Better for a person to encounter a bear deprived of her cubs
than to encounter a fool in his foolishness. Bible see other translations

“person.” The word “person” is iysh (#0376 אִישׁ), which most literally refers to a man, but it can also be used to refer to men and women, and it makes sense to translate it in a gender-neutral way in this context (see commentary on Prov. 2:12, “the one”).

Additional resource:

play mediaWords of Wisdom | Ep 38 | Don't Mess With A Fool (Prov. 17:12) (13:38) (Pub: 2021-01-15)


We might think of foolishness as a relatively harmless characteristic of a person, but the Book of Proverbs thinks much differently about it. Foolishness is very harmful and destructive. We might not immediately perceive the wickedness in foolishness, but its consequences will come to bite everyone who is involved. Danger abounds when we encounter a fool in their foolishness, so we must be wise and cautious to avoid it.

Illustration: Bear attack in Montana, and three friends killed on a fishing trip in Florida.

Verses: Proverbs 17:12

Teacher: Jerry Wierwille

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Commentary for: Proverbs 17:12