Proverbs 26:18

18 People who shrug off deliberate deceptions, saying, "I didn't mean it, I was only joking,"

Proverbs 26:18 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 26:18

As a mad [man], who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death.
] Or the instruments of death, as Aben Ezra; or the sharp arrows of death, as the Targum and Syriac version; who casts firebrands into the houses and barns of his neighbours, to consume them; or arrows at their persons and cattle, to destroy them; or any other instruments of death, which none but a mad man, or one wickedly mad, would do. Or, "as one that makes himself mad" F5; that feigns himself mad, and, under colour of this, does mischief to his neighbour's person and property: or, "as one that hides himself" F6; that casts firebrands, arrows, and other deadly things, in a private way, so as not to be seen, and that it may not be known from whence they come: or, "as one that wearies himself" {g}, so Jarchi; in doing mischief in such a way. The word in the Arabic language signifies to play and be in sport; and so it means one that does these things in sport, as it is a sport to a fool to do mischief; which sense agrees with what follows.


F5 (hlhltmk) "ut se habet qui iunsanum ne simulat", Piscator; "ut qui se insanire fingit", Cocceius.
F6 "Sicut abscondit se", Pagninus, Mercerus, Gejerus.
F7 "Ut sese fatigat", Tigurine version.

Proverbs 26:18 In-Context

16 Dreamers fantasize their self-importance; they think they are smarter than a whole college faculty.
17 You grab a mad dog by the ears when you butt into a quarrel that's none of your business.
18 People who shrug off deliberate deceptions, saying, "I didn't mean it, I was only joking,"
19 Are worse than careless campers who walk away from smoldering campfires.
20 When you run out of wood, the fire goes out; when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.