In part 1 of “Narcissism and the Progression of Fools” we discussed the basic sequence of how a person can progressively harden their hearts as they wander away from God’s path. A scoffer (one of the Biblical terms for a narcissist), is one stop along that path.
For your further study, following is a list of all the verses which include the Hebrew words which were used in the previous post. I have made a rough attempt at grouping them by subject matter in order to make it easier to digest the large number of verses, but the groupings and their headings are simply a guide. I encourage you to study them for yourselves.
Characteristics of the Naive/Simple Fool – [Hebrew word pthiy]
- They love or take pride in their open-mindedness
- Proverbs 1:22—”How long will you simple [pthiy] ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
- They are gullible and do not think through what others are telling them, so they can be easily influenced by others
- Proverbs 14:15—A simple [pthiy] man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.
- They take actions without thinking through the consequences – (ie – they lack good judgement)
- Proverbs 7:7—I saw among the simple [pthiy], I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment.
- Proverbs 22:3—A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple [pthiy] keep going and suffer for it.
- Proverbs 27:12—The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple [pthiy] keep going and suffer for it.
- They are, however, able to learn a measure of wisdom and prudence when they see others farther down the road of rebellion receive consequences of actions
- Making a choice to wander off the straight and narrow path ultimately puts them at serious risk
- Proverbs 1:32—For the waywardness of the simple [pthiy] will kill them…..
Characteristics of the Perverse Fool – [Hebrew word ewil].
- Having started down the path through naivete, he is continuing on the path through rebellion, ignoring the consequences
- He begins to ignore the fact that he is rebellion against God’s way, and resists anything that says otherwise
- Proverbs 12:15—The way of a fool [ewil] seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
- Proverbs 1:7—The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools [ewil] despise wisdom and discipline.
- Proverbs 15:5—A fool [ewil] spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
- Proverbs 14:9—Fools [ewil] mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.
- Proverbs 24:7—Wisdom is too high for a fool [ewil]; in the assembly at the gate he has nothing to say.
- He may seek to counter those who try to correct him through talking over them. He may run at the mouth, possibly in order not to give a chance to others to speak into his life.
- His lack of self-control over his heart and mouth causes him to lash out at things which do not go his way
- Proverbs 25:28 – Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit
- Proverbs 12:16—A fool [ewil] shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
- Proverbs 29:9—If a wise man goes to court with a fool, the fool [ewil] rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.
- This lack of good judgment and self-control in his speech tends to get him in trouble
- Further consequences
- Proverbs 10:21—The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools [ewil] die for lack of judgment.
- Proverbs 11:29—He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool [ewil] will be servant to the wise.
- Proverbs 16:22—Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly [ewil] brings punishment to fools [ewil].
- He is starting to harden in his position of rebellion against the Lord, irrespective of the consequences
- Jeremiah 4:22—”My people are fools [ewil]; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.”
- Isaiah 35:8—And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools [ewil] will not go about on it
Characteristics of Scoffing or Mocking Fool [Hebrew word luts]
(Note: the following translation uses the English word “mocker”, while NASB uses the English term “scoffer” – both are the Hebrew word “luts”)
- They sit in judgement over others as lawgiver and judge, and love doing it
- Psalm 1:1—Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers [luts].
- Proverbs 1:22—”How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers [luts] delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
- Psalm 119:51—The arrogant mock [luts] me without restraint, but I do not turn from your law.
- They will not tolerate anyone correcting them
- Proverbs 9:7—”Whoever corrects a mocker [luts] invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse
- Proverbs 13:1—A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker [luts] does not listen to rebuke
- Proverbs 9:8—Do not rebuke a mocker [luts] or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
- Proverbs 15:12—A mocker [luts] resents correction; he will not consult the wise.
- Psalm 119:51—The arrogant mock [luts] me without restraint, but I do not turn from your law.
- They will not hesitate to be contentious and put down others in their quest to be right and lord it over others
- Proverbs 22:10—Drive out the mocker [luts] , and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.
