At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes (KJV).Proverbs 18:6
A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating (ESV).
One of the apostle Paul’s complaints against the Corinthians was that they suffered fools gladly (2 Cor. 11:19). But of course, tolerating fools is simply one more way of demonstrating that you have yourself become a fool.
We need to remember that in Scripture, a fool is someone with an ethical deficiency, not an intellectual one. There are many atheists, for example, who can bounce the right side of their intellectual tachometer, and their entire brain is a hot little red sports car. But it is a fool who says in his heart that there is no God (Ps. 14:1). So this kind of smart person is blowing down the wrong road in the middle of the night, not knowing that right around the next bend the bridge is out. The fact that his car can go really fast doesn’t really enter into our concern.
But the folly indicated by this proverb is a belligerent folly. This is not just a person who did poorly in figuring out why his cocaine habit costs a lot of money. This is a fool who shoots off his mouth, on the supposition that the person he is talking to is the foolish one—which is usually not the case.
Scripture says that such persons might be spiritual improved by means of a drubbing. And if they are not, then a simple person standing nearby might be edified by the sight. “Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: And reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge” (Prov. 19:25).
Corporal punishment is sometimes instructive. But not always.