Contradictions: Proverbs 26:4,5

Proverbs 26:4-5  Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.  (5)  Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

Here are two proverbs that give the cynic an opportunity to say, “There you go – the Bible contradicts itself!”  I am sure that Solomon was aware that he was writing two contrasting thoughts.  The intention is deliberate.  Maybe he was showing us that whatever you do, a fool stays a fool.  Both statements are true.

Rene Magritte painted this image of a pipe and wrote under – “This is not a pipe!  The challenge is to think beyond the apparent contradiction.

On the other hand he might have been pointing out that you need to be canny speaking to a fool.  Sometimes you get your point over by straight talking and avoid being seen as a fool.  Sometimes you might “read back” to a fool what he or she has said in order to expose their foolishness.

Who is a fool?  Well, the Lord Jesus told us not to call people fools!  However, the Bible tells us that a fool says, “There is no God”!