Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise utters knowledge rightly, but the mouth of the [self-confident] fool pours out folly. 3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good. 4 A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life, but willful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit. 5 A fool despises his father's instruction and correction, but he who regards reproof acquires prudence. 6 In the house of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is great [priceless] treasure, but with the income of the wicked is trouble and vexation. 7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge [sifting it as chaff from the grain]; not so the minds and hearts of the self-confident and foolish. 8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, hateful and exceedingly offensive to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight! 9 The way of the wicked is an abomination, extremely disgusting and shamefully vile to the Lord, but He loves him who pursues righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation). 10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes God's way; and he who hates reproof will die [physically, morally, and spiritually]. 11 Sheol (the place of the dead) and Abaddon (the abyss, the final place of the accuser Satan) are both before the Lord -- "how much more, then, the hearts of the children of men? 12 A scorner has no love for one who rebukes him; neither will he go to the wise [for counsel]. 13 A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. 14 The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge and inquires after and craves it, but the mouth of the [self-confident] fool feeds on folly. 15 All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances]. 16 Better is little with the reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord than great and rich treasure and trouble with it. 17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it. 18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger appeases contention. 19 The way of the sluggard is overgrown with thorns [it pricks, lacerates, and entangles him], but the way of the righteous is plain and raised like a highway. 20 A wise son makes a glad father, but a self-confident and foolish man despises his mother and puts her to shame. 21 Folly is pleasure to him who is without heart and sense, but a man of understanding walks uprightly [making straight his course]. 22 Where there is no counsel, purposes are frustrated, but with many counselors they are accomplished. 23 A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment -- "how good it is! 24 The path of the wise leads upward to life, that he may avoid [the gloom] in the depths of Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead). 25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but He makes secure the boundaries of the [consecrated] widow. 26 The thoughts of the wicked are shamefully vile and exceedingly offensive to the Lord, but the words of the pure are pleasing words to Him. 27 He who is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live. 28 The mind of the [uncompromisingly] righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. 29 The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with Him). 30 The light in the eyes [of him whose heart is joyful] rejoices the hearts of others, and good news nourishes the bones. 31 The ear that listens to the reproof [that leads to or gives] life will remain among the wise. 32 He who refuses and ignores instruction and correction despises himself, but he who heeds reproof gets understanding. 33 The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord brings instruction in Wisdom, and humility comes before honor.