Proverbs 26-27: The fool, sluggard and gossip.

October 8, 2015.

Daily Reading: Proverbs 26-27.

Background: Proverbs 25.

Concepts and Connections.

Chapter 26

The fool, sluggard and gossip: This chapter returns back mostly to the style in which we have seen the proverbs written in for most of the book, couplets of wisdom. However, it seems that the couplets are organized more by topic in this chapter, as there are many couplets here that are themed together. These themes include words about the fool and the sluggard, meddling, gossiping and deceit. Note that the first twelve verses deal with the fool out right, highlighting the interactions one would have with a fool and warning against trusting fools. We are warned not to honor the fool, but rather deal accordingly (v. 1-3), not to answer a fool according to his folly, lest he drag us down to his level (v. 4), and not send a message by the hand of a fool or give him any task that needs to be completed well (v. 6, 10). Proverbs are not fitting for the fool, as he will not learn from them, but repeat his folly (v. 7, 9, 11). And yet, the one who is wise in his own eyes is worse than the fool (v. 12). After the discussion of the fool, the proverbs are turned to the sluggard (v. 13-16), warning against his ways. It is interesting to note that the sluggard and the one who is wise in his own eyes are connected in verse 16, a ideology that we just saw is worse than that of a fool. Other concepts of note in this chapter include: it is unwise to meddle in other people’s business (v. 17), do not seek to deceive, for a deceitful man cannot be trusted (v. 18-19, 24-26, 28), gossip causes quarreling, though it tastes sweet in the moment (v. 20, 22-23), do not look to cause strife (v. 21) and those who dig a pit will fall into it (v. 27).

Chapter 27

Couplets of wisdom: This chapter returns more faithfully to the style that makes up the bulk of the book of proverbs, giving us wisdom in the form of short couplets. The topics that these couplets cover vary widely in this chapter, ranging from boasting, to thoughts on friendship, to the heart and the eyes of man. Some concepts of note include: do not be found boasting (v. 1, 2),  the fool will be known by his speech (v. 3), jealousy is like a deadly poison (v. 4), rebuke and the wounds of a friends can be profitable (v. 5, 6), we will accept many things in desperation that we would not when full (v. 7), friendship and neighbors can be more helpful than family at times (v. 9, 10), seek to know wisdom that you might be able to answer the one who reproaches and avoid danger by seeing it coming (v. 11, 12), helping someone with the motive to be seen of men will be counted as cursing (v. 14), we are  sharpened by one another (v. 17), the heart of man reflects who he really is (v. 19), the eyes of man are never satisfied (v. 20, see also Ecclesiastes 1:8, 4:8), and man is tested by his praise (v. 21). The last section in this chapter (v. 23-27) deals with knowing the condition of your flocks and fields, so as to prepare and take care of the things that will sustain you in the long run.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Amos 1-4.

Seek to know wisdom.


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