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TEXT: Proverbs 14:24

SUBJECT: Proverbs #14: Folly


"Folly" and its equivilents are used often and variously in this Book of Proverbs. But its fundamental meaning remains constant. "Folly", then may be defined in two words, "Wilful ignorance". A "fool", therefore, is not simply "uninstructed", but "uninstructable".

In describing it, the authors employ three Hebrew words which reveal its true nature:

The most common is KESIL, which means "dullness or stupidity". But why is this fool so ignorant? Is he mentally deficient? Has he no opportunity to learn? Sadly, the true cause of his folly cannot be traced to his brain or circumstances, but to an obstinacy against wisdom. He intentionally rejects knowledge and imbibes error.

"How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge" (1:22).

Another word is EWIL, which greatly emphasizes the wilfulness of this state. The fool, not only prefers folly to wisdom, but literally "vomits out the former, and gorges himself on the latter."

"The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness" (15:2).

"The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness" (15:14).

The last word is NABAL, which again underlines the obnoxious nature of folly. There was a man by this name who was aptly described by the people who knew him best, i.e.,

His wife, "Please, let not my lord regard this scondrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name and folly is with him."

His servants set forth the nature of his foolishness, "...for he is such a scoundrel, that one cannot speak to him" (I Samuel 25:17,25).

In summary, and as I said before, "Folly is nothing more or less than wilful ignorance."














It is expressed in personal pride.

The fool is enamoured with his own supposed knowledge, 12:16, which means that he cannot be taught (1:7) or corrected (9:8).

This personal conceit leads necessarily to social misconduct, especially:

Self-centered conversation (18:2).

Talkitiveness (10:8).

Meddling (20:3).

Quarrelling (29:9).

A renunciation of God.



Folly is natural to man. And nature, of course, cannot revolutionize nature, 26:11.

Educated away, 1:7

Disciplined away, 26:3.

Beaten out,. 27:2

As long, therefore, as you look to your own powers to overcome it, you will remain hopeless.

Folly is only cured by God. He roots it out of

Practical steps.

Renounce omniscience.

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