Like tying a stone in a sling,
so is giving honor to a fool.
Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard,
so is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
If you haven’t gathered by now, the Proverbs don’t think real highly of fools. They’re kind of like the pond-scum of the earth. You can almost get a feeling or sense of what some modern day politicians feel about the public. It doesn’t matter which party, there are politicians on both sides who talk and think about the public as though we are a bunch of fools who don’t know how to think or speak for ourselves.
But, if you’ve ever dealt with a fool, you can understand the sentiment. If you’ve ever tried to give honor to a fool, then you know how that can work out. I’ve tried it. I had good intentions too. I thought if I give this person honor, then maybe it will help them rise to a higher level in other areas of their life. False. The stone never left the sling, it came right back to me. It was completely pointless. I would have been better off to hit myself in the head with the stone than to try to honor that person.
A thorn doesn’t belong in anyone’s hand. It’s just not supposed to be there. Amplify that with drunkenness and you have the usefulness of a proverb, or a wise word coming from the mouth of a fool. If a fool says something wise, chances are he’s not going to apply it to his life the right way. He might use that first phrase “like tying a stone in a sling” to mean that sometimes the point of a sling is to swing it around. When you’re not wise, it’s hard to know how to use a statement.
Or even worse, if someone is a fool and he shares advice with someone, he can do great damage. It’s like a thorn in your hand. Even if you get the thorn out, it shouldn’t have ever been there. So, it will leave damage and possibly have long term effects.