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Proverbs 26:4 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like him.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Do not answer a dullard, according to his folly, lest, even thou thyself, become like him;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou be like to him—even thou.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be made like him.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Answere not a foole according to his folly, lest thou also be like vnto him.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou become like him.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Answer 6030
{6030} Prime
עָנָה
`anah
{aw-naw'}
A primitive root; properly to eye or (generally) to heed, that is, pay attention; by implication to respond; by extension to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
not x408
(0408) Complement
אַל
'al
{al}
A negative particle (akin to H3808); not (the qualified negation, used as a deprecative); once (Job 24:25) as a noun, nothing.
a fool 3684
{3684} Prime
כְּסִיל
k@ciyl
{kes-eel'}
From H3688; properly fat, that is, (figuratively) stupid or silly.
according to his folly, 200
{0200} Prime
אִוֶּלֶת
'ivveleth
{iv-veh'-leth}
From the same as H0191; silliness.
lest x6435
(6435) Complement
פֵּן
pen
{pane}
From H6437; properly removal; used only (in the constructive) adverbially as conjugation lest.
thou x859
(0859) Complement
אַתָּה
'attah
{at-taw'}
A primitive pronoun of the second person; thou and thee, or (plural) ye and you.
also x1571
(1571) Complement
גַּם
gam
{gam}
By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and.
be like 7737
{7737} Prime
שָׁוַה
shavah
{shaw-vaw'}
A primitive root; properly to level, that is, equalize; figuratively to resemble; by implication to adjust (that is, counterbalance, be suitable, compose, place, yield, etc.).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Proverbs 26:4-5

_ _ Answer not — that is, approvingly by like folly.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Proverbs 26:4-5

_ _ See here the noble security of the scripture-style, which seems to contradict itself, but really does not. Wise men have need to be directed how to deal with fools; and they have never more need of wisdom than in dealing with such, to know when to keep silence and when to speak, for there may be a time for both. 1. In some cases a wise man will not set his wit to that of a fool so far as to answer him according to his folly “If he boast of himself, do not answer him by boasting of thyself. If he rail and talk passionately, do not thou rail and talk passionately too. If he tell one great lie, do not thou tell another to match it. If he calumniate thy friends, do not thou calumniate his. If he banter, do not answer him in his own language, lest thou be like him, even thou, who knowest better things, who hast more sense, and hast been better taught.” 2. Yet, in other cases, a wise man will use his wisdom for the conviction of a fool, when, by taking notice of what he says, there may be hopes of doing good, or at least preventing further, mischief, either to himself or others. “If thou have reason to think that thy silence will be deemed an evidence of the weakness of thy cause, or of thy own weakness, in such a case answer him, and let it be an answer ad hominemto the man, beat him at his own weapons, and that will be an answer ad remto the point, or as good as one. If he offer any thing that looks like an argument, an answer that, and suit thy answer to his case. If he think, because thou dost not answer him, that what he says is unanswerable, then give him an answer, lest he be wise in his own conceit and boast of a victory.” For (Luke 7:35) Wisdom's children must justify her.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Proverbs 26:4

According — So as to imitate his folly, by passionate or reproachful speeches.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Proverbs 26:4

Answer not a fool (a) according to his folly, lest thou also be like him.

(a) Consent not to him in his doings.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife [is as] when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
Judges 12:1-6 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. ... Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.
2 Samuel 19:41-43 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David's men with him, over Jordan? ... And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more [right] in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.
1 Kings 12:14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father [also] chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
1 Kings 12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither [have we] inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.
2 Kings 14:8-10 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face. ... Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory [of this], and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to [thy] hurt, that thou shouldest fall, [even] thou, and Judah with thee?
1 Peter 2:21-23 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: ... Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:
1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
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Jg 12:1. 2S 19:41. 1K 12:14, 16. 2K 14:8. Pv 17:14. 1P 2:21; 3:9. Jde 1:9.

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