Proverbs 12:23

23 1A prudent man conceals knowledge, 2but the heart of fools proclaims folly.

Proverbs 12:23 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 12:23

A prudent man concealeth knowledge
Of things natural or divine, which he is furnished with; not but that he is willing to communicate it, as he should, at proper times, in proper places, and to proper persons; but he does not needlessly and unseasonably speak of it; he does not make a show of it, or boast and brag of it: he modestly forbears to speak of what he knows, but when there is a necessity for it, even of that which may be lawfully divulged; which is a point of prudence and modesty; otherwise it is criminal to reveal secrets, or publish what should be kept private or should not be known. Aben Ezra interprets it of a wise man's hiding his knowledge in his heart, that he may not forget it; but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness;
that which they have in their hearts and minds, and which they take for deep knowledge, profound and recondite learning, they proclaim with their mouths in a noisy and clamorous way; and while they declare their ill shaped notions, their incoherent and unconnected ideas of things, they betray their ignorance and folly, as ostentatious men do.

Proverbs 12:23 In-Context

21 No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24 The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
25 Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Cross References 2

  • 1. [Proverbs 13:16; Proverbs 15:2]
  • 2. [Proverbs 13:16; Proverbs 15:2]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.