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”!