A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
– Proverbs 17:4
Evil speech can be anywhere from slanderous to plotting and is here represented by false lips and a naughty tongue. This proverb isn’t so much about evil speech as it is about those who listen and delight in hearing it. For evil speech to spread, it has to have a ready ear (Proverbs 26:20). Delighting in bad talk reveals the hearer as bad also. The word for wicked doer means a spoiler, or destroyer. The word liar indicates a habitual liar. The law forbid taking part in talebearing, whether as a spreader or hearer (Leviticus 19:16-17).