Study Guide

Proverbs Chapter 26

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Chapter 26

Two Approaches to Fools

  • The proverbs continue: if you curse someone, and they don't deserve it, the curse won't affect them. It'll just drift around aimlessly in space, like a sparrow in the breeze.
  • After stating that fools don't deserve honor, Proverbs records two contradictory proverbs: the first says not to answer a fool "according to his folly," or you'll look like a fool; the second says to answer a fool according to his folly, or else the fool will think he or she is wise. (You get to be the judge here.)
  • Don't send messages by fools, give honor to or hire them—also, proverbs sound weak when fools try to say them.
  • Fools keep returning to their folly, like a dog who goes back to lick up its own vomit (a nice image).
  • People who falsely believe that they are wise are, however, even worse than straight-up fools—they have less hope.

Sticky Dishes 

  • A few sayings run through familiar observations on lazy people: lazy people stick their hands in dishes and are too lazy to remove them; they love to luxuriate in bed; and they have an undue amount of self-esteem (too much of it).
  • You shouldn't meddle in someone else's quarrel, or make incendiary comments and then claim that you were "just joking."
  • The chapter ends by inveighing against people who whisper maliciously, who might speak softly, but have evil intent. Anyone who acts like this, concocting schemes and plots, will eventually be undone by their own efforts.

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