The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
The legs of someone that is lame hangs limp and useless. That is how a proverb is in the mouth of fools, it is useless to them because they don’t know when, where, or how to apply it.
He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
To send a message by the hand of a fool is to work against our own best interests. The fool won’t deliver the message properly and will render the response incorrectly, and both will be a cause for grief.
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
These two verses present an apparent contradiction. The first says not to answer a fool, the second says to answer them, and the latter part of each verse holds the key on how to answer a fool. Verse 4 – do not answer a fool in such a manner that we become a fool in the process, we are not to lose our temper, behave rudely, or speak unadvisedly. Verse 5 – do not let a fool off for their foolishness, reprove and rebuke them, as their folly deserves, so they will not be wise in their own eyes.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.
Just as it is necessary to use a whip on a horse and a bridle on a donkey, so sharp correction is the only language a fool seems to understand.
As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
Birds fly and dart in the air but never land on us. In the same manner, an undeserved cause will never land on a person, no matter what superstition says.
As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.
Snow is distinctly unseasonable in summer and rain during the harvest is not wanted or beneficial. To honor a person who is foolish is not a benefit either, as it is morally unfitting and only encourages them in their folly.
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
An individual who has never learned to discipline their life is like an undefended city, open to every kind of attack, exposed to every temptation.
It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
It is not good to overindulge in honey, possessions, or complimenting ourselves for things that we have accomplished.
A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
When good people compromise, yield, or fail to stand up for right and bow down before the wicked, it is like a muddied spring or a polluted well. When someone who is righteousness looks for purity and cleanliness around them, they will be disappointed because it will be difficult to find in this world.
As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
The gospel is God’s good news from a far country, which speaks of heaven. Like cold water to a thirsty soul, the gospel is refreshing and thirst quenching.