Proverbs 12:23
A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
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(23) A prudent man concealeth knowledge.—Till the right opportunity for bringing it forth presents itself; while “the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness,” cannot help blurting out and displaying its ignorance and folly, which it mistakes for wisdom.

Proverbs 12:23. A prudent man concealeth knowledge — He doth not vain- gloriously and unseasonably utter what he knows, but keeps it in his breast till he hath a fit occasion to bring it forth for God’s glory, and the good of others; but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness — The heart of a foolish man induces him to make ostentation of his knowledge, whereby he betrays his ignorance and folly.

12:16. A foolish man is soon angry, and is hasty in expressing it; he is ever in trouble and running into mischief. It is kindness to ourselves to make light of injuries and affronts, instead of making the worst of them. 17. It is good for all to dread and detest the sin of lying, and to be governed by honesty. 18. Whisperings and evil surmises, like a sword, separate those that have been dear to each other. The tongue of the wise is health, making all whole. 19. If truth be spoken, it will hold good; whoever may be disobliged, still it will keep its ground. 20. Deceit and falsehood bring terrors and perplexities. But those who consult the peace and happiness of others have joy in their own minds. 21. If men are sincerely righteous, the righteous God has engaged that no evil shall happen to them. But they that delight in mischief shall have enough of it. 22. Make conscience of truth, not only in words, but in actions. 23. Foolish men proclaim to all the folly and emptiness of their minds. 24. Those who will not take pains in an honest calling, living by tricks and dishonesty, are paltry and beggarly. 25. Care, fear, and sorrow, upon the spirits, deprive men of vigour in what is to be done, or courage in what is to be borne. A good word from God, applied by faith, makes the heart glad. 26. The righteous is abundant; though not in this world's goods, yet in the graces and comforts of the Spirit, which are the true riches. Evil men vainly flatter themselves that their ways are not wrong. 27. The slothful man makes no good use of the advantages Providence puts in his way, and has no comfort in them. The substance of a diligent man, though not great, does good to him and his family. He sees that God gives it to him in answer to prayer. 28. The way of religion is a straight, plain way; it is the way of righteousness. There is not only life at the end, but life in the way; all true comfort.Another aspect of the truth of Proverbs 10:14. 23. concealeth—by his modesty (Pr 10:14; 11:13).

heart … proclaimeth—as his lips speak his thoughts (compare Ec 10:3).

Concealeth knowledge; he doth not vain-gloriously and unseasonably utter what he knows, but keeps it in his breast till he hath a fit occasion to bring it forth for God’s glory, and the good of others.

Proclaimeth foolishness; whilst he makes ostentation of his knowledge, he betrays his ignorance and folly. Compare Ecclesiastes 10:3.

A prudent man concealeth knowledge,.... Of things natural or divine, which he is furnished with; not but that he is willing to communicate it, as he should, at proper times, in proper places, and to proper persons; but he does not needlessly and unseasonably speak of it; he does not make a show of it, or boast and brag of it: he modestly forbears to speak of what he knows, but when there is a necessity for it, even of that which may be lawfully divulged; which is a point of prudence and modesty; otherwise it is criminal to reveal secrets, or publish what should be kept private or should not be known. Aben Ezra interprets it of a wise man's hiding his knowledge in his heart, that he may not forget it;

but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness; that which they have in their hearts and minds, and which they take for deep knowledge, profound and recondite learning, they proclaim with their mouths in a noisy and clamorous way; and while they declare their ill shaped notions, their incoherent and unconnected ideas of things, they betray their ignorance and folly, as ostentatious men do.

A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.
23. the heart] Comp.

“The heart of fools is in their mouth;

But the mouth of wise men is their heart.” Sir 21:26.

Verse 23. - A prudent man concealeth knowledge (ver. 16; Proverbs 10:14). He is not wont to utter unadvisedly what he knows, but waits for fitting opportunity, either from humility or wise caution. Of course, in some cases reticence is sinful. The LXX., reading the passage differently, renders, "A prudent man is the seat of intelligence (θρόνος αἰσθήσεως)." The heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness (Proverbs 13:16; Proverbs 15:2). A foolish man cannot help exposing the stupid ideas that arise in his mind, which he considers wisdom. Septuagint, "The heart of fools shall meet with curses." Proverbs 12:2323 A prudent man conceals knowledge,

     And a heart-fool proclaims imbecility.

In 23a Proverbs 12:16 is repeated, only a little changed; also 16a corresponds with 23a, for, as is there said, the fool knows not how to keep his anger to himself, as here, that a heart-fool (cf. the lying mouth, 22a) proclaims (trumpets forth), or as Proverbs 13:16 says, displays folly without referring to himself the si tacuisses. To this forward charlatan blustering, which intends to preach wisdom and yet proclaims in the world mere folly, i.e., nonsense and imbecility, and thereby makes itself troublesome, and only to be laughed at and despised, stands in contrast the relation of the אדם ערוּם, homo callidus, who possesses knowledge, but keeps it to himself without bringing it forth till an occasion presents itself for setting it forth at the right place, at the right time, and to the right man. The right motive also regulates such silence as well as modesty. But this proverb places it under the point of view of prudence.

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