Some Important Proverbs About Fools, With Commentary

Part One: Introduction

Everyone knows at least a few, if not more. There are many kinds. What matters most is not being one yourself.

Joking, kidding around, being silly, and etc. are not in question. Having a good sense of humor is not something to shun or disregard. The Book of Proverbs appreciates such.

And yes, I can admit that a time or two or ten or twenty, that I’ve been foolish: in my actions, in my words, in decision making, etc. I think if you’re honest, you can admit to the same.

But occasional foolishness due to immaturity, ignorance, or even carnal weakness is not at issue.

One need not be branded a “FOOL” simply for sometimes doing or saying something foolish, especially if, and here is the key, the person who said or did the foolish thing, learns from the mistake, repents of it, and makes every conscious effort not to repeat whatever it was that was foolish.

I am not talking about this. And neither, do I submit, is God, when we read from the Book of Proverbs about fools.

So when we talk about fools, what do we mean? Are there more than one category or kind? Yes, there are.

The first kind of fool is the “God Doesn’t Exist” or “Unbelieving” or simply, the “Atheist” Fool.

Psalm 14:1 and 53:1,

1. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

1. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

Atheism is foolish. As a former atheist, I can testify to my prior foolish unbelief. It was a mistake, even a sin. But I repented, and have learned the truth, and now, I live differently, in the wisdom that comes from knowing God is real and He really exists.

The second kind of fool is the Simpleton, that is, the one who goes through life purposefully oblivious, because he or she doesn’t want to learn anything. This does not refer to someone with a cognitive disability or who doesn’t have a high intellect, i.e. are incapable of learning at a high degree. Rather, it’s someone who has the ability and resources to learn and be educated but refuses to do so. Such can, however, with repentance, be corrected.

Proverbs 1:22,

22. How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?

There is a certain disdain being shown here. This isn’t talking about the “simple” life so many want or actually do live. It’s referring to folly, to being naive and gullible, for refusing instruction and understanding.

Another kind of fool is the Sophomore, or Wise Fool. Basically the “know it all’ that doesn’t know much of anything.

Romans 1:22,

22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…

This kind of foolishness is harder to correct, and is not often repented of, because of the pride involved. Many people simply refuse to humble themselves and allow God to take them down a few pegs, where they might actually learn something, like say, I don’t know, maybe MEEKNESS!

A fourth category is the Raging Fool, that is, someone whose temper is always so short and so hot, they never think straight enough to say or do the smart thing, and usually, only after they’ve ruined something, do they see the error of their ways…but even then, not always.

Daniel 3:13,

13. Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury…

Old Neb’s a good example of this. Because of his position and the sense of entitlement that came with it, we read more than once how being hasty got him into all sorts of trouble. Usually, this kind of foolishness is quickly realized in the heart of the fool, and is usually repented of, after the fact, i.e. when it costs them something, but the repentance is often shallow in the sense that they don’t come out the wiser, meaning no lasting change occurred. But still, God is merciful, just like with Nebuchadnezzar.

While there are other categories (e.g. the “It Could Never Happen To Me” Fool), the last one I’m going to mention is the most dangerous kind of all: the Spiritually Insane Fool, as seen below:

…Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness…was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet (2 Peter 2:15-16).

Balaam is, in Simon Peter’s own words, the archetype for all false prophets (See 2 Peter 2:12-19). Like Satan himself, the chief problem isn’t doctrinal error, ignorance of truth, or even tradition. The main problem is insanity or madness. I’m not talking about the sincere Apollos’ of the world, who need a loving Aquila and Priscilla to come and expound the way of God more excellently so that they may embrace the truth and be used by the Lord (See Acts 18:24-28). I’m talking about the deceived mad men and mad women of the world, many of whom are backsliders, who are so repugnant in their presentation of spiritual things, they don’t even realize how ugly they are. These are fools of the highest order, to be pitied perhaps, but at all costs, guarded against and avoided. Such people almost never repent, being as close to reprobate as anyone ever was, often finding themselves only used by God as “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” (Compare to Romans 9:22).

