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CHAPTER 18 Apr. 8 
Attitudes about Judgments and Disputes
An unfriendly man pursues selfishness, and defies all sound judgment. 2A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own opinion. 3When wickedness comes, contempt also comes, and with shame comes disgrace. 4The words of a man’s mouth are like deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing brook. 5To be partial to the faces of the wicked is not good, nor to deprive the innocent of justice. 6A fool’s lips come into strife, and his speech asks for beatings. 7A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are a snare to his soul. 8The words of a gossip are like tasty morsels: they go down into a person’s innermost parts. 9One who is slack in his work is brother to him who is a master of destruction. 10The name of Yahweh is a strong tower: the righteous run into Him, and are safe. 11The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, like an unscalable wall in his own imagination. 12Before destruction the heart of man is proud, but before honour is humility. 13He who gives answer before he hears, that is folly and shame to him. 14A man’s spirit will sustain him in sickness, but a crushed spirit, who can bear? 15The heart of the discerning gets knowledge; the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. 16A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. 17He who pleads his cause first seems right; until another comes and questions him. 18The lot settles disputes, and keeps strong ones apart. 19A brother offended is more difficult to be won than a fortified city; and disputes are like the bars of a castle. 20A man’s stomach is filled with the fruit of his mouth. With the harvest of his lips he is satisfied. 21Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit. 22Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains grace of Yahweh. 23The poor plead for mercy, but the rich answer harshly. 24A man of many companions may be ruined, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 


18:4 Words are important; yet they are so common, as we hear and speak millions of them each week, that we can easily forget their profound significance in our lives and those of others.
18:6 His speech asks for beatings- According to our words we will be judged at the last day (Mt. 12:37; Lk. 12:47,48); our words now may actually be as it were requesting our punishment then. We must so speak as those who will be judged, knowing that he who showed no mercy in his words will receive none (James 2:12,13); our words of mercy or condemnation, and perhaps the way we say them, will be the basis upon which we will be accepted or rejected. In this sense death or life are in the power of our tongue (:21).
18:8 It’s attractive to us to hear gossip; the one who hears it will often not just ignore it but will take it deep within themselves.
18:9 Again we see passive behaviour- in this case, laziness- paralleled with proactive destructive behaviour.
18:10 This has relevance to us in that we can be baptized into the Lord’s Name.
18:11 One implication of this could be that those who trust in wealth isolate themselves from others.
18:18 The use of lots is seen positively here; they were used by the early church in Acts 1:26.