14 “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer—
then goes off and boasts about the purchase.
15 Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.
The swindler thinks only of financial costs, but that is only a small part of doing business. His haggling costs him the trust and respect of those he deals with, and his boasting costs him his reputation. Because he loves things and uses people, he is likely to have many possessions and few friends. It is better to love people and use things – although standard of living is determined by possessions, relationships govern one’s quality of life.
“Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.” It is better to be valued for what you are than what you have. Fine clothes and expensive jewelry are easily negated by foolish speech. Indeed there is no shortage of people with more wealth than wisdom. The wise do not flaunt their wisdom, which can neither be purchased nor inherited, it is this that distinguishes a man from his peers.