Now, with some of the categories highlighted, I give you some important proverbs about fools, with commentary:

Part Two: The Proverbs, with Commentary

Proverbs 3:35,

35. …shame shall be the promotion of fools.

The end result of all that a fool achieves in life, no matter what kind of fool they are, will be shame.

Proverbs 7:22,

22. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks…

Read the whole chapter for context. This is talking about the easily misled Simpleton who goes, like a moth to the flame, to commit adultery with a seductress. But look what he gets: imprisonment. Deservedly so, I might add.

Proverbs 9:13,

13. A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

This is an example of the Raging Fool. An uncontrolled, uncontrollable loud-mouthed woman, instead of displaying the meek and quiet spirit God loves and appreciates, is nothing more than an empty-headed fool (Contrast to 1 Peter 3:4).

Proverbs 10:1,

1. …a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

Parents often bear the burden of children who refuse instruction and correction. And here, we see that mothers especially, grieve (This could be any kind of fool, by the way).

Proverbs 10:8,10

8. …but a prating fool shall fall.

10. …but a prating fool shall fall.

Some people just don’t know how or when to shut up. Such are fools, and often, they fall, or get themselves knocked down, if you know what I mean.

Proverbs 10:18,

18. He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

This could be a Sophomore, who speaks of things he or she doesn’t understand, and ends up sharing false information. Or the Atheist who, every time he or she discounts the existence of God, does the same. But honestly, I think this verse is talking more about the Spiritually Insane Fool, i.e. the false prophet who deceives, knowing full well they are lying, but does it anyways (then again some are so severely deceived themselves they actually believe what they say is true. In either case, hatred and slander is involved).

Proverbs 10:21,

21. The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.

Simpletons and other kinds of fools, too, are often too stupid to be of much good to anyone. Some Bible truths are hard, even harsh, aren’t they?

Proverbs 10:23,

23. It is as sport to a fool to do mischief…

People who think life is a game, and play on as if nothing should be taken seriously, get themselves and others into a lot of trouble. And not only in this life, mind you, but also in the life (or rather eternal death) to come.

Proverbs 12:15,

15. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes…

Can’t tell some people a thing. They won’t listen. They just plow ahead. The Raging Fool comes to mind.

Proverbs 12:16,

16. A fool’s wrath is presently known…

I told you, the Raging Fool’s temper is short and hot…

Proverbs 12:23,

23. …the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

Obviously, but unfortunately obliviously, at least for the fool.

Proverbs 13:19,

19. …it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

Are we listening to the Word of God? If and when you meet or know someone who is a Biblically defined fool, be assured, they are up to their eye-balls in some kind of evil.

Proverbs 13:20,

20. …a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

You don’t have to go down with the fool’s ship. Jump off and swim away. Rather, don’t even get on board!

Proverbs 14:1,

1. Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

See a family falling apart? There just might be an idiot wife and mother at the helm. Granted, the husband and father can do much damage to a family, too. But before you go all feminist and accuse me or the Bible, think instead of the high priority the Bible puts on womanhood. Such is the importance of a wife and mother to a home that she, by herself, can save or ruin it. That is high praise to the virtues of being a woman.

Proverbs 14:7,

7. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

Especially the Atheist, the Raging Fool, and the Spiritually Insane Fool. They will hurt you worse than anyone.

Proverbs 14:9,

9. Fools make a mock at sin…

When you see or hear someone downgrade sin from the damning force it really is to just a pittance of a problem, you know what kind of person you’re dealing with: a fool. More than from anyone else, the Spiritually Insane Fool, especially the backslid kind, will do this.