- In their arrogance that they are always right, they are unable to learn from anyone or anything
- Proverbs 14:6—The mocker [luts] seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
- Their arrogance is visible
- Proverbs 21:24—The proud and arrogant man—”Mocker” [luts] is his name; he behaves with overweening pride.
- Both God and man are against them
- Proverbs 3:34—He (God) mocks [luts] proud mockers [luts] but gives grace to the humble.
- Proverbs 19:29—Penalties are prepared for mockers [luts], and beatings for the backs of fools.
- Proverbs 24:9—The schemes of folly are sin, and men detest a mocker [luts].
- Proverbs 9:12—If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker [luts] , you alone will suffer.”
- Dealing with scoffers requires consequences instead of rebukes
- There is still hope for them, since God warns them to stop their mocking (if there was no hope, why would he bother?)
- Isaiah 28:22—Now stop your mocking [luts], or your chains will become heavier; the Lord, the LORD Almighty, has told me of the destruction decreed against the whole land.
The Characteristics of a Stubborn Fool / [Hebrew word kecil]
- His contentment with the pleasures of evil make it harder to repent
- Proverbs 1:32—For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools [kecil] will destroy them;
- Proverbs 10:23—A fool [kecil] finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.
- Ecclesiastes 7:4—The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools [kecil] is in the house of pleasure.
- Proverbs 13:19—A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools [kecil] detest turning from evil.
- Proverbs 1:22—”How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools [kecil] hate knowledge?
- He is showing less and less good judgment in his pursuit of satisfying his own appetites
- Proverbs 21:20—In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man [kecil] devours all he has.
- Proverbs 14:16—A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool [kecil] is hotheaded and reckless.
- Proverbs 17:24—A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s [kecil] eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
- He is more willing to reveal and expose himself for who he is (vs. the scoffer who tries to hide who he is)
- Rather than thinking through the path of his life, they compound their error by continuing to deceive themselves and others
- Proverbs 14:8—The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly [ewil] of fools [kecil] is deception.
- They are totally unable to comprehend wisdom
- Psalm 92:6—The senseless man does not know, fools [kecil] do not understand,
- Psalm 94:8—Take heed, you senseless ones among the people; you fools [kecil], when will you become wise?
- Proverbs 15:7—The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools [kecil].
- Ecclesiastes 5:1—Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools [kecil], who do not know that they do wrong.
- In their thougthless arrogance that they are right in whatever they do, they are pleased to spout their opinions on everything. They are very undisciplined in their speech
- Proverbs 18:2—A fool [kecil] finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.
- Proverbs 26:7—Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool [kecil].
- Proverbs 26:9—Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool [kecil].
- Proverbs 15:2—The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool [kecil] gushes folly [ewil].
- People are warned to keep their distance
- Their revealing themselves for who they are brings grief to their parents, and possibly even harm back on them
- Proverbs 10:1—The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish [kecil] son grief to his mother.
- Proverbs 17:25—A foolish [kecil] son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the one who bore him.
- Proverbs 17:21—To have a fool [kecil] for a son brings grief; there is no joy for the father of a fool [nabal] .
- Proverbs 15:20—A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish [kecil] man despises his mother.
- Proverbs 19:13—A foolish [kecil] son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping
- They are even more unwilling to listen and learn….. and as a result will easily repeat the same mistakes
- Proverbs 17:16—Of what use is money in the hand of a fool [kecil], since he has no desire to get wisdom?
- Proverbs 23:9—Do not speak to a fool [kecil], for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
- Ecclesiastes 2:14—The wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool [kecil] walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.
- Proverbs 28:26—He who trusts in himself is a fool [kecil], but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
- Proverbs 26:11—As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool [kecil] repeats his folly.
- Ecclesiastes 4:13—Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish [kecil] king who no longer knows how to take warning.
- And they are more inclined to spout off whatever is on their mind – to speak flippantly with no follow through due to laziness
- Proverbs 18:7—A fool’s [kecil] mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
- Proverbs 19:1—Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool [kecil] whose lips are perverse.
