Proverbs 27:3

A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both.

– Proverbs 27:3

Verses 3-4 speak to things unbearable. The stone and sand are heavy and difficult burdens to workers. Carrying them and moving them about is exhausting work. Dealing with a fool’s wrath is worse. The word heavier indicates the fool’s wrath is excessive. The difficulty portrayed in the image of heavy stone and sand indicates the fool’s wrath is unreasonable and vexing as well (Proverbs 12:16; 17:12).

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:18-19

As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbor, and saith, Am not I in sport?

– Proverbs 26:18-19

Verses 18-19 refer to the chronic jokester who does not seriously consider the damaging effects of his jesting. A mad man is a reference to insanity and the picture is completed by him throwing flaming arrows, arrows, and even death around indiscriminately. He has no concern for the danger that threatens those around him. The comparison is to the jolly fool who deceives his neighbor with no forethought of the hurtful potential of his antics. Of course, he attempts to cover is with the suggestion that he was only having fun (Proverbs 10:23; 15:21).

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:12

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.

– Proverbs 26:12

This verse is the last proverb in this group about fools. To be wise in one’s own eyes, or in one’s conceit, is to be proud and right by your own judgment. It is a mark of folly as it is set contrary to the “fear of the Lord” in Proverbs 3:7, which is the very beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). It is not describing the naïve simpleton of low information, but rather the knowledgeable proud who is obstinate in his self-confidence. Being proud of his knowledge makes him harder than a fool.

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:11

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

– Proverbs 26:11

This proverb highlights the ineradicable nature of folly to a fool. The image of the dog returning to its own vomit is deliberately nauseating and apt as a picture of the fool returning to his folly. A fool is known by the fact that no matter how high he seems to attain, the depth of folly is his delight and continual resort.

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:10

The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

– Proverbs 26:10

The wording of this proverb is extremely difficult. The words used have various meanings and the combination is puzzling. The word for great means abundant and is sometimes rendered captain or princes. It can indicate a superior rank. The word for formed means twist and connotes writing in pain. It is used to speak of childbirth, grief, or wounding. The word for rewardeth means wages and is used to speak of hiring, and appears twice in the verse. The word for fool is the most common word in Proverbs for fools. It refers to a dull an obstinate person. The word for transgressors means move away. It most often refers to physical and spatial movement. It is often translated as pass by, pass through, pass over, etc. It could refer here to a passer-by. The proverb certainly has a negative thrust with the idea of wounding and being in the context of verses pertaining to fools.

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:9

As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

– Proverbs 26:9

The word for parable is most often translated proverb in the Old Testament. It usually refers to a wisdom saying, like the proverbs in this book. The first phrase is a little more difficult. The word for drunkard means intoxicated person. The likely image is a drunken person grabbing a thorn bush, or branch, to possible use as a weapon or instrument. His senseless state means he doesn’t realize what he grabbed and that it will prove as hurtful to him as to anyone else. So, a fool does not understand a proverb and, therefore, will not use it correctly. Proverbs are fashioned in wisdom and require skill to understand and teach (Ecclesiastes 12:11).

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:8

As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honor to a fool.

– Proverbs 26:8

Binding a stone in a sling is a senseless act. It renders the sling useless for its intended purpose and could also injure the person trying to use it. The point is clear from the second phrase. Honor is not fitting for a fool and could even be dangerous (Proverbs 26:1).

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:7

The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

– Proverbs 26:7

The image of lame legs hanging limp indicates the inability of the man to use them. A parable, or proverb, is not understood by fools and cannot be used properly. It requires a wise man beginning from the fear of the Lord “to understand a proverb, and the interpretation” (Proverbs 1:5-7).

 


 

 

Proverbs 26:6

He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.

– Proverbs 26:6

 

This proverb focuses on the sender more than the foolish messenger. Other proverbs speak of employing a messenger and the whole pictures contrasts the negative effects of sending a sluggard or a fool and the positive effects of sending a faithful messenger (Proverbs 10:26; 13:17; 25:13). The image here, cutteth off the feet and drinketh damage, shows the foolish messenger being unhelpful and hurtful.  Drinking speaks of abundance, or excessive damage, or violence.

 


 

 

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