[If] a wise man contendeth with a foolish man
Enters into a controversy with him, either by word or writing, in order to convince him of his folly and wickedness, of his errors and mistakes; whether he rage or laugh, [there is] no rest;
that is, either whether the fool is angry with the wise man, and rages at him and abuses him, and calls him names, or laughs at him, and scoffs at all his arguments, reasons, and advice; yet the wise man does not cease from proceeding in the contest with him; or he is not dejected and cast down, and discouraged; or, as the Targum is,
``he is not broken;''but patiently bears his wrath fury, his scoffs and jeers: or else whether the wise man deals roughly or gently with the feel, in a morose or in a mere jocose way: it has no upon him; he is never the better for it; he does not acquiesce or rest in what he says like the Pharisees in Christ's time, who are compared to surly children: who, when "piped to, danced not"; and, when "mourned to, lamented not", (See Gill on Matthew 11:16), and (See Gill on Matthew 11:17). The design of the proverb is to show, that all labour to reclaim a fool from his folly is lost, let a man take what methods he will, ( Proverbs 27:22 ) .