Proverbs 10:23

23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.

Proverbs 10:23 in Other Translations

23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
23 Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
23 Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible.
23 An empty-head thinks mischief is fun, but a mindful person relishes wisdom.
23 As shameful conduct is pleasure for a fool, so wisdom is for a man of understanding.

Proverbs 10:23 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 10:23

[It is] as sport to a fool to do mischief
To do any injury to the persons and properties of men; which shows a most wicked and malicious spirit, a very depraved nature indeed: or rather "to commit sin" F15 of any sort, which he has devised in his own heart; it is as a "laughing" F16, as the words may be rendered; it is a laughing matter to him, he commits sin, and, when he has done it, laughs at it; instead of being ashamed of it, and humbled for it, he makes a mock at it, and a jest of it, as well as of all religion, and of the reproofs and admonitions of good men. Sin is pastime, he takes as much delight and pleasure in it as men do in their sports, and commits it as openly and freely; yea, not only takes pleasure in doing it himself, but in them that do it; see ( Proverbs 14:9 ) ( Romans 1:30 ) ; but a man of understanding hath wisdom;
to avoid sin, and not to do it, which is true wisdom, ( Job 28:28 ) ; for he has, as it may be rendered, from the use of the word in the Arabic language F17, a "bridle" or "restraint" upon him, that he cannot do mischief and delight in it, as the fool does: or "so [is] wisdom to a man of understanding" F18; that is, to do it; as it is a pleasure to a feel to commit sin, so it is a delight to an understanding man to do that which is wise and good; it is "meat and drink" to do the will of God, see ( John 4:34 ) ; he takes as much pleasure in it as men can do in their sports and pastimes; he has a truer pleasure and a better relish than they have; he delights in the law of God after the inward man; and Wisdom's ways, or the ways of Christ, are pleasantness to him; he runs the ways of his commandments with great alacrity and cheerfulness.


F15 (hmz twve) "facere scelus", Montanus, Baynus, Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius, Michaelis; "perpetrare scelus", Piscator; "patrare facinus", Schultens.
F16 (qwxvk) "veluti risus", Mercerus, Gejerus, Michaelis.
F17 Vid. Schultens de Defect. Hod. Ling. Heb. s. 216.
F18 So some in Gejerus.

Proverbs 10:23 In-Context

21 The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.
22 The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it.
23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.
24 What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted.
25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.

Cross References 1

  • 1. S Proverbs 2:14; Proverbs 15:21
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