Wise ... Foolish Talk
By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools.
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
A fool’s lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.
Righteous and Wicked Talk
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble.
From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
and a word in season, how good it is!
The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.
When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.
Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.
A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
Slandering and Gossip
The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
curse that is causeless does not alight.
The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarreling.
Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.
A man of crooked heart does not discover good,
and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
What is desired in a man is steadfast love,
and a poor man is better than a liar.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
Power of the Tongue
From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Holy Bible, English Standard Version,
as arranged in chronological order by F. Legard Smith