He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
– Proverbs 13:3
This proverb is about controlling one’s mouth, or speech. Keeping one’s mouth refers to guarding or keeping watch over your mouth. Regulating speech is a recurring theme in the Proverbs (Proverbs 10:19). In most cases, it is better to say too little than too much. The indication in the first phrase is that keeping the mouth also keeps the life (Proverbs 21:23). The word for openeth wide in this context means to be talkative. “The mouth of fools poureth out foolishness” (Proverbs 15:2). The consequence of open-mouth talking is destruction, or ruin (Proverbs 12:13).