Wisdom is the art and skill of living well in God’s world and a big piece of how we interact with the world and others in it is our communication. The Proverbs have much to say about our communication, namely what is wise and foolish communication. This collection of Proverbs teaches us when to speak and how our speech should be, but also, and just as importantly, there are many Proverbs here that tell when not to speak. Refusing to speak in certain situations may be the wisest thing to do.
I was surprised at how many Proverbs there were on communication and if I were to guess, the volume of Proverbs on communication comes in second after all the Proverbs on wealth. I have also complied all of those Proverbs as well; if you are interested in that collection, click here.
6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
8 The wise of heart will receive commandments,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
10 Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
and a babbling fool will come to ruin.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
13 On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,
but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
14 The wise lay up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
18 The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse. – Prov. 10:6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 30, 31
9 With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
12 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. – Prov. 11:9, 11, 12, 13
6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
13 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble.
14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
17 Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.
18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight. – Prov. 12:6, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 22
2 From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. – Prov. 13:2, 3
3 By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
5 A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
7 Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful. – Prov. 14:3, 5, 7, 25
1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools.
14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. – Prov. 15: 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, 28
13 Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
and he loves him who speaks what is right.
21 The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
23 The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
30 Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things;
he who purses his lips brings evil to pass. – Prov. 16: 13, 21, 23, 24, 30
4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
7 Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
still less is false speech to a prince.
27 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. – Prov. 17: 4, 7, 27, 28
2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
6 A fool’s lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
13 If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.
20 From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
23 The poor use entreaties,
but the rich answer roughly. – Prov. 18: 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 13, 20, 21, 23
1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will perish.
28 A worthless witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity. – Prov. 19: 1, 5, 9, 28
19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.
25 It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
and to reflect only after making vows. – Prov. 20:19, 25
6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
28 A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure. – Prov. 21:6, 23, 28
11 He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
14 The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;
he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it. – Prov. 22: 11, 14
9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.
16 My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right. – Prov. 23:9, 16
1 Be not envious of evil men,
nor desire to be with them,
2 for their hearts devise violence,
and their lips talk of trouble.
24 Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
26 Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.
28 Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips. – Prov. 24:1-2, 24-26, 28
9 Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another’s secret,
10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.
11 A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
15 With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.
18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
23 The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks. – Prov. 25:9-10, 11, 15, 18, 23
9 Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
20 For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26 though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin. – Prov. 26:9, 20, 22, 23, 24-26, 28
2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.
5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love. – Prov. 27:2, 5
23 Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue. – Prov. 28:23
5 A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
6 An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him. – Prov. 29:5, 6, 11, 20
10 Do not slander a servant to his master,
lest he curse you, and you be held guilty. – Prov. 30:10
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. – Prov. 31:26