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Proverbs 18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

It’s Wrong to Favor the Guilty

18 It’s selfish and stupid
    to think only of yourself
    and to sneer at people
    who have sense.[a]
Fools have no desire to learn;
    they would much rather
    give their own opinion.
Wrongdoing leads to shame
    and disgrace.
Words of wisdom
are a stream
    that flows
    from a deep fountain.
It’s wrong to favor the guilty
    and keep the innocent
    from getting justice.

Foolish talk will get you
    into a lot of trouble.
Saying foolish things
is like setting a trap
    to destroy yourself.
There’s nothing so delicious
as the taste of gossip!
    It melts in your mouth.
Being lazy is no different
    from being a troublemaker.

10 The Lord is a mighty tower
where his people can run
    for safety—
11     the rich think their money
    is a wall of protection.

12 Pride leads to destruction;
    humility leads to honor.
13 It’s stupid and embarrassing
    to give an answer
    before you listen.
14 Being cheerful helps
    when we are sick,
    but nothing helps
    when we give up.
15 Everyone with good sense
    wants to learn.
16     A gift will get you in
    to see anyone.
17 You may think you have won
your case in court,
    until your opponent speaks.
18 Drawing straws is one way
    to settle a difficult case.
19 Making up with a friend
    you have offended[b]
    is harder than breaking
    through a city wall.

20 Make your words good—
    you will be glad you did.
21 Words can bring death or life!
    Talk too much, and you will eat
    everything you say.
22 A man’s greatest treasure
is his wife—
    she is a gift from the Lord.
23 The poor must beg for help,
    but the rich can give
    a harsh reply.
24 Some friends don’t help,[c]
    but a true friend is closer
    than your own family.

Footnotes:

  1. 18.1 sense: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 1.
  2. 18.19 Making. . . offended: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 18.24 Some. . . help: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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