Refrain from strife, and you will lessen sins;
for a man given to anger will kindle strife,
and a sinful man will disturb friends
and inject enmity among those who are at peace.
In proportion to the fuel for the fire, so will be the burning,
and in proportion to the obstinacy of strife will be the burning;
in proportion to the strength of the man will be his anger,
and in proportion to his wealth he will heighten his wrath.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
and both come out of your mouth.
Curse the whisperer and deceiver,
for he has destroyed many who were at peace.
Slander has shaken many,
and scattered them from nation to nation,
and destroyed strong cities,
and overturned the houses of great men.
Slander has driven away courageous women,
and deprived them of the fruit of their toil.
Whoever pays heed to slander will not find rest,
nor will he settle down in peace.
The blow of a whip raises a welt,
but a blow of the tongue crushes the bones.
Many have fallen by the edge of the sword,
but not so many as have fallen because of the tongue.
Happy is the man who is protected from it,
who has not been exposed to its anger,
who has not borne its yoke,
and has not been bound with its fetters;
for its yoke is a yoke of iron,
and its fetters are fetters of bronze;
its death is an evil death,
and Hades is preferable to it.
It will not be master over the godly,
and they will not be burned in its flame.
Those who forsake the Lord will fall into its power;
it will burn among them and will not be put out.
It will be sent out against them like a lion;
like a leopard it will mangle them.
See that you fence in your property with thorns,
lock up your silver and gold,
make balances and scales for your words,
and make a door and a bolt for your mouth.
Beware lest you err with your tongue,
lest you fall before him who lies in wait.
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