Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 26

Prov 26.1-28 gives us insight into the essence of the fool, the sluggard and busybodies.

v 1…Like snow in summer and rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool (all of these are out of place).

v 2…Like a sparrow in its flitting (wandering), like a swallow in its flying (it won’t settle down, stick in one place), so a curse without a cause does not alight (come upon a person…it, too, will fly without landing if there is no cause).

v 3…A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey (these instruments are appropriate for control), and a rod (branch) for the backs of fools (because force is needed to get them to walk orderly).

v 4…Do not answer a fool according to his folly (by being on the same level in your actions), lest you also be like him.

v 5…Answer a fool as his folly deserves (sharp, wise answer), lest he be wise in his own eyes (to prevent him from thinking he is wise and we did not answer him).

v 6…He cuts off his own feet and drinks violence (in a helpless position and harms himself) who sends a message by the hand of a fool (expecting your thoughts will be properly expressed and conveyed).

v 7…Like the legs which hang down from the lame (helpless to walk), so is a proverb in the mouth of fools (contradictory and he can’t use the wisdom).

v 8…Like one who binds a stone in a sling (not ever done, it can come back and hit you; it’s dangerous and stupid) is he who gives honor to a fool (also dangerous and stupid, a waste).

v 9…Like a thorn which falls (goes up) into the hand of a drunkard (bringing pain), so is a proverb in the mouth of fools (also brings pain because it will be applied wrong).

v 10…Great (“rav”) is the former (a master workman) of all things, but he who hires a fool is like one who hires those passing by (nothing gets built or done).

v 11…Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats with his folly (repeats his mistakes).

v 12…Do you see a wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than him (a proud man is even worse than a fool because he will never learn wisdom).

v 13…The sluggard (lazy) says, “There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!” (The lazy will give any excuse not to work-Luke 14.15-24).\

v 14…As the door turns on its hinges (but never out of place), so is the sluggard on his bed (he moves but not out of his place, makes no effort to progress).

v 15…The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is weary of bringing it to his mouth again (lazy).

v 16…The sluggard is wise in his own eyes (due to his conceit) than seven men (completion ,everybody) who can give a direct answer (he is a legend in his own mind).

Prov 26.17-28 now talks about busybodies.

v 17…Like one who takes a dog by the ears (provoking trouble) is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him (doesn’t mind his own business).

v 18…Like a mad man who throws firebrands, arrows and death,

v 19…So is the man who deceives (deliberately) his neighbor, and says, “Was I not joking?” (plays tricks, teasing him).

v 20…For a lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer (the gossip) contention (strife) ceases (for there is no fuel to put on the fire).

v 21…Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to the fire (to keep the fire going), so is a contentious man to kindle strife (always stirring it up again).

v 22…The words of a whisperer (gossip) are like dainty morsels, they go down into the innermost part of the body.

v 23…Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross (looks good from the outside but inside it is worthless) are burning lips and a wicked heart (insincerity).

v 24…He who hates disguises it with his lips (don’t want to be known as a hater), but he lays up deceit in his heart, bowels, mind, spirit, thoughts and desires).

v 25…When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, for there are seven (complete, total) abomination in his heart (evil plans against you that will shock the righteous).

v 26…Though his hatred covers itself with guile (kept secret), his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly (exposed before the court of God; a Beit Din).

v 27…He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him (intent on harming others, it will come back on his own head, like Haman).

v 28…A lying tongue hates those it crushes (no sympathy for others), and a flattering mouth works ruin (by manipulation and deception).

Posted in All Teachings, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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