Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
– Proverbs 18:21
The previous proverb had a positive gloss and this one is more negative. Both speak to the consequences of our speech, though this one gives stronger warning. Words can be good or bad, death or life. Words have power, or hand, or strength. Wisdom warns to be careful of our speech, realizing the power of the tongue (Proverbs 10:20-21). The second phrase uses love to speak of loving the tongue, or speech. Knowing how powerful words are and loving, or indulging, in speech means we must live with the consequences (Proverbs 10:19). In most cases, it is better to have said too little than too much (Proverbs 11:12-13; 17:28).