A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for strokes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)His mouth calleth for strokes, which he provokes by his insolence and quarrelsomeness.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.
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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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."
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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