"Warning Against the Sins of Men."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
We just finished the chapter on self control, discipline, and being able to stay focused on God's Word. We should pray for the power and the strength to keep ourselves under control and we will be a better person for that effort. Self control brings blessings to us from God. So now we move into the chapter that warns us how to spot those people we should stay away from.
Proverbs 26:1 "As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, So honour is not seemly for a fool."
The chance of having snow in summer in the lower elevations just doesn't exist, and that is just as sure as your receiving or giving honor to a fool, it just doesn't happen. It is just not normal, just as it doesn't rain at harvest time. "Fool" as used in the Hebrew text in this case is a "careless or senseless man". A man that just does not use any common sense. He doesn't know when harvest season is, nor does he care.
Proverbs 26:2 "As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, So the curse causeless shall not come."
This tells us what we do if someone puts a curse on us. The saying here "shall not come", should read "lighteth not". Just as the birds starting their migrations to the south don't settle down, neither will that curse settle down on you. No curse will settle on you because you are a follower of the living God. God gave us his promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us and He won't. Hebrews 13:5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Father has given us power over any curse or negative though someone would try to place on you. So this Proverb [26:2] is our guarantee that no curse can be placed on you.
However, God also established curses that He will bring upon you if you do certain things, and those curses are given in Deuteronomy 28:15-58. Those curses are not given by man, but by God for your disobedience to Him and His Word. If you are doing the best you can in following His Word, you do not merit those curses, and you just don't have to worry about it.
Proverbs 26:3 "A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, And a rod for the fool's back."
To lead a horse, the whip is to get its attention, but the bridle is to lead and set the direction the horse should go. However you do not need the whip for the ass, but only the bridle. However if you have a fool with you, sooner or later it will require the rod for correction. You will have to do something to get his attention, just as the whip was used for the horse. If you have a fool around you, expect that what he says will be just that, the words of a fool.
Proverbs 26:4 "Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him."
This is telling us that you just can't reason with a fool. Any logic that you say to him, he just cannot comprehend it.
Proverbs 26:5 "Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit."
The only answer that you can give a fool is to rebuke him. The speech that comes from his lips does not require an answer, for there is no logic to it. It's senseless, and anything you say would be just as senseless. Don't give an answer, but if he is a friend, than tell him why there can be no answer to his words.
Proverbs 26:6 "He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage."
Usually a message is something confidential, and to send a confidential message by a fool is to let the contents out to the public. The fool just can not keep his mouth shut. It puts you into a helpless state, for there is no way that the message can remain secure.
Proverbs 26:7 "The legs of the lame are not equal: So is a parable in the mouth of fools."
The words "are not" in the Hebrew text means "lifted up". So if you look upon the legs of a lame person, you would see that their legs are almost useless. That is also the way a parable in the mouth of a senseless person. Though he know the parable, he just cannot apply it with any understanding.
Proverbs 26:8 "As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, So is he that giveth honour to a fool."
The "sling" is a sling shot, and the reason that we put the stone in the leather of the slingshot, is so that the stone will fly. So only a senseless person would bind the stone to the slingshot, because it couldn't fly. That is just as the honor that you give a fool, bound to that fool, and that honor is going nowhere.
Proverbs 26:9 "As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, So is a parable in the mouth of fools."
When a person is is completely drunk, he is not able to feel any pain from a thorn jabbed into his hand. His mind simply cannot feel the pain. That is the way a parable in the mouth of a fool is, completely unable to be used with any sensitivity. In both cases, the drunk and the fool are numb to the truth of what is happening.
Proverbs 26:10 "The great God that formed all things Both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors."
The translators into the king James put the word "God" as used here in italics, for a purpose, it has been added. It was not in any of the manuscripts. They tried to make this parable mean one thing, when it is directed to something else. So here is how it should read. "A good man does the work for himself, and is rewarded, but if a man hires a fool then he will be rewarded with transgression." The man that hires a fool is going to have trouble in the workplace.
Proverbs 26:11 "As a dog returneth to his vomit, So a fool returneth to his folly."
