Proverbs 24:7

ESV Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth.
NIV Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.
NASB Wisdom is too exalted for a fool, He does not open his mouth at the gate.
CSB Wisdom is inaccessible to a fool; he does not open his mouth at the city gate.
NLT Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say.
KJV Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.

What does Proverbs 24:7 mean?

Solomon notes that wisdom is "too high" for the fool. This is much like the English figure of speech used when someone misses a point or fails to grasp a deeper truth: "it went over their head." In the case of the fool, this is thanks to their own choices and ungodly attitude.

Very few Scriptures use the term "fool" with reference to a person's intellect. That is to say that being "foolish" is quite different from being "dim-witted" or "slow." Instead, foolishness is primarily a matter of attitude: the "fool" is one who ignores godly wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) in favor of their own preferences (Proverbs 13:1, 16; 18:2). Arrogance and stubbornness are more prevalent in the fool than a simple lack of intelligence. Those persons labelled "unreachable" due to egoism, bias, or sin cannot attain true wisdom, which requires humility (Proverbs 12:15; 14:12).

In the ancient world, business and legal matters were often conducted at the city's gate. The fool—in this case, the person who misses meaningful wisdom thanks to arrogance—has nothing to contribute to the discussion. At best, he remains silent. At worst, of course, the fool might speak anyway and fully reveal his condition (Proverbs 10:19; 17:28; 29:20).

The word "fool" in this verse identifies someone who is arrogant and stubborn. He is unteachable because he thinks he knows it all. A fool refuses to humble himself and admit that God exists. Psalm 14:1 says, "the fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good." Jesus identified a rich farmer as a fool because he thought his bumper crop provided security for the future. He told his soul, "You have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry" (Luke 12:19). The next verse informs us, "But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?" Jesus concluded, "So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God" (verse 21).
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