Fool & Folly

The purpose of the book of Proverbs is to transmit insights whereby one might learn to cope with life (1.2-6). Its emphasis is on teachings gathered from tradition of the elders (e.g., 4.1-4) and from experience (e.g., 6.6-11).

  1. “Fool” is the word used over and over again in Proverbs for one who lacks sense, who does not judge things according to their proper value.
  2. What good will it do to argue with a fool?
    1. “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.” Prv. 26.4
    2. No matter how many defenses you come up with …, no matter how many times you deny or refute his accusations, he has more. If you multiply words in return, you are answering him like a fool (according to his folly)

Every language has pithy sayings or maxims that express a truth crisply and forcefully. Because proverbs frequently express only one side of a truth, it happens that mutually contradictory proverbs may circulate, each of which is true when applied to the appropriate life-setting. The common saying, “Penny wise, pound foolish,” correctly describes one who is scrupulous about small transactions, but is extravagant in great ones. On the other hand, the proverb, “Take care of the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves,” is also true.

More than once the Bible presents two proverbs that, though contradictory, are both true when applied to appropriate circumstances. In Proverbs 26.4 the writer cautions his reader, “Do not answer fools according to their folly, or you will be a fool yourself”; in the very next verse, however, he advises, “Answer fools according to their folly, or they will be wise in their own eyes.”Prv. 26.5  It is left to the reader to know when it is appropriate to heed one or the other of these two antithetical proverbs.

Other sayings about Fools

The more someone says and the louder he says it, the less likely his words are worth listening to (which is why he’s talking so loud). Speech is a gift – not to be wasted or overused. We learned recently: “say little and do much” (1:15 Mishna 15) We are ultimately judged, both by G-d and by man, not by our big talk and brash promises but by our deeds and accomplishments.


It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.  All the reasoning’s of men are not worth one sentiment of women.

He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.

He who thinks himself wise, O heavens! is a great fool.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.

Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies.

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.

The safest course is to do nothing against one’s conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death

To hold a pen is to be at war.

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard

Bible Hub Proverbs
Bible Hub Proverbs


Maxims of Law – Proverbs


Calif. Civil Code §3509 – 3548

The maxims of jurisprudence hereinafter set forth are intended not to qualify any of the foregoing provisions of this Code, but to aid in their just application.

3510.  When the reason of a rule ceases, so should the rule itself.
3511.  Where the reason is the same, the rule should be the same.
3512.  One must not change his purpose to the injury of another.
3513.  Any one may waive the advantage of a law intended solely for his benefit.  But a law established for a public reason cannot be contravened by a private agreement.
3514.  One must so use his own rights as not to infringe upon the rights of another.3515.  He who consents to an act is not wronged by it.
3516.  Acquiescence in error takes away the right of objecting to it.
3517.  No one can take advantage of his own wrong.
3518.  He who has fraudulently dispossessed himself of a thing may be treated as if he still had possession.
3519.  He who can and does not forbid that which is done on his behalf, is deemed to have bidden it.
3520.  No one should suffer by the act of another.
3521.  He who takes the benefit must bear the burden.
3522.  One who grants a thing is presumed to grant also whatever is essential to its use.
3523.  For every wrong there is a remedy.
3524.  Between those who are equally in the right, or equally in the wrong, the law does not interpose.
3525.  Between rights otherwise equal, the earliest is preferred.
3526.  No man is responsible for that which no man can control.
3527.  The law helps the vigilant, before those who sleep on their rights.
3528.  The law respects form less than substance.
3529.  That which ought to have been done is to be regarded as done, in favor of him to whom, and against him from whom, performance is due.
3530.  That which does not appear to exist is to be regarded as if it did not exist.
3531.  The law never requires impossibilities.
3532.  The law neither does nor requires idle acts.
3533.  The law disregards trifles.
3534.  Particular expressions qualify those which are general.
3535.  Contemporaneous exposition is in general the best.
3536.  The greater contains the less.
3537.  Superfluity does not vitiate.
3538.  That is certain which can be made certain.
3539.  Time does not confirm a void act.
3540.  The incident follows the principal, and not the principal the incident.
3541.  An interpretation which gives effect is preferred to one which makes void.
3542.  Interpretation must be reasonable.
3543.  Where one of two innocent persons must suffer by the act of a third, he, by whose negligence it happened, must be the sufferer.
3545.  Private transactions are fair and regular.
3546.  Things happen according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life.
3547.  A thing continues to exist as long as is usual with things of that nature.
3548.  The law has been obeyed.


Links & Websites to explain what the above means…


Collection of US Supreme Court Legal Maxims  

Ancient Legal Maxims and Modern Human Rights  


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