The good wife (Prov 18:22-18:24)

“He who finds a wife

Finds happiness.

He obtains favor from Yahweh.

The poor use entreaties.

But the rich answer roughly.

Some friends play at friendship.

But a true friend sticks closer

Than one’s nearest relative.”

You will be happy if you find a good wife. Yahweh will favor you. Even though the poor use entreaties to beg, the rich usually answer roughly. Some people play at friendship, but a true friend stays closer to you than your own relatives.

Casting Lots (Prov 18:18-18:21)

“Casting the lot puts an end to disputes.

Casting lots decides between powerful contenders.

An ally offended is stronger than a city.

Such quarreling is like the bars of a castle.

From the fruit of the mouth,

One’s stomach is satisfied.

The yield of the lips

Brings satisfaction.

Death and life

Are in the power of the tongue.

Those who love it

Will eat its fruits.”

Casting lots was a way of finding out God’s will. This is how you put an end to disputes and arguments between powerful people. If you offend your ally he will become stronger than a city. This kind of quarreling is like the bars on a castle that cannot be torn down or bring about reconciliation. You satisfy your stomach through your mouth. So too the words of your lips will bring satisfaction. Life and death are in power of the tongue. When you love something, you will eat its fruits or enjoy the results.

The intelligent ones (Prov 18:13-18:17)

“If one gives an answer before hearing,

It is folly and shame.

The human spirit will endure sickness.

But who can bear a broken spirit?

An intelligent mind acquires knowledge.

The ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

A gift opens doors.

Gifts give access to the great.

Whoever first states a case seems right,

Until the other comes,

Until the other cross-examines him.”

The intelligent mind is always acquiring knowledge. The wise ones always have an ear seeking knowledge. Inquiring minds want to know. It is folly and your shame if you give an answer before you hear the question. The human spirit can endure sickness, but a broken spirit is more difficult to bear. A gift will open doors for you, especially to the great ones. If you go to court, your case may seem right until you are cross-examined by somebody else.

The strong tower of Yahweh (Prov 18:9-18:12)

“Whoever is slack in his work

Is close kin to a vandal.

The name of Yahweh is a strong tower.

The righteous run into it.

The righteous are safe.

The wealth of the rich is their strong city.

They image wealth like a protective high wall.

Before destruction

One’s heart is haughty.

But humility goes before honor.”

If you are slack in your work, you are like a vandal stealing from your employer. The name of Yahweh is like a strong tower. The righteous run to this tower of Yahweh where they are safe. The rich people live in a strong city. They believe that their wealth is like a protective wall for them. Generally speaking, one’s heart is haughty or proud before the destruction comes. Humility should go before honors.

Words of a fool (Prov 18:4-18: 8)

“The words of the mouth are deep waters.

The fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream.

It is not right

To be partial to the guilty.

It is not right

To subvert the innocent in judgment.

A fool’s lips

Bring strife.

A fool’s mouth

Invites a flogging.

A fool’s mouth

Is their ruin.

A fool’s lips

Are snares to themselves.

The words of a whisperer

Are like delicious morsels.

They go down into the inner parts of the body.”

The words that come out of one’s mouth are like deep waters. Wisdom is like a gushing fountain. You should not favor the guilty or subvert the innocent with bad judgments. The lips of fools bring strife. Their mouths invite a whipping. Precisely the mouth of the fool is the cause of his ruin. Their lips snare themselves. They get caught in their own foolish words. However, the words of the deceptive ones who whisper in your ear are like delicious treats that go down into the inner parts of your body and ruin your body.

The fool (Prov 18:1-18:3)

“Whoever lives alone is self-indulgent.

He shows contempt for all who have sound judgment.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding.

He only wants to express his own personal opinion.

When wickedness comes,

Contempt comes also.

With dishonor comes disgrace.”

The fool does not take any pleasure in understanding. He only wants to hear his own personal opinion expressed to others. If you live alone, you are self-indulgent since you show contempt for any other person with a sound judgment other than your own. When wickedness comes, contempt comes with it. With dishonor comes disgrace. The fool seems to be a loner who is worried about his own opinions.

The foolish children (Prov 17:21-17:28)

“The one who begets a fool gets trouble.

The parent of a fool has no joy.

A cheerful heart is a good medicine.

But a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

The wicked accept a concealed bribe.

They pervert the ways of justice.

The discerning person looks to wisdom.

But the eyes of a fool look to the ends of the earth.

Foolish children are

A grief to their father.

Foolish children are

Bitterness to her who bore them.

To impose a fine on the innocent

Is not right.

To flog the noble for their integrity

Is not right.

Whoever spares words is knowledgeable.

Whoever is cool in spirit has understanding.

Even fools who keep silent

Are considered wise.

When they closes their lips,

They are deemed intelligent.”

Foolish children are trouble. There is no joy in dealing with them. A cheerful heart is good medicine for you, while a downcast spirit will dry up your bones. The wicked judges, when they accept a concealed bribe, are perverting justice. A discerning person looks for wisdom, but fools try to go to the ends of the earth in search of something or other. Foolish children are a grief to their father and bitterness to their mother. You should not impose a fine on the innocent ones. You should not flog the noblemen for their integrity. If you do not speak too much you give the impression of being knowledgeable. If you appear cool, people assume you understand things. Thus even fools who keep silent are sometimes considered wise. Some people appear to be more intelligent when they never open their mouth or move their lips.