This chapter begins by attacking living alone—Proverbs wants everyone to be part of the community.
It returns to its favorite whipping boy shortly thereafter: the fool. Fools don't like to understand anything—they just want to babble on about their ill-informed opinions.
The author repeats things we've already heard him say about four or five times: don't judge against the innocent and in favor of the guilty, God can protect you, humility is praiseworthy, wickedness brings disgrace, hard work is valuable, and fools are destroyed by the dumb things they say.
Ear Worm Whispers
Additionally, people who whisper malicious or insincerely nice things penetrate deep into your psyche and can mess you up.
You shouldn't speak before you've heard what's going on fully; it's tough to deal with a broken spirit; it's helpful to give gifts; hearing a cross-examination can help throw something that initially seemed reasonable into question; and casting lots helps end disputes.
Also, don't quarrel with your allies—it'll get you trapped worse than a castle's dungeon.
True friends and good wives are blessings, and using your tongue properly holds the key to winning favor and having everything good happen.