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2. Though not obvious to us,
4, 5. Answer not--that is, approvingly by like folly.
5. Answer--by reproof.
6. A fool fails by folly as surely as if he were maimed.
7. legs . . . equal--or, "take away the legs," or "the legs . . . are weak." In any case the idea is that they are the occasion of an awkwardness, such as the fool shows in using a parable or proverb (see Introduction; Pr 17:7).
8. A stone, bound in a sling, is useless; so honor, conferred on a fool, is thrown away.
9. As vexatious and unmanageable as a thorn in a drunkard's hand is a parable to a fool. He will be as apt to misuse is as to use it rightly.
10. Various versions of this are proposed (compare
Margin). Better perhaps--"Much He injures (or literally,
"wounds") all who reward," &c., that is, society is injured by
encouraging evil men.
11. returneth . . . folly--Though disgusting to others, the fool delights in his folly.
12. The self-conceited are taught with more difficulty than the stupid.
13. (Compare Pr 22:13).
14. (Compare Pr 6:10; 24:33).
15. (Compare Pr 19:24).
16. The thoughtless being ignorant of their ignorance are conceited.
17. meddleth--as in Pr 20:19; 24:21; as either holding a dog by the ears or letting him go involves danger, so success in another man's strife or failure involves a useless risk of reputation, does no good, and may do us harm.
18, 19. Such are reckless of results.
20, 21. The talebearers foster (Pr 16:28), and the contentious excite, strife.
22. (Compare Pr 18:8).
23. Warm professions can no more give value to insincerity than silver coating to rude earthenware.
24. dissembleth--though an unusual sense of the word (compare Margin), is allowable, and better suits the context, which sets forth hypocrisy.