Proverbs 12:23

A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
– Proverbs 12:23

The word for concealeth means to hide or cover. A couple of senses are covered here. The wise man stores up knowledge (Proverbs 10:14), and he measures out his words (Proverbs 10:19; 11:13; 15:2). The main thought of the proverb is restraint or control over the tongue exercised by the prudent. The contrast comes in the fool proclaiming, or crying out, foolishness. Talkativeness is a mark of a fool (Proverbs 15:2). Not only does a fool pour out foolishness, but he also proves himself to be a fool by doing so (Proverbs 13:16; Ecclesiastes 10:3).

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Proverbs 12:16

A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
– Proverbs 12:16

The word for presently means in a day, or we might say immediately. The second phrase shows the proverb is considering reactions to shame, or being crossed in some way. The fool has no self-control and reacts immediately with anger. He must make his displeasure known (Proverbs 29:11). The word for prudent means shrewd and it can be used negatively or positively. The word carries the idea of making plans. The man described in the second phrase is one who thinks things through and determines the best course of action. He doesn’t react in the heat of anger like the fool. He weighs carefully before he speaks or acts (Proverbs 14:8, 15). The word for covereth means to conceal or hide. A good way for us to look at it would be in terms of overlooking. A prudent man overlooks an insult without spouting off about it.

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