There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
– Proverbs 12:18
Wisdom teaches words are powerful (Proverbs 18:21). The contrast of this proverb is between the power for bad and the power for good. The word for speaketh means babble and indicates rash, hasty speech like that prompted by anger. The piercings of a sword speak of a wound from stabbing. Rash and angry words are wounding, and sometimes deeply so (Proverbs 25:18). The contrasted words are wise words. Wise words are honest and just (Proverbs 24:26). Wise words are calm and measured (Proverbs 10:19; 15:1). Wise words are also appropriate for the season (Proverbs 15:23). The word for health means a curative, i.e. a medicine. Thus, wise words are also wholesome, nourishing, life-giving (Proverbs 10:21; 16:24).