Proverbs 15:5,

5. A fool despiseth his father’s instruction…

Humans need fathers. We must have them. Dads more than anyone, influence toward whether or not we will submit in love to God or not. Many are the sad fools who didn’t have a father to instruct them, or worse, they completely disregarded their father’s wisdom when instructed. In either case, mourn and lament for the lack of Godly fathers in this world.

Proverbs 15:7,

7. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.

They just can’t do it.

Proverbs 17:10,

10. A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.

Whip them all day long, it won’t change a thing. Stubborn, hard-headed, bent on doing things their own way, even if it loses them their souls, but hey, at least they can sing Sinatra’s “My Way” on their way to everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.

Proverbs 17:21,

21. He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.

Are we getting it? See how much being a fool negatively affects others? Sorrow? Joylessness? This stuff matters, people!

Proverbs 18:2,

2. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

One of the root issues with fools is selfishness. Deep down, they only care about themselves. Like the actor who asks “What’s my motivation?”, the fool answers “Well, I am! Duh?” If you think I’m mistaken, take a Scriptural look at all the self-help, psycho-babble, guru-mentor nonsense in the world today.

Proverbs 18:6,

6. A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.

I don’t think the Bible is advocating violence. But if a fool run’s his or her mouth, and someone cracks him or her one, don’t be surprised.

Proverbs 19:3,

3. The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord.

The main issue: fools operate against the Lord. This is what it boils down to. It’s a heart condition that only God can fix, yet His help is routinely rejected. It’s a sad shame.

Proverbs 20:3,

3. …every fool will be meddling.

Facebook, anyone? How many people get into other people’s business when they don’t belong? Too many. Fools all.

Proverbs 23:9,

9. Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Is there a bigger waste of time and energy? Just walk away and leave them alone.

Proverbs 26:3,

3. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.

Maybe God’s trying to tell us something? Like, maybe, the only thing a fool’s good for is a beat-down? Again, the Bible is not advocating taking matters into your own hands and hurting someone. But let God be God, and He will avenge Himself on all the un-godly, even fools too dumb to repent.

Proverbs 27:22,

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

Looking pretty hopeless, isn’t it?

Proverbs 28:26,

26. He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool

Hey, Disney? Are you listening? Every cartoon you make teaches kids, especially young girls to follow your heart and all your dreams will come true. And we watch with wonder while wicked works play out before our eyes, enjoying the “magic” with our kids on our laps.

Part Three: Conclusion

At first glance, when considering all that the Proverbs say about fools, you might, after awhile, start to chuckle. You might think, “Wow, God ain’t playing!” and take a light-hearted approach to the topic. And if so, you might do that to this blog entry.

But I want you to know something. I am dead serious. Even if the tone of this blog went a little flippant. After recently seeing and hearing my church, my pastors, my elders, and myself being lied about, slandered, libeled, persecuted and publicly ridiculed by a spiritually deranged, sinfully sick, Biblically defined Sophmoric, Raging, Spiritually Insane Fool, you better believe I mean every word. Am I hurt? Not really. Bitter? No, I’m not. I simply realized something.

In these last days, when the whole world goes anti-christ, and the true church of Jesus Christ becomes public enemy number one, the fools, whose eyes “are in the ends of the earth” (Proverbs 17:24) are going to come out of the wood-work to attack, malign, and destroy us. If we’re not careful, such actions will cost us too much come the Last Trump.

We need to be prepared for such abuses. They are coming.

Finally, Proverbs 18:7,

7. A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

Except a fool repent, they have only one final destination, and it’s “reserved for idiots”, as Jeff Arnold might say. It’s a place no one, if they really knew what it was like, would ever want to go. If you are reading this, and you know a fool or two, or you happen to be one yourself, and you realize it, please, before it’s too late, encourage them or yourself to call on the name of the Lord and let Him save them and/or you from the wrath of God to come.


~ by votivesoul on 09/13/2013.

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Mark Showalter's Blog

Always seeking to know God more

Theo-sophical Ruminations

A collage of theological and philosophical musings

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