He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
– Proverbs 13:20
Proverbs speaks often about the influence, for good or bad, of others upon one’s life. The fatherly addresses in the opening chapters alert to the presence of evil influences and instruct and warn to avoid them (Proverbs 1:10; 2:12; 4:14). The proverbs proper also warn this way (Proverbs 16:29; 22:24-25; 23:20; 28:7). The first phrase commends the good of walking with wise men. The result is becoming wise oneself (Proverbs 2:20). The second phrase warns that to flock with fools, which the word for companion means, will to be inherit the same end as fools (Proverbs 1:11-19; 2:12-19; 9:6).