- Proverbs 18:6—A fool’s [kecil] lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.
- Proverbs 29:11—A fool [kecil] gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
- Ecclesiastes 7:9—Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools [kecil].
- Ecclesiastes 5:4—When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools [kecil]; fulfill your vow.
- Ecclesiastes 4:5—The fool [kecil] folds his hands and ruins himself.
- They are unreliable
- If you give honor to a fool [kecil] (ie – praise him for something good he has done), you are enabling him to continue on his destructive path, and may receive harm from his hands
- Proverbs 26:8—Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool [kecil]. [Note: If you bind a stone in a sling, it will come back and hit you]
- Proverbs 26:1—Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool [kecil] .
- Proverbs 26:4, 5—Do not answer a fool [kecil] according to his folly [ewil], or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool [kecil] according to his folly [ewil], or he will be wise in his own eyes.
- Proverbs 19:10—It is not fitting for a fool [kecil] to live in luxury—how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!
The only solution is to provide serious consequences, but even that may not work
- Proverbs 17:10—A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool [kecil].
- Proverbs 19:29—Penalties are prepared for mockers, and beatings for the backs of fools [kecil].
- Proverbs 26:3—A whip for the horse, a halter for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools [kecil]!
- Proverbs 3:35—The wise inherit honor, but fools [kecil] he holds up to shame.
- There is still hope, since God warns them to change (even though He really does not like what they’re doing)
- There is a tendency toward laziness – “I can’t be bothered with…..”
- Proverbs 10:18—He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool [kecil].
- Proverbs 14:24—The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly [ewil] of fools [kecil] yields folly [ewil].
- Proverbs 15:14—The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool [kecil] feeds on folly.
- Proverbs 29:20—Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool [kecil] than for him.
- Ecclesiastes 5:3—As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool [kecil] when there are many words.
- Ecclesiastes 7:5—It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools [kecil].
- Ecclesiastes 7:6—Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools [kecil]. This too is meaningless.
- Ecclesiastes 9:17—The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools [kecil].
- Ecclesiastes 10:2—The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool [kecil] to the left.
- Ecclesiastes 10:12—Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool [kecil] is consumed by his own lips.
Characteristics of the Committed Fool / [Hebrew word nabal]
- He has become his own law – apostate, reprobate, and even to the point of rationalizing away God’s existence
- Ezekiel 13:3. “Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe to the foolish [nabal] prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing.”
- Psalm 14:1. “The fool [nabal] has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.”
- Psalm 14:1—The fool [nabal] says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
- Psalm 53:1—The fool [nabal] says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.
- Isaiah 32:6—For the fool [nabal] speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water.
- While on the surface they appear to mock others (like the scoffer), this is one step further – while the scoffer mocks in order to justify himself and put down others so that he will be exalted, the [nabal] fool is utterly derisive of those who do not share his evil ways
- Psalm 39:8—Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools [nabal].
- Psalm 74:18—Remember how the enemy has mocked (reproach – charaph) you, O LORD, how foolish [nabal] people have reviled your name.
- Psalm 74:22—Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools [nabal] mock (reproach – cherpah) you all day long.
- In some societies, fools might be highly esteemed (a symptom of a sick society)
- Isaiah 32:5—No longer will the fool [nabal] be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
- Their end is destruction
- Philippians 3:18-19 – For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.
- And they are a source of grief to their parents
- Job 2:10—He replied, “You are talking like a foolish [nabal] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
- Proverbs 17:7—Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool [nabal] —how much worse lying lips to a ruler!
- Proverbs 30:22—a servant who becomes king, a fool [nabal] who is full of food,
- Jeremiah 17:11—Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means. When his life is half gone, they will desert him, and in the end he will prove to be a fool [nabal] .
Even though someone is walking down this path, repentance is possible. God is in the forgiving and restoration business.
Sources and additional resources are:
The Book of Proverbs, by Bruce K. Waltke