Proverbs 17:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?

New Living Translation
It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning.

English Standard Version
Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense?

New American Standard Bible
Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense?

King James Bible
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Why does a fool have money in his hand with no intention of buying wisdom?

International Standard Version
What is this? A fool has enough money to buy wisdom, but is senseless?

NET Bible
Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Why does property go to a fool when he has no heart to possess wisdom?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he doesn't have a mind to grasp anything?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Of what good is the price to buy wisdom in the hand of the fool, seeing he has no heart to understand?

King James 2000 Bible
Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he has no heart for it?

American King James Version
Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he has no heart to it?

American Standard Version
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, Seeing he hath no understanding?

Douay-Rheims Bible
What doth it avail a fool to have riches, seeing he cannot buy wisdom? He that maketh his house high, seeketh a downfall: and he that refuseth to learn, shall fall into evils.

Darby Bible Translation
To what purpose is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing [he] hath no sense?

English Revised Version
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, seeing he hath no understanding?

Webster's Bible Translation
Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

World English Bible
Why is there money in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, since he has no understanding?

Young's Literal Translation
Why is this -- a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, And a heart there is none?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:8. Those who set their hearts upon money, will do any thing for it. What influence should the gifts of God have on our hearts! 9. The way to preserve peace is to make the best of every thing; not to notice what has been said or done against ourselves. 10. A gentle reproof will enter, not only into the head, but into the heart of a wise man. 11. Satan, and the messengers of Satan, shall be let loose upon an evil man. 12. Let us watch over our own passions, and avoid the company of furious men. 13. To render evil for good is devilish. He that does so, brings a curse upon his family. 14. What danger there is in the beginning of strife! Resist its earliest display; and leave it off, if it were possible, before you begin. 15. It is an offence to God to acquit the guilty, or to condemn those who are not guilty. 16. Man's neglect of God's favour and his own interest is very absurd. 17. No change of outward circumstances should abate our affection for our friends or relatives. But no friend, except Christ, deserves unlimited confidence. In Him this text did receive, and still receives its most glorious fulfilment. 18. Let not any wrong their families. Yet Christ's becoming Surety for men, was a glorious display of Divine wisdom; for he was able to discharge the bond.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom? A fool thinks that there is a royal road to wisdom, and that it, like other things, is to be purchased with reentry. Vulgate, Quid prodest stulto habere divitias, cum sapientiam emere non possit? The rabbis in later time were not allowed to take fees for teaching; but it was customary to make offerings to seers and wise men, when their services were engaged or their advice was asked (see the case of Saul and Samuel, 1 Samuel 9:7, 8). The last clause gives the reason why it is useless for a fool to try to learn wisdom even at a large expenditure on teachers. Seeing he hath no heart to it; i.e. no capability for receiving it; his mental digestion cannot assimilate it. The heart, as we have already noticed, is regarded as the seat of the understanding. Thus the LXX., "Why doth a fool have wealth? for a man without heart cannot acquire wisdom." In the Gospel Christ calls his disciples "fools and slow of heart to believe what the prophets had written, and himself opened their mind (τὸν νοῦν), that they might understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:25, 45). The Septuagint and Vulgate here introduce a distich derived from portions of vers. 19, 20, "He who raises his house high seeketh destruction; and he who perversely declineth from learning (ὁ δὲ σκολιάζων τοῦ μαθεῖν) shall fall into evils."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom,.... Natural wisdom and knowledge. By this "price" may be meant money, riches, worldly substance, of which a foolish man is possessed; by means of which he might purchase useful books for the improvement of his mind, and procure himself instructors that might be very useful to him; but instead of seeking after that which he most wants, and making use of his substance to furnish him with it, he spends it on his back and belly, in fine clothes and luxurious living; in rioting and drunkenness, in chambering and wantonness, at balls and plays, in taverns and brothel houses: or spiritual wisdom and knowledge; the means of which are reading the word, hearing the Gospel, frequent opportunities of attendance on a Gospel ministry, in season and out of season, and conversation with Gospel ministers and other Christians; but, instead of making use of these, he neglects, slights, and despises them. And it is asked, with some degree of indignation and admiration, why or to what purpose a fool is favoured with such means;

seeing he hath no heart to it? to wisdom; he does not desire it, nor to make use of the price or means, in order to obtain it; all is lost upon him; and it is hard to account for it why he should have this price, when he makes such an ill use of it.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. Though wealth cannot buy wisdom for those who do not love it, yet wisdom procures wealth (Pr 3:16; 14:24).

Proverbs 17:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
Better a Dry Morsel with Quietness
15He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD. 16Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, When he has no sense? 17A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.…
Cross References
Proverbs 23:23
Buy the truth and do not sell it-- wisdom, instruction and insight as well.

Proverbs 24:7
Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.
Treasury of Scripture

Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he has no heart to it?

Proverbs 1:22,23 How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? and the scorners …

Proverbs 8:4,5 To you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man…

Proverbs 9:4-6 Whoever is simple, let him turn in here: as for him that wants understanding, …

Isaiah 55:1-3 Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has …

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that …

2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you …

seeing

Proverbs 14:6 A scorner seeks wisdom, and finds it not: but knowledge is easy to …

Proverbs 18:15 The heart of the prudent gets knowledge; and the ear of the wise …

Proverbs 21:25,26 The desire of the slothful kills him; for his hands refuse to labor…

Deuteronomy 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, …

Psalm 81:11-13 But my people would not listen to my voice; and Israel would none of me…

Hosea 4:11 Prostitution and wine and new wine take away the heart.

John 3:20 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the …

Acts 28:26,27 Saying, Go to this people, and say, Hearing you shall hear, and shall …

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