Proverbs 27:22
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding them like grain with a pestle, you will not remove their folly from them.

New Living Translation
You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.

English Standard Version
Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.

New American Standard Bible
Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.

King James Bible
Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, you will not separate his foolishness from him.

International Standard Version
Though you crush a fool in a mortar and pestle as someone might crush grain, his stupidity still won't leave him.

NET Bible
If you should pound the fool in the mortar among the grain with the pestle, his foolishness would not depart from him.

New Heart English Bible
Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, yet his foolishness will not be removed from him.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
If you strike a fool in the assembly, you do not help him, neither do you remove his foolishness.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If you crush a stubborn fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, [even then] his stupidity will not leave him.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar with a pestle among groats, Yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

New American Standard 1977
Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
            Yet his folly will not depart from him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Though thou should bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet his foolishness will not depart from him.

King James 2000 Bible
Though you should crush a fool in a mortar among grain with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

American King James Version
Though you should bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

American Standard Version
Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with bruised grain, Yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Though thou shouldst bray a fool in the mortar, as when a pestle striketh upon sodden barley, his folly would not be taken from him.

Darby Bible Translation
If thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his folly depart from him.

English Revised Version
Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar with a pestle among bruised corn, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

Webster's Bible Translation
Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet his foolishness will not depart from him.

World English Bible
Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, yet his foolishness will not be removed from him.

Young's Literal Translation
If thou dost beat the foolish in a mortar, Among washed things -- with a pestle, His folly turneth not aside from off him.
Study Bible
Do Not Boast about Tomorrow
21The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, And each is tested by the praise accorded him. 22Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him. 23Know well the condition of your flocks, And pay attention to your herds;…
Cross References
Proverbs 23:35
"They struck me, but I did not become ill; They beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink."

Proverbs 26:11
Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly.

Jeremiah 5:3
O LORD, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have smitten them, But they did not weaken; You have consumed them, But they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to repent.

Jeremiah 13:23
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.
Treasury of Scripture

Though you should bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

Proverbs 23:25 Your father and your mother shall be glad, and she that bore you shall rejoice.

Exodus 12:30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all …

Exodus 14:5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart …

Exodus 15:9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the …

2 Chronicles 28:22,23 And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against …

Isaiah 1:5 Why should you be stricken any more? you will revolt more and more: …

Jeremiah 5:3 O LORD, are not your eyes on the truth? you have stricken them, but …

Jeremiah 44:15,16 Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense to …

Revelation 16:10,11 And the fifth angel poured out his vial on the seat of the beast; …

(22) Though thou shouldest bray (i.e., pound) a fool (a self-willed, headstrong person) in a mortar among wheat with a pestle.--This would separate completely the husks from the wheat; but obstinacy has become a part of such a man's nature, and cannot be got rid of even by such violent measures.

Verse 22. - Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle. "To bray" is to pound or beat small. "Wheat," רִיפות, riphoth (only in 2 Samuel 17:19), "bruised corn." Vulgate, In pila quasi ptisanas (barley groats) feriente; Aquila and Theodotion, Ἐν μέσῳ ἐμπτισσομένων "In the midst of grains of corn being pounded." The LXX., reading, differently, has, "Though thou scourge a fool, disgracing him (ἐν μεσῳ συνεδρίου) in the midst of the congregation." Of course, the process of separating the husks from the corn by the use of pestle and mortar is much more delicate and careful than threshing in the usual clumsy way; hence is expressed the idea that the most elaborate pains are wasted on the incorrigible fool (see on Proverbs 1:20). His foolishness will not depart from him. An obstinate, self-willed, unprincipled man cannot be reformed by any means; his folly has become a second nature, and is not to be eliminated by any teaching, discipline, or severity. There is, too, a judicial blindness, when, after repeated warnings wilfully rejected and scorned, the sinner is left to himself, given over to a reprobate mind "Whoso teacheth a fool," Siracides pronounces, "is as one that glueth a potsherd together, and as he that waketh one from a sound sleep" (Ecclus. 22:7). Again, "The inner parts of a fool are like a broken vessel, and he will hold no knowledge as long as he liveth" (Ecclus. 21:14). In Turkey, we are told, great criminals were beaten to pieces in huge mortars of iron, in which they usually pounded rice. "You cannot straighten a dog's tail, try as you may," says a Telugu maxim (Lane). There is a saying of Schiller's which is quite proverbial, "Heaven and earth fight in vain against a dunce." Horace, 'Epist.,' 1:10, 24 -

"Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret." Juvenal, 'Sat.,' 13:239 -

"Tamen ad mores natura recurrit
Damnatos, fixa et mutari nescia."
Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle,.... As the manna was, Numbers 11:8; and as wheat beat and bruised in a mortar, or ground in a mill, retains its own nature; so, let a wicked man be used ever so roughly or severely, by words, admonitions, reproofs, and counsels; or by deeds, by corrections and punishment, by hard words or blows, whether publicly or privately; in the midst of the congregation, as the Targum and Syriac version; or of the sanhedrim and council, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions;

yet will not his foolishness depart from him; his inbred depravity and natural malignity and folly will not remove, nor will he leave his course of sinning he has been accustomed to; he is stricken in vain, he will revolt more and more, Isaiah 1:5. Anaxarchus the philosopher was ordered by the tyrant Nicocreon to be pounded to death in a stone mortar with iron pestles (q), and which he endured with great patience.

(q) Laert. in Vit. Anaxarch. l. 9. p. 668. 22. The obstinate wickedness of such is incurable by the heaviest inflictions.27:15,16. The contentions of a neighbour may be like a sharp shower, troublesome for a time; the contentions of a wife are like constant rain. 17. We are cautioned to take heed whom we converse with. And directed to have in view, in conversation, to make one another wiser and better. 18. Though a calling be laborious and despised, yet those who keep to it, will find there is something to be got by it. God is a Master who has engaged to honour those who serve him faithfully. 19. One corrupt heart is like another; so are sanctified hearts: the former bear the same image of the earthly, the latter the same image of the heavenly. Let us carefully watch our own hearts, comparing them with the word of God. 20. Two things are here said to be never satisfied, death and sin. The appetites of the carnal mind for profit or pleasure are always desiring more. Those whose eyes are ever toward the Lord, are satisfied in him, and shall for ever be so. 21. Silver and gold are tried by putting them into the furnace and fining-pot; so is a man tried by praising him. 22. Some are so bad, that even severe methods do not answer the end; what remains but that they should be rejected? The new-creating power of God's grace alone is able to make a change. 23-27. We ought to have some business to do in this world, and not to live in idleness, and not to meddle with what we do not understand. We must be diligent and take pains. Let us do what we can, still the world cannot be secured to us, therefore we must choose a more lasting portion; but by the blessing of God upon our honest labours, we may expect to enjoy as much of earthly blessings as is good for us.
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