Proverbs 26:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

New Living Translation
Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.

English Standard Version
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

New American Standard Bible
Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes.

King James Bible
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Answer a fool according to his foolishness or he'll become wise in his own eyes.

International Standard Version
Answer a fool according to his foolishness, or he will think himself to be wise.

NET Bible
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own estimation.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But speak with a fool according to your wisdom lest he think in his soul that he is wise.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Answer a fool with his own stupidity, or he will think he is wise.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Answer the fool showing him his folly lest he be wise in his own conceit.

King James 2000 Bible
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

American King James Version
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

American Standard Version
Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he imagine himself to be wise.

Darby Bible Translation
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

English Revised Version
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Webster's Bible Translation
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

World English Bible
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Young's Literal Translation
Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

26:2. He that is cursed without cause, the curse shall do him no more harm than the bird that flies over his head. 3. Every creature must be dealt with according to its nature, but careless and profligate sinners never will be ruled by reason and persuasion. Man indeed is born like the wild ass's colt; but some, by the grace of God, are changed. 4,5. We are to fit our remarks to the man, and address them to his conscience, so as may best end the debate. 6-9. Fools are not fit to be trusted, nor to have any honour. Wise sayings, as a foolish man delivers and applies them, lose their usefulness. 10. This verse may either declare how the Lord, the Creator of all men, will deal with sinners according to their guilt, or, how the powerful among men should disgrace and punish the wicked. 11. The dog is a loathsome emblem of those sinners who return to their vices, 2Pe 2:22. 12. We see many a one who has some little sense, but is proud of it. This describes those who think their spiritual state to be good, when really it is very bad. 13. The slothful man hates every thing that requires care and labour. But it is foolish to frighten ourselves from real duties by fancied difficulties. This may be applied to a man slothful in the duties of religion. 14. Having seen the slothful man in fear of his work, here we find him in love with his ease. Bodily ease is the sad occasion of many spiritual diseases. He does not care to get forward with his business. Slothful professors turn thus. The world and the flesh are hinges on which they are hung; and though they move in a course of outward services, yet they are not the nearer to heaven. 15. The sluggard is now out of his bed, but he might have lain there, for any thing he is likely to bring to pass in his work. It is common for men who will not do their duty, to pretend they cannot. Those that are slothful in religion, will not be at the pains to feed their souls with the bread of life, nor to fetch in promised blessings by prayer. 16. He that takes pains in religion, knows he is working for a good Master, and that his labour shall not be in vain. 17. To make ourselves busy in other men's matters, is to thrust ourselves into temptation. 18,19. He that sins in jest, must repent in earnest, or his sin will be his ruin. 20-22. Contention heats the spirit, and puts families and societies into a flame. And that fire is commonly kindled and kept burning by whisperers and backbiters. 23. A wicked heart disguising itself, is like a potsherd covered with the dross of silver.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - Answer a fool according to his folly. This maxim at first sight seems absolutely antagonistic to the purport of the preceding verse; but it is not so really. The words, "according to his folly," in this verse mean, as his folly deserves, in so plain a way as is expose it, and shame him, and bring him to a better mind. Lest he be wise in his own conceit; thinking, it may be, that he has said something worth hearing, or put you to silence by his superior intelligence.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Answer a fool according to his folly,.... The Targum is,

"but speak with a fool in thy wisdom;''

and the Syriac version,

"yea, speak with a fool according to thy wisdom;''

which would at once remove the seeming contradiction in these words to the former, but then they are not a true version; indeed it is right, and must be the sense, that when a fool is answered, as it is sometimes necessary he should, that it be done in wisdom, and so as to expose his folly; he is to be answered and not answered according to different times, places, and circumstances, and manner of answering; he is to be answered when there is any hope of doing him good, or of doing good to others; or of preventing ill impressions being made upon others by what he has said; when the glory of God, the good of the church, and the cause of truth, require it; and when he would otherwise glory and triumph, as if his words or works were unanswerable, as follow;

lest he be wise in his own conceit; which fools are apt to be, and the rather when no answer is given them; imagining it arises from the strength of their arguments, and their nervous way of reasoning, when it is rather from a neglect and contempt of them.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. Answer—by reproof.

Proverbs 26:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Similitudes and Instructions
4Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him. 5Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes. 6He cuts off his own feet and drinks violence Who sends a message by the hand of a fool.…
Cross References
Matthew 16:1
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

Matthew 21:24
Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

Romans 12:16
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Proverbs 3:7
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.

Proverbs 26:6
Sending a message by the hands of a fool is like cutting off one's feet or drinking poison.

Proverbs 26:12
Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.

Proverbs 28:11
The rich are wise in their own eyes; one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.
Treasury of Scripture

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

fool

1 Kings 22:24-28 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on …

Jeremiah 36:17,18 And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How did you write all …

Matthew 15:1-3 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying…

Matthew 16:1-4 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired …

Matthew 21:23-27 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders …

Matthew 22:15-32 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle …

Luke 12:31-21 But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall …

Luke 13:23-30 Then said one to him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said to them…

John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said …

John 9:26-33 Then said they to him again, What did he to you? how opened he your eyes…

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Why rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound …

lest

Proverbs 26:12 See you a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

Proverbs 28:11 The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that has understanding …

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brothers, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, …

conceit

Isaiah 5:21 Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but …

Jump to Previous
Conceit Deserves Eyes Folly Fool Foolish Seem Wise
Jump to Next
Conceit Deserves Eyes Folly Fool Foolish Seem Wise
Links
Proverbs 26:5 NIV
Proverbs 26:5 NLT
Proverbs 26:5 ESV
Proverbs 26:5 NASB
Proverbs 26:5 KJV

Proverbs 26:5 Bible Apps
Proverbs 26:5 Bible Suite
Proverbs 26:5 Biblia Paralela
Proverbs 26:5 Chinese Bible
Proverbs 26:5 French Bible
Proverbs 26:5 German Bible

Alphabetical: a according Answer as be deserves eyes folly fool he his in not or own That to will wise

OT Poetry: Proverbs 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly (Prov. Pro Pr) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Proverbs 26:4
Top of Page
Top of Page