Wise Saying #22

silence fools

Wise Saying #22:

“Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.” (24:7 NIV)

In the ancient world, the city gate, and the courtyard it opened up to, was the communal meeting place of the populace. Here, important civil and legal matters affecting the community would be discussed and decided upon (cf. Deuteronomy 16:18; Proverbs 31:23). The well-being of the town rested upon the wise men and decisions that were made there. Therefore, according to the Wiseman, the usually mouthy fool must not be allowed to speak (cf. 12:23; 13:16; 15:2, 7). Since, the wisdom needed to make weighty decisions is too high for the fool to obtain, since he “despises wisdom and instruction” (1:7; cf. 17:16). Maybe we should heed this proverb in the next election cycle, but I digress[1]. In light of the call in the previous verse to seek out, “wise guidance” and an “abundance of counselors” (24:6); the Wiseman is admonishing us to not waste our time listening to fools, or to even let them speak. So, as you contemplate and debate the important issues of life, whether it’s personal, political, spiritual, social or otherwise, seek wise counsel, ignoring the advice of fools. To do otherwise, makes you twice the fool yourself.

This week’s theme: The Thirty Sayings of the Wiseman

[1] Will Rogers did say, “A fool and his money are soon elected.”

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