Proverbs 23:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.

New Living Translation
Don't waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.

English Standard Version
Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.

New American Standard Bible
Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

King James Bible
Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don't speak to a fool, for he will despise the insight of your words.

International Standard Version
Don't speak when a fool is listening, because he'll despise your wise words.

NET Bible
Do not speak in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Do not speak in front of a fool because he despises your words.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Do not talk directly to a fool, because he will despise the wisdom of your words.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Do not speak in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the prudence of thy words.

King James 2000 Bible
Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

American King James Version
Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

American Standard Version
Speak not in the hearing of a fool; For he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Speak not in the ears of fools: because they will despise the instruction of thy speech.

Darby Bible Translation
Speak not in the ears of a foolish [man], for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

English Revised Version
Speak not in the hearing of a fool; for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Webster's Bible Translation
Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

World English Bible
Don't speak in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

Young's Literal Translation
In the ears of a fool speak not, For he treadeth on the wisdom of thy words.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

23:1-3 God's restraints of the appetite only say, Do thyself no harm. 4,5. Be not of those that will be rich. The things of this world are not happiness and a portion for a soul; those that hold them ever so fast, cannot hold them always, cannot hold them long. 6-8. Do not make thyself burdensome to any, especially those not sincere. When we are called by God to his feast, and to let our souls delight themselves, Isa 25:6; 55:2, we may safely partake of the Bread of life. 9. It is our duty to take all fit occasions to speak of Divine things; but if what a wise man says will not be heard, let him hold his peace. 10,11. The fatherless are taken under God's special protection. He is their Redeemer, who will take their part; and he is mighty, almighty.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - Here is another case in which "sweet words" are lost. Speak not in the ears of a fool. This does not mean, as it would in our English phrase - whisper not to a fool; but do not take the trouble to try to make him understand, impart nothing to him. The "fool" here (kesil) is the dull, stolid, stupid man. who cannot be moved from his own narrow groove (see on Proverbs 1:22). It is a mere casting of pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6) to speak to such a man of high aims, righteous motives, self-sacrifice (comp. Proverbs 9:8). He will despise the wisdom of thy words. He cannot enter into the meaning of words of wisdom; he has no appetite for them, he cannot assimilate them; and in his self-satisfied dulness he feels for them nothing but contempt (Ecclus. 22:7, etc., "Whoso teacheth a fool is as one that glueth a potsherd together, and as he that waketh one from a sound sleep. He that telleth a tale to a fool speaketh to one in a slumber: whey he hath told his tale, he will say, What is the matter?")

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Speak not in the ears of a fool,.... For it is only beating the air, and speaking to the wind; it is casting pearls before swine, and that which is holy to dogs. By the "fool" is meant a wicked man, one abandoned to sin, and hardened in it; that scoffs at all admonitions and reproofs, that derides the word, and the preachers of it, and makes a mock at all good men, and everything they say; and therefore what is serious and sacred should not be said to them, since it only becomes the object of their banter and ridicule;

for he will despise the wisdom of thy words; not only the words of doctrine, reproof, and correction, but the "wisdom" of them; or let them be ever so wisely spoken; for if the wisdom of God and his words, the truths of the Gospel, are foolishness with such, and despised by them, then much more the wisdom even of the best of men, and the wisest things they say; yea, when they deliver the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, the Gospel of Christ, which therefore should be spoken among them that are perfect, 1 Corinthians 1:24.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. (Compare Pr 9:8). "Cast not your pearls before swine" (Mt 7:6).

Proverbs 23:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Consider Diligently what is Before You
8You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten, And waste your compliments. 9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words. 10Do not move the ancient boundary Or go into the fields of the fatherless,…
Cross References
Matthew 7:6
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 9:7
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.

Proverbs 14:7
Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

Proverbs 26:4
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.
Treasury of Scripture

Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

speak

Proverbs 9:7,8 He that reproves a scorner gets to himself shame: and he that rebukes …

Proverbs 26:4,5 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like to him…

Isaiah 36:21 But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's …

Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast you your pearls …

Acts 13:45,46 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, …

Acts 28:25-28 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that …

he

Luke 16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: …

John 8:52 Then said the Jews to him, Now we know that you have a devil. Abraham …

John 9:30-34,40 The man answered and said to them, Why herein is a marvelous thing, …

John 10:20 And many of them said, He has a devil, and is mad; why hear you him?

Acts 17:18,32 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, …

1 Corinthians 1:21-24 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God…

1 Corinthians 4:10-13 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are …

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