Proverbs 10:8
The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) A prating fool (‘evîl). (See above, on Proverbs 1:7.)

Proverbs 10:8. The wise, &c., will receive commandments — Is ready to hear and obey the precepts of God and men. But a prating fool — One who is slow to hear, and swift to speak, who, instead of receiving good admonitions, cavils and disputes against them; Hebrew, אויל שׂפתים, a fool of lips, one who discovers the folly of his heart by his lips, and thereby exposes himself to the mischief here following; shall fall — Into mischief, or be punished.

10:7. Both the just and the wicked must die; but between their souls there is a vast difference. 8. The wise in heart puts his knowledge in practice. 9. Dissemblers, after all their shuffling, will be exposed. 10. Trick and artifice will be no excuse for iniquity. 11. The good man's mouth is always open to teach, comfort, and correct others. 12. Where there is hatred, every thing stirs up strife. By bearing with each other, peace and harmony are preserved. 13. Those that foolishly go on in wicked ways, prepare rods for themselves. 14. Whatever knowledge may be useful, we must lay it up, that it may not be to seek when we want it. The wise gain this wisdom by reading, by hearing the word, by meditation, by prayer, by faith in Christ, who is made of God unto us wisdom. 15. This refers to the common mistakes both of rich and poor, as to their outward condition. Rich people's wealth exposes them to many dangers; while a poor man may live comfortably, if he is content, keeps a good conscience, and lives by faith. 16. Perhaps a righteous man has no more than what he works hard for, but that labour tends to life. 17. The traveller that has missed his way, and cannot bear to be told of it, and to be shown the right way, must err still. 18. He is especially a fool who thinks to hide anything from God; and malice is no better. 19. Those that speak much, speak much amiss. He that checks himself is a wise man, and therein consults his own peace. 20,21. The tongue of the just is sincere, freed from the dross of guile and evil design. Pious discourse is spiritual food to the needy. Fools die for want of a heart, so the word is; for want of thought.A prating ... fall - Better, as in the margin. Inward self-contained wisdom is contrasted with self-exposed folly. 8. wise, &c.—(compare Pr 9:8, 9, 16), opposed to

prating fool—or, "fool of lips of wicked language."

fall—headlong, suddenly.

Will receive commandments; is ready to hear and obey the counsels and precepts of God, and of men, by which means he shall stand fast and live.

A prating fool; one who is slow to hear and swift to speak, who, instead of receiving good admonitions, cavils and disputes against them. In the Hebrew he is called a fool of lips, either because he discovers the folly of his heart by his lips, and thereby exposeth himself to the mischief here following; or because he is without heart, as is said of Ephraim, Hosea 7:11, or his heart is little worth, as is said here, Proverbs 10:20; or because he speaks rashly, without any consideration. Or it may be rendered, a fool by his lips, i.e. by his foolish and wicked speeches, contrary to the commands of God, by talking much and ill, when it is more comely and necessary for him to hear and receive instruction from others.

Shall fall, to wit, into mischief; or, be punished, as the word is used, Hosea 4:14; or, be beaten, as below, Proverbs 10:10.

The wise in heart will receive commandments,.... Such who have true wisdom in the hidden part of the heart, of which the fear of the Lord is the beginning: these will not only, as good subjects, honour their king, and attend to his lawful commands; and, as dutiful children, regard those of their parents; and, as faithful servants, hearken to those of their masters; but, as such that fear the Lord, will receive and cheerfully obey the commandments of God and Christ;

but a prating fool shall fall; like Diotrephes, that prated against the Apostle John and other saints. Or, "a fool of lips" (b); whose folly is proclaimed and made known by his lips; who, out of the abundance of it in his heart, speaks and pours it out by his lips: such an one falls into sin and into mischief; he falls into disgrace in this world, and into hell in the next. The Targum is,

"the fool by his lips shall be taken;''

as in a snare.

