Daily Service: Understanding sometimes requires digging
I have heard people say, as even I do at times, that some Bible passages just don’t make sense. Like here in Proverbs, two verses right next to each other seem to contradict themselves. Read the Bible knowledge commentary entry and it makes a lot more sense
Proverbs 26:4-5 (ASV) Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit.
26:4-5. These two sayings belong together; they complement each other. Their point is that one should not be drawn down to a fool’s level (v. 4) but at times he must use the fool’s language to refute the fool so he does not become conceited (v. 5; cf. vv. 12, 16). Wisdom is needed to determine when to apply verse 4 and when to apply verse 5. The Jewish Talmud suggests that verse 4 pertains to foolish comments that can be ignored and that verse 5 refers to erroneous ideas that must be corrected. You in verse 4 is emphatic and may be translated “you, even you.”
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.
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