Proverbs 28:11

The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.
– Proverbs 28:11

Being wise in one’s own eyes is a characteristic of a fool, regardless of the particular avenue the fool walks down (Proverbs 3:7; 12:15; 26:5, 12, 16). The foolish rich find false security in wealth (Proverbs 18:11) and here, they take credit for their situation in life. The saying contrasts the foolish rich man with the poor man who has wisdom, understanding. Wisdom looks past the facade of riches and success.

Proverbs 27:22

Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
– Proverbs 27:22

The mortar and pestle paints the image of grinding and crushing. The word for bray means to pound. The imagery alludes to the beating of a fool he has merited through his folly (Proverbs 10:13; 18:6; 19:29; 26:3). The last phrase points to the deeper, spiritual problem of a fool and the fact that physical punishment alone is not sufficient to remove folly from him (Proverbs 17:10).

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:13

Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
– Proverbs 27:13

Wisdom consistently warns against rash pledges and sureties (Proverbs 6:1-4; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26-27). This saying essentially parallels the one in Proverbs 20:16. The inclusion here could be an example or a warning for the previous saying that a simple person doesn’t perceive risks and comes to suffer the consequences.

 


 

 

Proverbs 27:8

As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.

– Proverbs 27:8

This saying is difficult and commentators vary widely on interpretation. The likeness between a bird leaving her nest and a man wandering, presumably, from home seems to be about vulnerability and leaving protection. We might make a connection of place with way of wisdom. In this sense, it is a fool that leaves the way of wisdom (Proverbs 17:24), which results in destruction (Proverbs 21:16).

 


 

 

Proverbs 24:9

The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
– Proverbs 24:9

The word for thought means plan, and usually refers to bad plans. The word for foolishness means silliness, or folly. The first phrase refers to scheming, which is decidedly not according to wisdom. Such folly refuses instruction, embraces death, and goes woefully astray (Proverbs 5:21-23). Through such folly a woman destroys her own home (Proverbs 14:1), a hot headed man is exposed (Proverbs 14:17, 29), the character of a fool is known by the foolishness poured out of his mouth (Proverbs 12:23; 15:2, 14), and a man’s whole way is corrupted (Proverbs 19:3). Therefore, his love of folly and planning foolishness is sin.

The scorner, or scoffer, then, becomes an abomination to men. He becomes disgusting, or detestable, even in the eyes of men. The scorner is fixed in his evil ways because he will not receive correction (Proverbs 9:7-8; 13:1; 15:12). He is odious to men because he is a meddler and bringer of problems (Proverbs 21:24; 22:10; 29:8). Wisdom teaches us judgment is “prepared for scorners” (Proverbs 19:19), and he shall receive tooth for tooth (Proverbs 3:32-35).

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Proverbs 23:5

Wilt thou set thin eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
– Proverbs 23:5

Verse 5 uncovers the folly of exhausting yourself to be rich. The flying eagle is a figure of the fleeting nature of wealth. The eagle can be seen for a little while, but soon flies away out of grasp and eventually out of sight. This proverb doesn’t highlight any specific means of losing wealth, but such instances are mentioned elsewhere in Proverbs. A greedy man is in a hurry to be rich and his haste will actually turn to poverty (Proverbs 21:5; 28:22). Lovers of pleasure and indulgence will spread their wealth thin and come to rags (Proverbs 5:7-10; 23:20-21). The slothful fool will have trouble acquiring wealth, but what he will equally have trouble keeping what he has acquired (Proverbs 24:30-31; 27:23-27). Further, foolish managers and risk takers will exhaust their stores (Proverbs 21:20; 17:18; 22:26-27). So, in one way or another, riches tend to vanish away and wisdom teaches us not to set our hearts on material wealth.

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Proverbs 22:15

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
– Proverbs 22:15

The word for foolishness is common in Proverbs, occurring about 19 times. The word includes the ideas of silliness and stubbornness. Solomon gives the true born-that-way argument. Children come into the world ignorant and obstinate. The heart, or mind, is tied up in foolishness. Wisdom teaches instruction, correction, and chastisement are needed to grow a person in wisdom. How they are progressing in wisdom will be evident in their response to these (Proverbs 1:5, 7, 22, 29-30; 15:5). Chastisement comes through the rod of correction, emphasizing the need for more than just words to drive out folly. Parents must be diligent to instruct, correct, and chastise while their fools are young (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18). To neglect or withhold such correction is a failure to love the child and to reinforce their folly (Proverbs 23:13-14; 29:15). A fool who matures in his folly becomes practically incorrigible (Proverbs 27:22).

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Proverbs 19:3

The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
– Proverbs 19:3

The word for perverteth means to twist, or ruin. The sense of the first phrase is that a man given to folly comes to ruin (Proverbs 13:6). The word for fretteth means to boil, or be enraged. A man’s folly is his own undoing and it kindles his anger against God.

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Proverbs 18:13

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
– Proverbs 18:13

The word for answereth means to turn back, or return. Here it speaks of making a reply to some matter, which is a word or something said. The word for heareth means to hear intelligently. The word refers to listening with understanding, or comprehension. The first phrase speaks of making a hasty reply, or we would say, jumping to conclusions. The proverb speaks of speaking on a matter without knowing what you are talking about and the parallel phrase plainly labels it folly. Such folly leads to shame, or disgrace. It is a disgrace to be so foolish as to speak to something we don’t understand. This proverb pairs well with Proverbs 18:2 and Proverbs 18:17.

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