The heart of him that has understanding seeks knowledge: but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness; on foolish talking and jesting; on foolish and unlearned questions; on foolish and false doctrines; on foolish and hurtful lusts; on wind and ashes, a deceived heart having turned them aside: they take pleasure and satisfaction in those things; feed their fancy with them and feast upon them, which shows what fools they are; and such all unregenerate men be.The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. seeketh … feedeth on] The one delights in the active pursuit of knowledge, which ever creates in those who find it a craving for more; the other lies down like a satiated animal, and feeds and ruminates on the folly, which quenches all high desire.Verse 14. - The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge (Proverbs 18:15). The wise man knows that he knows nothing, and is always seeking to learn more.
Σοφία γάρ ἐστι καὶ μαθεῖν ο} μὴ νοεῖς
"To learn what thou hast never thought is wisdom." The mouth of fools. Another reading, is "the face of fools;" but the former is more suitable to what follows. Feedeth on foolishness. So the Vulgate and Septuagint, "The mouth of the undisciplined knoweth evil." The fool is always gaping and devouring every silly, or slanderous, or wicked word that comes in his way, and in his turn utters and disseminates it.
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
Although the same is true of the prayer of the godless that is here said of their sacrifice, and of the sacrifice of the righteous that is here said of their prayer (vid., Proverbs 28:9, and cf. Psalm 4:6 with Psalm 27:6), yet it is not by accident that here (line first equals Proverbs 21:27) the sacrifice is ascribed to the godless and the prayer to the upright. The sacrifice, as a material and legally-required performance, is much more related to dead works than prayer freely completing itself in the word, the most direct expression of the personality, which, although not commanded by the law, because natural to men, as such is yet the soul of all sacrifices; and the Chokma, like the Psalms and Prophets, in view of the ceremonial service which had become formal and dead in the opus operatum, is to such a degree penetrated by the knowledge of the incongruity of the offering up of animals and of plants, with the object in view, that a proverb like "the sacrifice of the righteous is pleasing to God" never anywhere occurs; and if it did occur without being expressly and unavoidably referred to the legal sacrifice, it would have to be understood rather after Psalm 51:18. than Psalm 51:20f., rather after 1 Samuel 15:22 than after Psalm 66:13-15. זבח, which, when it is distinguished from עולה, means (cf. Proverbs 7:14) the sacrifice only in part coming to the altar, for the most part applied to a sacrificial feast, is here the common name for the bloody, and, per synecdochen, generally the legally-appointed sacrifice, consisting in external offering. The לרצין, Leviticus 1:3, used in the Tra of sacrifices, is here, as at Psalm 19:15, transferred to prayer. The fundamental idea of the proverb is, that sacrifices well-pleasing to God, prayers acceptable to God (that are heard, Proverbs 15:29), depend on the relations in which the heart and life of the man stand to God.
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