Proverbs 26:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.

King James Bible
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Darby Bible Translation
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

World English Bible
Don't answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.

Young's Literal Translation
Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou be like to him -- even thou.

Proverbs 26:4 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Answer not a fool - On this and the following verse Bishop Warburton, who has written well on many things, and very indifferently on the doctrine of grace, has written with force and perspicuity: "Had this advice been given simply, and without circumstance, to answer the fool, and not to answer him, one who had reverence for the text would satisfy himself in supposing that the different directions referred to the doing a thing in and out of season;

1. The reasons given why a fool should not be answered according to his folly, is, "lest he (the answerer) should be like unto him."

2. The reason given why the fool should be answered according to his folly, is, "lest he (the fool) should be wise in his own conceit."

1. "The cause assigned for forbidding to answer, therefore, plainly insinuates that the defender of religion should not imitate the insulter of it in his modes of disputation, which may be comprised in sophistry, buffoonery, and scurrility.

2. "The cause assigned for directing to answer, as plainly intimates that the sage should address himself to confute the fool upon his own false principles, by showing that they lead to conclusions very wide from, very opposite to, those impieties he would deduce from them. If any thing can allay the fool's vanity, and prevent his being wise in his own conceit, it must be the dishonor of having his own principles turned against himself, and shown to be destructive of his own conclusions." - Treatise on Grace. Preface.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

Judges 12:1-6 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said to Jephthah...

2 Samuel 19:41-43 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away...

1 Kings 12:14,16 And spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke...

2 Kings 14:8-10 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come...

1 Peter 2:21-23 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps...

1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called...

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses...

Library
One Lion Two Lions no Lion at All
A sermon (No. 1670) delivered on Thursday Evening, June 8th, 1882, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, by C. H. Spurgeon. "The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets."--Proverbs 22:13. "The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets."--Proverbs 26:13. This slothful man seems to cherish that one dread of his about the lions, as if it were his favorite aversion and he felt it to be too much trouble to invent another excuse.
C.H. Spurgeon—Sermons on Proverbs

Proverbs
Many specimens of the so-called Wisdom Literature are preserved for us in the book of Proverbs, for its contents are by no means confined to what we call proverbs. The first nine chapters constitute a continuous discourse, almost in the manner of a sermon; and of the last two chapters, ch. xxx. is largely made up of enigmas, and xxxi. is in part a description of the good housewife. All, however, are rightly subsumed under the idea of wisdom, which to the Hebrew had always moral relations. The Hebrew
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Matthew 7:6
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Proverbs 23:9
Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.

Proverbs 29:9
If a wise person goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.

Isaiah 36:21
But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, "Do not answer him."

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