After so many chapters of imagery and metaphors, King Solomon now settles into his true proverbs — the sayings and advice he’d want his readers to keep in mind when push comes to shove. These are the mantras that have been ingrained into our cultures, quoted in times of hardship and conviction, but which sometimes need to be put in the context of the original text. All of these verses are intended to show the differences between the righteous and the perverse — those who are full of doing what is right and those who have turned away from the right path. The verses become guidelines to help readers recognize their own actions and the actions of their peers, with the hope that we will choose the righteous, and thus choose life.
Verse 8: “The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.”
Verse 11: “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.”
Verse 12: “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”