Proverbs 12:23

23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.

Proverbs 12:23 in Other Translations

KJV
23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
ESV
23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
NLT
23 The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness.
MSG
23 Prudent people don't flaunt their knowledge; talkative fools broadcast their silliness.
CSB
23 A shrewd person conceals knowledge, but a foolish heart publicizes stupidity.

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 harm overtakes the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22 The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.
24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.
25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Proverbs 10:14; Proverbs 13:16
  • 2. S Psalms 38:5; S Psalms 59:7; Proverbs 18:2