Proverbs 18:6
A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for strokes.
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(6) His mouth calleth for strokes, which he provokes by his insolence and quarrelsomeness.

18:4. The well-spring of wisdom in the heart of a believer, continually supplies words of wisdom. 5. The merits of a cause must be looked to, not the person. 6,7. What mischief bad men do to themselves by their ungoverned tongues! 8. How base are those that sow contention! and what fatal effects may be expected from small beginnings of jealousy! 9. Omissions of duty, and in duty, are fatal to the soul, as well as commissions of sin. 10,11. The Divine power, made known in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, forms a strong tower for the believer, who relies on the Lord. How deceitful the defence of the rich man, who has his portion and treasure in this world! It is a strong city and a high wall only in his own conceit; for it will fail when most in need. They will be exposed to the just wrath of that Judge whom they despised as a Saviour. 12. After the heart has been lifted up with pride, a fall comes. But honour shall be the reward of humility. 13. Eagerness, with self-conceit, will expose to shame. 14. Firmness of mind supports under many pains and trials. But when the conscience is tortured with remorse, no human fortitude can bear the misery; what then will hell be? 15. We must get knowledge, not only into our heads, but into our hearts. 16. Blessed be the Lord, who makes us welcome to come to his throne, without money and without price. May his gifts make room for him in our souls.The first verse speaks of the immediate, the others of the remote, results of the "fool's" temper. First, "contention," then "strokes" or blows, then "destruction," and last, "wounds."6, 7. The quarrelsome bring trouble on themselves. Their rash language ensnares them (Pr 6:2). A fool’s lips enter into contention; a fool by his rash and wicked speeches provoketh others to quarrel with him, and, as it follows, to strike him.

His mouth calleth for strokes; procureth strokes to himself. A fool's lips enter into contention,.... That is, between others, when he has nothing to do with it; but he must be meddling, and make himself a party in the contention, which is an argument of his folly; he says things which occasion disputes, raise contentions among men, and provoke to wrath and anger. The Septuagint version is, "the lips of a fool lead him to evils": for, as they lead him to contention and strife, the issue of that is confusion and every evil work;

and his mouth calleth for strokes: as he stirs up and encourages contention, so he proceeds to blows, and excites others to them; from words he goes to blows, and, by the ill and provoking language of his mouth, gets many a blow to himself. Jarchi seems to understand it of chastisement, from the hand of God; see Proverbs 26:3.

A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
6. enter into] The Heb. may mean either “come into,” or “come with,” “bring” (R.V. marg.).

strokes] Or, stripes, R.V., as the same Heb. word is rendered in Proverbs 19:29, the only other place in which it occurs. Some, however, take “calleth for” to mean “provokes,” “causes.” “Os ejus jurgia provocat,” Vulg.; “In causa est ut a verbis ad verbera veniatur,” Maur., which accords with “bring” contention, if that be adopted in the first clause.Verse 6. - A fool's lips enter into contention; literally, come with quarrel (comp. Psalm 66:13); i.e. they lead him into strife and quarrels; miscent se rixis, Vulgate; "lead him into evils," Septuagint. The foolish man meddles with disputes in which he is not concerned, and by his silly interference not only exposes himself to reprisals, but also exacerbates the original difficulty. His mouth calleth for strokes. His words provoke severe punishment, "stripes for his back," as it is said in Proverbs 19:29. Septuagint, "His mouth which is audacious calls for death." Ver. 28 continues the same theme, the value of silence:

Even a fool, when he keeps silence, is counted wise;

When he shutteth his mouth, discreet.

The subj. as well as the pred. of the first line avail for the second. אטם, obturare, occludere, usually of the closing the ear, is here transferred to the mouth. The Hiph. החרישׁ means mutum agere (cf. Arab. khrs, mutum esse), from חרשׁ, which, like κωφός, passes from the meaning surdus to that of mutus (Fl.). The words of Job 13:5, and also those of Alexander: si tacuisses sapiens mansisses, are applicable to fools. An Arab. proverb says, "silence is the covering of the stupid." In the epigrammatical hexameter,

πᾶς τις ἀπαίδευτος φρονιμώτατός ἐστι σιωπῶν,

the word σιωπῶν has the very same syntactical position as these two participles.

(Note: Cf. C. Schultze's Die bibl. Sprichwrter (1860), p. 60f.)

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