Proverbs 10:8

Proverbs 10:8 "The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall."
Church Elma NY Proverbs 10:8
Solomon used a Hebrew word in this verse that the translators for the King James Version rendered “prating.”  Solomon used this word only twice in his writings, both of which appear in this chapter.  It is used elsewhere in our English Bible only once and that, by the Apostle John in his third epistle.  To prate is to talk for a long time and more specifically, to talk without weight for a long time.  The intoxicated are usually guilty of prating about nonsense.  Young mothers often prate about their children while men often do the same about their hobbies.  Prate is continued talk to little purpose.  A “prating fool” is someone who goes on and on without any purpose.  A “prating fool” is someone who is swift to speak and slow to hear, which is the opposite of what James instructs us to do in James 1:19.

A “prating fool” stands in contrast to “the wise in heart.”   These stand in contrast to one another in every way but in this proverb, they stand in contrast to one another in regards to commandments.  Those who have wisdom in their heart will readily receive commandments from authorities while those who lack wisdom in their heart will steadily debate those same commandments.  This is not to say that the wise will blindly and immediately receive all commandments from all sources of authority.  This is not to say that the wise will not struggle with certain commandments.  This is not to say that the wise will not take the time to think about what is they are commanded to do or not to do.  Those who have wisdom in their heart will be “swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath” when hearing commandments.  They will think through the commandment of their parents before expressing their opinion.  They will think through the commandment of their spouse before voicing their objection.  The wise in heart will contemplate the commandment of their employer without prejudice before offering concerns.  They will sincerely seek to understand the commandment of their government before speaking up.  Because the wise think about the commandment before they speak about the commandment, they will eventually receive the commandment.  As a result, they will heed the commandment and be better for it.

On the other hand, the fool speaks out against the commandment before he even thinks about the commandment.  Void of wisdom, the fool reacts to the commandment without first reflecting on the commandment.  While no one initially likes to be told what to do or what not to do, the wise in heart will think about the purpose and benefit of a commandment while fools will react without proper reflection.  This foolish reaction is foolish prating.  Fools immediately and persistently object to commandments.  Foolish children immediately and persistently object to parental commandments.  Foolish employees immediately and persistently discredit employer commandments.  Foolish spouses immediately and constantly attack spousal commandments.  Foolish citizens immediately and perpetually criticize governmental commandments.  Because the foolish don’t think about the commandment before they speak about the commandment, they never receive the commandment.  As a result, they will never heed the commandment and they will eventually “fall” because of it.

“Prating fools” keep talking in order to keep from thinking.  Prating fools keep talking in order to keep others from thinking.  Prating fools keep talking in order to keep convincing themselves of their foolishness.  Prating fools are those who talk in circles.  Prating fools can’t be reasoned with.  Prating fools will never receive the commandment because their incessant talking prevents them from both listening and thinking.  Most of cable news networks and radio talk shows could be classified as “prating fools.”  Spend any amount of time on social media outlets and you’ll find example after example of “prating fools.”  People all over the world get behind a screen and post rant after rant, day after day criticizing some parental commandment or some governmental commandment.  These are the souls who will never receive the wholesome commandment.  When unable to see the merit of a commandment, fools will not receive its benefit and ultimately, will fall to their moral demise.
If Solomon had the New Testament Scripture in his library, he would’ve concluded this proverb with James 1:19-21, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and RECEIVE with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”





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