The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
– Proverbs 17:14
This proverb warns of the consequences of starting and stirring strife. The image is like the opening of a flood gate. Perhaps it is more like one who continually picks at a hole in a dam until it finally busts loose. The foolish wicked are those continually stirring strife (Proverbs 17:19; 26:21; 29:22). Rather than causing contention, wisdom will leave off, appease, and prevent (Proverbs 13:10; 14:29; 15:1; 16:32; 19:11; 20:3; 25:8).