2. Though not obvious to us,
the bird--literally, "sparrow"--and
swallow--have an object in their motions, so penal evil falls on none without a reason.
3. The rod is as much needed by fools and as well suited to them, as whips and bridles are for beasts.
4, 5. Answer not--that is, approvingly by like folly.
5. Answer--by reproof.
8. A stone, bound in a sling, is useless; so honor, conferred on a fool, is thrown away.
9. As vexatious and unmanageable as a thorn in a drunkard's hand is a parable to a fool. He will be as apt to misuse is as to use it rightly.
10. Various versions of this are proposed (Compare Margin). Better perhaps--"Much He injures (or literally, "wounds") all who reward," &c., that is, society is injured by encouraging evil men.
transgressors--may be rendered "vagrants." The word "God" is improperly supplied.
11. returneth . . . folly--Though disgusting to others, the fool delights in his folly.
12. The self-conceited are taught with more difficulty than the stupid.
13. (Compare Proverbs 22:13 ).
15. (Compare Proverbs 19:24 ).
16. The thoughtless being ignorant of their ignorance are conceited.
17. meddleth--as in Proverbs 20:19 , 24:21 ; as either holding a dog by the ears or letting him go involves danger, so success in another man's strife or failure involves a useless risk of reputation, does no good, and may do us harm.
18, 19. Such are reckless of results.
20, 21. The talebearers foster ( Proverbs 16:28 ), and the contentious excite, strife.
22. (Compare Proverbs 18:8 ).
23. Warm professions can no more give value to insincerity than silver coating to rude earthenware.
24. dissembleth--though an unusual sense of the word (compare Margin), is allowable, and better suits the context, which sets forth hypocrisy.