you don't, you are being stupid and insulting. 1
14 Your will to live can sustain you when you are sick, but if you lose it, your last hope is gone.
15 Intelligent people are always eager and ready to learn.
16 Do you want to meet an important person? Take a gift and it will be easy.
17 The first person to speak in court always seems right until his opponent begins to question him.
18 If two powerful people are opposing each other in court, casting lots can settle the issue.
19 Help your relatives and they will protect you like a strong city wall, but if you quarrel with them, they will close their doors to you.
20 You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say.
21 What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.
22 Find a wife and you find a good thing; it shows that the Lord is good to you. 2
23 When the poor speak, they have to be polite, but when the rich answer, they are rude.
24 Some friendships do not last, but some friends are more loyal than brothers.

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Proverbs 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

Verse 1 If we would get knowledge and grace, we must try all methods of improving ourselves. Verse 2 . Those make nothing to purpose, of learning or religion, whose only design is to have something to make a show with. Verse 3 . As soon as sin entered, shame followed. Verse 4 . The well-spring of wisdom in the heart of a believer, continually supplies words of wisdom. Verse 5 . The merits of a cause ( proverbs 18:6-7 ) do to themselves by their ungoverned tongues! Verse 8 . How base are those that sow contention! and what fatal effects may be expected from small beginnings of jealousy! Verse 9 . Omissions of duty, and in duty, are fatal to the soul, as well as commissions ( proverbs 18:10-11 ) Lord Jesus Christ, forms a strong tower for the believer, who relies on the Lord. How deceitful the defence of the rich man, who has his portion and treasure in this world! It is a strong city and a high wall only in his own conceit; for it will fail when most in need. They will be exposed to the just wrath of that Judge whom they despised as a Saviour. Verse 12 . After the heart has been lifted up with pride, a fall comes. But honour shall be the reward of humility. Verse 13 . Eagerness, with self-conceit, will expose to shame. Verse 14 . Firmness of mind supports under many pains and trials. But when the conscience is tortured with remorse, no human fortitude can bear the misery; what then will hell be? Verse 15 . We must get knowledge, not only into our heads, but into our hearts. Verse 16 . Blessed be the Lord, who makes us welcome to come to his throne, without money and without price. May his gifts make room for him in our souls. Verse 17 . It is well to listen to our enemies, that we may form a better judgment of ourselves. Verse 18 . It was customary sometimes to refer matters to God, by casting lots, with solemn prayer. The profaning the lot, by using it in matters of diversion, or coveting what belongs to others, forms an objection to this now. Verse 19 . Great care must be taken to prevent quarrels among relations and those under obligations to each other. Wisdom and grace make it easy to forgive; but corruption makes it difficult. Verse 20 . The belly is here put for the heart, as elsewhere; and what that is filled with, our satisfaction will be accordingly, and our inward peace. Verse 21 . Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue. Verse 22 . A good wife is a great blessing to a man, and it is a token of Divine favour. Verse 23 . Poverty tells men they must not order or demand. And at the throne of God's grace we are all poor, and must use entreaties. Verse 24 . Christ Jesus never will forsake those who trust in and love him. May we be such friends to others, for our Master's sake. Having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; and we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us, ( John 15:14 ) .

Cross References 2

  • 1. +218.13Ben Sira 11.8.
  • 2. +218.22Ben Sira 26.1-4.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. [Some ancient translations] Help . . . wall; [Hebrew unclear.]
  • [b]. [Some ancient translations] Some friendships do; [Hebrew] Someone with friends does.

Proverbs 18 Commentaries

Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.