1 Seeking his own pleasure,
The recluse (or separatist) breaks forth (or quarrels) with everything that is stable.
2 A fool (= fat, and then dense, or stupid, which comes of it, showing itself in impiety) has no delight in understanding,
But that his heart may vent itself.
3 When a lawless one comes, then comes also contempt,
And with disgrace (or shame [i.e. outward) reproachfulness.
4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters,
And the wellspring of wisdom as a gushing torrent.
5 It is not good (meaning it is very bad) to show partiality of a lawless one,
[It is not good] to overthrow a righteous one in judgment.
6 A fool's lips enter into contention,
And his mouth calls for strokes. (Illustrations: Judg. 8:4-7. 2 Kings 2:23,24. Luke 19:22.)
7 A fool's mouth is his destruction,
And his lips are the snare of his own self.
8 The words of a wisperer (or tattler) are as dainty morsels (i.e. they are greedily swallowed),
And they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
9 He also that is slothful in his work
Is brother to him that is a master of destruction (i.e. an absolute destroyer).
10 The person of the LORD is a strong tower:
The righteous runs into it, and is set on high. (Illustrations: Job [Job 19:25,26]; Habakkuk [Hab. 3:17,19]; Asa [2 Chron. 14:11]; Hezekiah [2 Kings 19:14-20, 32-35. Isa. 38:1-8]; Apostles [Acts 4:24-33].)
11 The rich man's wealth is his strong city,
And [it is] as an high wall in his own imagination.
12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, (Illustration: Jezebel [2 Kings 9;30-33].)
And before honor is humility. (Cp. 15;33. Illustration: contrast Goliath [1 Sam. 17;8-10,43,44] with 1 Sam. 17;45,47.)
13 He that answers a matter before he hears it, (Illustrations; David 2 Sam. 16:4; 19:24-30]; Ahasuerus [Est. 3;10. Cp. 8;5,&c]; Darius [Dan. 6:9. Cp. 6:14,18]; magistrates [Acts 16:37-39].)
It is folly and shame to him.
14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; (Illustrations: Job [Job 1:20,21; 2:8,9,10]; Paul [2 Cor. 12;9. Acts 22:24. Rom. 5:3-5]; Paul ans Silas [Acts 16:23-25,37].)
But a wounded spirit who can bear? (Illustrations; Cain [Gen. 4:13,14]; Eli's daughter in law [1 Sam. 4:19-22. Cp. Prov. 15:13]; Saul [1 Sam. 28:20. 2 Sam. 1:9]; Ahithophel [2 Sam. 17:23]; Zimri [1 Kings 16:18]; Pashur [Jer. 20:4]; Judas [Matt. 27:5].)
15 The heart of a prudent one gets knowledge;
And the ear of wise ones seeks knowledge.
16 A man's gift makes room for him,
And brings him before great men.
17 He that is first in his own cause seems just; (Illustrations: Saul [1 Sm. 15:13. Cp. v.26]; Ziba [2 Sam. 16:1-3. Cp. 19:26]; Tertullus [Acts 24:5,16. Cp. v.13].)
But his neighbor comes and searches him.
18 The lot causes contentions to cease,
And parts between the mighty.
19 A brother dealt falsely with is harder to be won than a strong city:
And their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
20 A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth;
And with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: (Illustrations: the 10 spies [Num. 14:36,37]; Doeg [1 Sam. 22;9,10]; Sennacherib [2 Kings 18:28,35; 19:22-35;. 2 Chron. 32:21]; Ammonites [Ezek. 25:3-7]; Sapphira [Acts 5;5-10]; Esther [Est. 7 and 8]; Paul [Acts 16:28-34]; the Gospel [Rom. 1:16. 2 Cor. 2:16].)
And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
22 Whoso finds a good wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor of the LORD.
23 A needy one uses entreaties;
But the rich answers roughly.
24 A man that has feeders (i.e. a flock feed by a shepherd) who break in pieces: (or, There are friends who rend us)
But there is a lover (who loves without cause) who is closer than a brother.