Peter wrote of this proverb in II Peter 2:22; "But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." This is talking about a fool or senseless person, who never learns by his mistakes because he doesn't have any common sense.
Proverbs 26:12 "Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him."
This man that is wise in his own conceit has a religious meaning. This man is self-righteous; he thinks that he knows everything. He thinks that he doesn't have to study to prepare himself. Even a fool is above this type of a person.
Proverbs 26:13 "The slothful man saith, "There is a lion in the way, a lion in the street."
The lazy will create any excuse not to go out and do a days work. Of course lions don't hang around the streets and areas of city life, but it doesn't matter to the slothful man it is a excuse and that is all he needs.
Proverbs 26:14 "As the door turneth upon his hinges, So doth the slothful upon his bed."
Sure the door turneth on the hinges, because it is screwed to the door jam. The door can't go anywhere but swing open and closed. This is saying that this is just as the lazy person in bed, it is like he has hinges holding him to the bed.
Proverbs 26:15 "The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; It grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth."
The word "bosom" as used here should read "dish". So what this is saying is that this slothful person is so lazy that he puts his hand into the dish, and is to lazy to draw it to his mouth to eat. That is just about the limit to laziness.
Proverbs 26:16 "The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason."
If you have seven wise men working on a problem, more than likely the problem will be solved. However, this sluggard thinks he is wiser than all the seven put together.
Proverbs 26:17 "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belongeth not to him, Is like one that taketh a dog by the ears."
This one that passes by and is looking for trouble, means that you are not at home and the dog is not yours. However if you are at someone else's house and you try to grab their watchdog by the ears, and see what will happen. You will be heading for stitches. This proverb is telling you to stay out of trouble that has nothing to do with you.
Proverbs 26:18 "As a mad man who casteth firebrands, Arrows, and death,"
Proverbs 26:19 "So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, And saith, "Am not I in sport?"
This is saying that it is foolish to make all sorts of threats against your neighbor and after you shoot off your mouth, tell him that you were just teasing. I won't work, you have made for an unhappy neighbor that will never trust you.
Proverbs 26:20 "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: So where there is no tale bearer, the strife ceaseth."
There are some people that would rather tell a lie and stories than the plain truth. This proverb is saying that if you remove them from the neighborhood, the strife will stop. It is just like not adding wood to the fire, for in time that fire will burn out.
Proverbs 26:21 "As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire So is a contentious man to kindle strife."
Again he is a troublemaker, out to mess over the neighborhood. Don't run with a contentious person, they will draw you into their trouble.
Proverbs 26:22 "The words of a tale bearer are as wounds, And they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."
The words of a tale bearer are to cause trouble and hurt the person it is aimed at.
Proverbs 26:23 "Burning lips and a wicked heart Are like a potsherd covered with silver dross."
"Burning lips" are lips glowing with love, and a wicked heart is like a pot covered over, not with silver, but the slag that comes out of the silver when it is purified. When there is loving words coming from a person, when there is a wicked mind, is putrefying.
Proverbs 26:24 "He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, And layeth up deceit within him;"
Hate will mess over anything wise that you have to say, and will make you an ugly person.
Proverbs 26:25 "When he speaketh fair, believe him not: For there are seven abominations in his heart."
When a man with a wicked mind speaks with a smooth tongue, there are seven abominations in his heart. When he sounds smooth and gracious but with a wicked heart, look out, for there is deceit in his mind. This is speaking of the con artist.
Proverbs 26:26 "Whose hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation."
If a person is digging a trap for others to fall into it, will fall into it himself also.
Proverbs 26:27 "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: And he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him."
If your setting a trap by rolling a stone upon a hill, that stone will end up falling on you. What ever trap you set for other, will end up trapping you.
Proverbs 26:28 "A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; And a flattering mouth worketh ruin."
This is telling us to be aware of con artist, those that would like to separate you from your money. These lying tongues speak lies of deceit to trap you into making commitments to them. The are slick in their methods. Be aware of those around you and their motives.
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