Proverbs 26: 1-12…. Emphasis on fools.

1. Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honour is not fitting for a fool.
2. Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
a curse that is causeless does not alight.
3. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
and a rod for the back of fools.
4. Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
5.Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.
6.Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
7.Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
8.Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is one who gives honour to a fool.
9.Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10. Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.
11. Like a dog that returns to his vomit
is a fool who repeats his folly.
12. Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Comment: I think that we need to think about what a fool is. It is worth considering. Does it mean

  • the uninformed? By lack of or maybe by the rejection of knowledge?
  • the person who has knowledge but little or no wisdom?
  • decided opposition to known facts?
  • In Proverbs and other parts of the ‘Wisdom Literature’ it often refers to the one who rejects God.

In another list let’s look at what is said about dealing with fools and foolishness.

  • (1) Honouring a fool is out of place and even destructive like snow and rain at the wrong time.
  • (3) Fools need to be dealt with to keep them in line as you control horses and donkeys.
  • (4,5,6) Be wise in discussing with the foolish and don’t let them be the bearers of your messages.
  • (7-10) A fool trying to discern a proverb is like a man who has lost his legs trying to walk; like a man using a sling shot with the stone glued into the holder; in his mouth he so misuses it that his words are like the arrows which an archer, shooting foolishly, kills the innocent.
  • (11&12) Repeated foolishness is like eating a meal of vomit, and even as he eats he thinks himself wise!

Prayer: Help me neither to be judgemental nor deceived by what is said and done around me, please.

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