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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 10:10

Proverbs 10:10

"He who winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will be ruined."


This is the Hebrew word qarats which means to nip, compress, pinch, wink, narrow. This word is used to describe a tendency by those who do wickedness and violence to others that brings a narrowness or even squinting to the eyes.

Proverbs 6:13 is a parallel passage which reads: Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, who points with his fingers. There is clearly a signaling going on with one's eyes and/or a natural reaction when intensity in some form or manner is involved. A narrowing of the eyes or squinting or compressing of the eyelids is an involuntary response to intensive thinking. It is also true that those who are involved in wickedness on a consistent basis do not retain a wide-eyed look to their faces. We have all heard of the squinty-eyed person being up to no good. This seems to be the general idea in this part of the verse.

The Septuagint translates this word enneuon which means to signal. This word is used of the signs that people made to John the Baptist's father as to what name he would name the boy.

Solomon's point seems to be to show his students where the landmines of life are hidden. Two of the places are outlined in this proverb. The person who squints or signals a lot with their eyes is a landmine that will explode and bring pain and trouble to those around them. Therefore, the strategy is to get away from this type of person. When you identify this kind of person, steer clear of them for they cause trouble. The Septuagint says they bring pain. They are a landmine that will explode. Too often we do not heed Solomon's advice, and we continue our business dealings or social interaction with a person who draws trouble.


This is the Hebrew word sapa which means speech, lip, language. The idea in this verse is that the person is a speaking fool. The selfish impulsiveness comes out of them through speech. They allow all their selfish thoughts to come out of their mouths. This type of person just keeps talking until their selfishness is evident to all. They do not know how to keep quiet. Peter, on the mount of transfiguration, would have qualified in this regard. As Jesus was transformed, all he could think to do was talk. Finally God the Father had to say, "'This is my beloved Son, Hear Him." In other words: shut up, Peter.

A person who cannot keep quiet about what they notice or think about will be humbled, if not humiliated. They will put their foot in their mouth. Don't say all that you think you know. People assume that you are much smarter when you hold back instead of always having to say what you think about a situation. I certainly have been humiliated by jumping into a conversation with my two cents when I should have just stayed silent.

If people cannot be around you without hearing your opinion or your observations, then you are becoming a babbling fool. Let people talk about their stuff and only bring up your stuff if they ask.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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