(b) "stultus labiis", Montanus, &c.

The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. a prating fool] A happy rendering, lit. the foolish of lips.

shall fall] Or, shall be overthrown, or laid low. R.V. marg.

Verse 8. - Will receive commandments. The wise in heart is not proud or conceited: he accepts the Divine Law with all its directions (observe the plural "commandments"), and is not above learning from others; at the same time, he makes no display of his wisdom. The fool of lips (ver. 10); one who is always exposing his folly. The literal antithesis is better shown by rendering "the solid in heart," and "the loose in lips." So Wordsworth. The Vulgate translates, "The fool is chastised by his lips;" i.e. the folly which he has uttered falls back upon him, and causes him to suffer punishment. The LXX. renders the last clause, "He who is given to prating (ἄστεγος χείλεσι), walking tortuously, shall be tripped up." Proverbs 10:8There follows now a series of proverbs in which reference to sins of the mouth and their contrary prevails:

He that is wise in heart receives precepts;

But he that is of a foolish mouth comes to ruin.

A חכם־לב, wise-hearted, as one whose heart is חכם, Proverbs 23:15; in a word, a נבון, a person of understanding or judgment, Proverbs 16:21. Such an one does not make his own knowledge the ne plus ultra, nor does he make his own will the noli me tangere; but he takes commands, i.e., instructions directing or prohibiting, to which he willingly subordinates himself as the outflow of a higher knowledge and will, and by which he sets bounds and limits to himself. But a fool of the lips, i.e., a braggart blunderer, one pleasing himself with vain talk (Proverbs 14:23), falls prostrate, for he thinks that he knows all things better, and will take no pattern; but while he boasts himself from on high, suddenly all at once - for he offends against the fundamental principle of common life and of morality - he comes to lie low down on the ground. The Syr. and Targ. translate ילּבט by, he is caught (Bertheau, ensnared); Aquila, Vulgate, Luther, δαρήσεται, he is slain; Symmachus, βασανισθήσεται; but all without any support in the usage of the language known to us. Theodotion, φυρήσεται, he is confounded, is not tenable; Joseph Kimchi, who after David Kimchi, under Hosea 4:14, appeals in support of this meaning (ישׁתבשׁ, similarly Parchon: יתבלבל) to the Arabic, seems to think on iltibâs, confusion. The demonstrable meanings of the verb לבט are the following: 1. To occasion trouble. Thus Mechilta, under Exodus 17:14, לבטוהו, one has imposed upon him trouble; Sifri, under Numbers 11:1, נתלבטנו, we are tired, according to which Rashi: he fatigues himself, but which fits neither to the subj. nor to the contrast, which is to be supposed. The same may be said of the meaning of the Syr. lbt, to drive on, to press, which without doubt accords with the former meaning of the word in the language of the Midrash. 2. In Arab. labaṭ (R. lab, vid., Wnsche's Hos. p. 172), to throw any one down to the earth, so that he falls with his whole body his whole length; the passive נלבט, to be thus thrown down by another, or to throw oneself thus down, figuratively of one who falls hopelessly into evil and destruction (Fl.). The Arabic verb is also used of the springing run of the animal ridden on (to gallop), and of the being lame (to hop), according to which in the Lex. the explanations, he hurries, or he wavers hither and thither, are offered by Kimchi (Graec. Venet. πλανηθήσεται). But the former of these explanations, corruit ( equals in calamitatem ruit), placed much nearer by the Arabic, is confirmed by the lxx ὑποσκελισθήσεται, and by the Bershith rabba, c. 52, where לבט is used in the sense to be ruined ( equals נכשׁל). Hitzig changes the passive into the active: "he throws the offered לקח scornfully to the ground," but the contrast does not require this. The wanton, arrogant boasting lies already in the designation of the subj. אויל שׂפתים; and the sequel involves, as a consequence, the contrasted consequence of ready reception of the limitations and guidance of his own will by a higher.

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