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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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FOLLY, or FOOLISHNESS. The term fool is to be understood sometimes according to its plain, literal meaning, as denoting a person void of understanding; but it is often used figuratively, Psalms 38:5 ; Psalms 69:5 . "The fool," that is, the impious sinner, "hath said in his heart, There is no God," Psalms 14:1 . "I have sinned: do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly," 1 Chronicles 21:8 . "Fools make a mock at sin," Proverbs 14:9 . See also the language of Tamar to her brother Amnon: "Do not this folly; for whither shall I cause my shame to go? And as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel," 2 Samuel 13:13 ; that is, Thou wilt be accounted a very wicked person. Our Lord seems to have used the term in a sense somewhat peculiar in Matthew 5:22 : "Whosoever shall say to his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." But the whole verse shows the meaning to be, that when any one of his professed disciples indulges a temper and disposition of mind contrary to charity, or that peculiar love which the brethren of Christ are bound by his law to have toward each other, John 13:34 , not only showing anger against another without a cause, but also treating him with contemptuous language, and that with malicious intent, he shall be in danger of eternal destruction.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Fool'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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