The opposite of wisdom is folly, foolishness or being a fool. A young man came to me recently
wanting my blessing for what he was doing, that at best didn’t look good. He was spending long
hours every day with a young lady in her apartment without a third party. They both&n … More
The fool“ is mentioned several times in these verses. Fools are those who mock and make fun of sin and refuse to heed the voice of wisdom. Just as snow in summer and rain at harvest are destructive so will putting a fool in a position of honor be injurious to those who follow him (v. 1). A curse you don’t deserve will take wings and fly away like a sparrow or a swallow (v. 2). Since the fool will not be ruled by persuasion or by reason, a rod is required to bring his rebellious ambitions into line. He is just like a horse or a mule that needs a bridle and a whip to control him (v. 3). The reason that many young people rebel today is because they have not had the rod when they needed it.
We should never answer a fool in the same scoffing and egotistical spirit that he manifests and thus be drawn down to his level (v. 4). On the other hand to allow a foolish statement to go unchallenged without rebuttal will only strengthen him in his self-assurance and conceit (v. 5). The man of wisdom will not dispute with a fool, but will simply answer him with decisive statements that will challenge his statements and expose his shallowness.
Because a person has a lot of education does not mean that he is not a fool. Wisdom is what I should be seeking.
Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool. Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools. Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool. Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »
Proverbs 23:1-11Trying to Teach a Fool is Useless
Proverbs 23:12-23A Wise Child Will Hear His Parents Instruction
Proverbs 23:24-35Drunkenness Leads to All Kinds of Problems
Proverbs 24:1-10What is in Your Heart Comes Out in Your Talk
Proverbs 24:11-22Rejoicing for The Wrong Reasons
Proverbs 24:23-34Priorities in Establishing a Home
Proverbs 25:1-10Tell a Person His Fault Alone
Proverbs 25:11-20Self Control is Important
Proverbs 25:21-28Compromise Invites an Attack by Satan
Proverbs 26:1-9The Man of Wisdom Will Not Dispute a Fool
Proverbs 26:10-19The Less You Do, The Less You Want to Do
Proverbs 26:20-28It Always Takes Two to Quarrel
Proverbs 27:1-9Don’t Brag About Tomorrow
Proverbs 27:10-18Iron Can Sharpen Iron
Proverbs 27:19-27The Natural Man is Never Satisfied
Proverbs 28:1-10Refusing to Obey Brings Disastrous Results
Proverbs 28:11-18The Rich Are Often Filled With Pride
Proverbs 28:19-28Giving Needed Rebuke is Never Easy
Proverbs 29:1-11An Honest Ruler Makes a Nation Strong
Proverbs 29:12-18Biblical Discipline Brings Delight
Proverbs 29:19-27The Rod and Reproof Bring Wisdom