Proverbs 18:13

ESV If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
NIV To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.
NASB One who gives an answer before he hears, It is foolishness and shame to him.
CSB The one who gives an answer before he listens— this is foolishness and disgrace for him.
NLT Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
KJV He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
NKJV He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.

What does Proverbs 18:13 mean?

Among modern technology's greatest benefits is ease of communication. Yet that ability comes with dangers. It has never been easier for persons lacking experience, information, and discernment to spread their opinions to others on a large scale and without a meaningful requirement to think before broadcasting. Entire media platforms are designed around characteristics such as speed, brevity, and reach. This enables poorly understood, factually challenged, ill-considered statements to be instantly delivered to a large audience.

Such risks have resulted in innumerable people making fools of themselves when hastily made comments prove deeply uninformed. Another regrettable result is modern culture's tendency to form opinions based on bite-sized, context-free headlines, reinforcing the error and causing it to spread.

As a wise judge, Solomon understood the wisdom of hearing both sides of a matter before rendering a judgment. Speaking before hearing is a sign of arrogance and overconfidence (Proverbs 18:12). Vain pride makes a person think he knows what to say without bothering to hear what another person has to say. This proverb, written thousands of years ago, indicates that speaking in ignorance is not a modern problem. It's an ancient problem amplified by modern technology.

Jesus placed a high premium on hearing a matter carefully. He said, "Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away" (Luke 8:18). The apostle James writes in James 1:19: "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak." Further, in verse 26 he cautions: "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless."
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