"Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
and discerning if they hold their tongues...
...The lips of fools bring them strife,
and their mouths invite a beating.
The mouths of fools are their undoing,
and their lips are a snare to their very lives."
- Proverbs 17:28; 18:6-7
"Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
A Fool is Not a Total Fool if He Keeps His Mouth Shut
The wise words of Proverbs 17:28 follow 17:27 which focuses on the importance of using words with restraint and having an even temper. Proverbs 17:28 seems to be advice for the fool who is NOT a complete fool if he will simply control his mouth, even if it means complete silence. Proverbs 18:6-7 and others references tell the fool that:
- a fool’s lips bring him strife (Proverbs 18:6)
- a fool’s mouth invite a beating (Proverbs 18:6)
- a fool’s mouth is their undoing (Proverbs 18:7)
- a fool’s lips are a snare to their life (Proverbs 18:7)
- a fool’s chatter brings ruin (Proverbs 10:8)
- a fool shows annoyance at once (Proverbs 12:16)
If a fool knows these things and has learned the consequences of their loose lips and chattering mouth, then Job’s words are good advice and say the same thing as this proverb:
“If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom.” – Job 13:5
The fool is no longer a total fool if he knows he would be better off restraining his words than gushing forth the words of a foolishness.
The wise man speaks with control and with intention. The same advice is true for the wise man if he is tempted to speak impulsively. Even the wise man keeps his mouth shut when he knows he has nothing but foolish and thoughtless words to speak.
1 Thessalonians 2:7 where Paul was epios towards the Thessalonians when he could have been a burden.
2 Timothy 2:24 where Paul tells Timothy a servant of God should be epios to all men and not combative.
Paul’s use of epios in both of these NT uses refer to those with authority in the church with leadership and teaching positions. These leaders are not to be burdensome, combative, harsh or bitter. A leader in the church needs to be epios.
New International Version (NIV)
Judah to Serve Nebuchadnezzar
27 Early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 This is what the Lord said to me: “Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it on your neck. 3 Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4 Give them a message for their masters and say, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Tell this to your masters: 5 With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. 6 Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him. 7 All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him.
8 “‘“If, however, any nation or kingdom will not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon or bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague, declares the Lord, until I destroy it by his hand. 9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10 They prophesy lies to you that will only serve to remove you far from your lands; I will banish you and you will perish. 11 But if any nation will bow its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let that nation remain in its own land to till it and to live there, declares the Lord.”’”
12 I gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah. I said, “Bow your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon; serve him and his people, and you will live. 13 Why will you and your people die by the sword, famine and plague with which the Lord has threatened any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Do not listen to the words of the prophets who say to you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying lies to you. 15 ‘I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord. ‘They are prophesying lies in my name. Therefore, I will banish you and you will perish, both you and the prophets who prophesy to you.’”
16 Then I said to the priests and all these people, “This is what the Lord says: Do not listen to the prophets who say, ‘Very soon now the articles from the Lord’s house will be brought back from Babylon.’ They are prophesying lies to you. 17 Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon, and you will live. Why should this city become a ruin? 18 If they are prophets and have the word of the Lord, let them plead with the Lord Almighty that the articles remaining in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem not be taken to Babylon. 19 For this is what the Lord Almighty says about the pillars, the bronze Sea, the movable stands and the other articles that are left in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem— 21 yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about the things that are left in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem: 22 ‘They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the Lord. ‘Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’”
New International Version (NIV)
Jonah Goes to Nineveh
3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion
4 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
- Origen, 248 AD
- Sacrilege (Mark 11:15-18) – violating the temple and holy things dedicated to God
- Hypocrisy (Matt. 23:1-36) – religious leaders did not obey their own standards, exalted themselves, avoided fulfilling their oaths on technicalities.
- Covetousness (Lk 12:15) – the sin of greed causes fights and quarrels (Jm.4:1-4)
- Blasphemy (Matt.12:22-37) – calling God’s work Satanic and vice versa
- Transgressing the Law (Matt. 15:3-6) – manipulating the law to benefit your desires is breaking the law
- Pride (Matt. 20:20-28; Lk.14:7-11) – seeking positions of power and honor
- Being a Stumbling Block (Matt.18:6) – leading others into sin
- Disloyalty (Matt.8:19-22) – seeking comfort and serving self before fulfilling duties, to Christ is sin
- Immorality (Matt.5:27-32) – committed in action or in heart
- Fruitlessness (Jn.15:16) – not living productive Christian lives is a sin
- Anger (Matt.5:22) – internal anger is compared to the act of murder
- Sins of Speech (Matt.5:33-37; 12:36) – keep oaths, keep promises; we will be held accountable for useless, thoughtless or improper words
- Showing Off (Matt.6:1-18) – doing good deeds for attention is sin
- Lack of Faith (Matt.6:25) – worrying and not trusting God is sin
- Irresponsible Stewardship (Matt.25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27) – failure to use your abilities and opportunities are the sin of irresponsibility
- Prayerlessness – Jesus told us to pray and never give up; to cease praying or to stop calling out to God for help is sin
#2 of 4) Ritmeyer located a natural rock scarp on the west side which would have been the support for the back wall of the Holy of Holies which faced east. This means that the west and north walls of the Holy of Holies were set against rock scarp that had been cut out to form the 20 cubit by 20 cubit Holy of Holies.
and only later to consider his vows."
- Proverbs 20:25