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Like one who entangles a stone in a sling,
so is a person who gives honor to a fool. Bible

“As one who entangles a stone in a sling.” This Proverb involves a custom that we must know in order to understand the verse. The Hebrew word “entangles,” more literally, “ties,” is tseror (#06872 צְרוֹר), and it means to tie up or bind up. The purpose of a sling was to throw a stone, so who would ever tie a stone in a sling? The answer is no one would do that on purpose. The oriental sling consisted of a diamond shaped or rectangular “cup” (a shallow pouch), with two cords attached to it, one on each end. The cords were usually made of yarn or leather. To get ready to sling a stone, the slinger placed a rock in the pouch, and held the two cords between his fingers so that the cords hung down toward the ground, parallel to each other. To throw the stone from the pouch, the slinger swung the loaded sling around in a circular motion, and at the right time (which was learned by practice), let go of one of the cords. This allowed the rock to come out of the pouch and travel toward the target. The great key to slinging accurately is to be able to swing the sling around in its circular motion while moving the wrist in such a way that the cords remain parallel to each other. If the cords stay parallel and are not tangled or twisted, the stone will release smoothly and cleanly from the pouch. Novice slingers sometimes do not get the wrist motion correct, and as the sling is swung around, the two cords begin to twist around each other instead of staying parallel. Then, when the slinger releases one of the cords, instead of a quick and clean release, the cords have to unravel, making the stone release late. Since the sling is going in a circular motion, when the sling releases late the stone is released in the wrong direction. This can be devastating in war. At best, the slinger would simply miss the enemy, but at worst, the stone would release so late that it would hit a fellow soldier. The Proverb is powerful and picturesque to someone who understands slinging. A slinger who is not paying attention and twists his cords, binding the stone in the sling will hit the wrong person with the stone. So too, the person who gives honor to a fool has “hit the wrong person.” The fool does not deserve the honor.


Commentary for: Proverbs 26:8