Proverbs 29 – Arguing With a Fool

Proverbs 29:9 reads:  “If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”


English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost everyone has heard some “wise sayings” that might sound similar to this verse.  One that was popular a few years ago was “Never argue with an idiot.  They drag you down to their level; and then they beat you with experience.”  Another one that has been attributed to everyone from Mark Twain to George Bernard Shaw is “Never wrestle with a pig.  You both just get dirty, and the pig likes it.”  Both have a ring of truth in them that makes them a bit appealing for their humor.

In the book of Proverbs, the word “fool” is sometimes used simply for an unbeliever.  Sometimes it is used for a person who lacks good sense, or who uses poor judgment. Sometimes they are interchangeable.   But whether the “opponent” is a fool by reason of his non-belief in the truth, or because of a stubborn will, or whatever reason, it really makes no difference.  No good comes from arguing with them.  2 Timothy 2:23 tells us “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.”  The 24th and 25th verse explain that “the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.” When discussion becomes an argument, listening comes to an end, and with that, opportunity for salvation can get lost.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


One comment on “Proverbs 29 – Arguing With a Fool

  1. Pingback: Day 191: Proverbs 29-31; Wisdom and Authority | Overisel Reformed Church

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