Proverbs 14:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 14:7, NIV: Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

Proverbs 14:7, ESV: Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.

Proverbs 14:7, KJV: Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

Proverbs 14:7, NASB: Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge.

Proverbs 14:7, NLT: Stay away from fools, for you won't find knowledge on their lips.

Proverbs 14:7, CSB: Stay away from a foolish person; you will gain no knowledge from his speech.

What does Proverbs 14:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Part of obeying God's will is sharing truth with others. That includes the gospel (Matthew 28:19–20), and it certainly includes people who are not naturally friendly to faith (Romans 5:8). However, God's will does not include wasting time and resources on those who clearly have no interest (Matthew 7:6). Likewise, a believer cannot and should not disassociate himself with every unbeliever (1 Corinthians 5:9–11). If he did, he would not be able to share the gospel with him. However, a believer should avoid a relationship in which an unbeliever influences him to think and/or act contrary to the will of God (Proverbs 13:20).

A "fool," in this context, is a person who rejects God's truth and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 10:8; Psalm 14:1). Such a perspective provides nothing of meaningful value. Being careless about the advice of a fool can influence a person to adopt foolish notions. The apostle assures us in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that "bad company ruins good morals." In 2 Corinthians 6:14–15, he commands, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God." He follows this reasoning with a command, "Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord" (2 Corinthians 6:17).