Proverbs 27:3 says,
A stone is heavy, and sand is a burden; but the irritation a stupid fool causes is heavier than both.
Like many other proverbs, this is a wise observation to be considered when thinking or acting. Can you imagine a situation where a tragedy has occurred, and on hand is a stupid fool attempting to bend the ear of one who is deeply affected by it by telling him all about his score on the latest video game?
Such a person is irritating all right!
There are three principal Hebrew nouns in Proverbs, all translated by the one word “fool” in the King James version (differentiated in the CCNT/P). They actually ought to be distinguished from each other by their more specific denotations, which are:
- Stupid fool (as in the text quoted here)
- Stubborn fool
- Shameless fool
Each of these is more serious than the one before it. The stupid fool is irritating; but also pathetic.
Proverbs 13:20 is an instance of the “stubborn fool.” It reads,
. . . but an associate of stubborn fools will become evil.”
Such people do harm to others by their attitudes, words and actions. Stick with them for very long and you are likely to become not only foolishly stubborn in your ways, but outright evil.
Proverbs 17:7 says,
Excellent speech isn’t appropriate to a shameless fool . . .
He speaks his piece regardless of the danger or injury that results. He is shameless in his behavior because of his insensitivity to the lives and reputation of others. You will hardly ever hear anything edifying fall from his lips.
Better not to fall into any of these three categories.