He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool
Who knows not how to deliver it in a proper manner, and is incapable of taking the answer, and reporting it as he should; or unfaithful in it, and brings a bad or false report, as the spies did upon the good land; cutteth off the feet;
he may as well cut off his feet before he sends him, or send a man without feet, as such an one; for prudence, diligence, and faithfulness in doing a message, and bringing back the answer, are as necessary to a messenger as his feet are; [and] drinketh damage;
to himself; his message not being rightly performed, and business not done well; which is a loss to the sender, as well as to his credit and reputation with the person to whom he sends him; he hereby concluding that he must be a man of no great judgment and sense to send such a fool on his errand. Such are the unskilful ambassadors of princes; and such are unfaithful ministers, the messengers of the churches; see ( Proverbs 10:26 ) . The words in the original are three sentences, without a copulative, and stand in this order, "[he] that cutteth off feet; [he] that drinketh damage; [he] that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool"; that is, they are alike.