The Bible frequently and directly references fools.
Jesus himself had a lot to say about fools. In Matthew 7:26-27, he says: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
One of the first instances is in Proverbs 1:7, where it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
In Psalms 14:1-3, we learn that “the fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.”
What Does The Bible Say About A Foolish Man
The Bible has much to say about fools. The word fool today usually means “a senseless fellow, a dullard.” The biblical definition has the added dimension of “someone who disregards God’s Word.” The Bible lists many characteristics of such a person, often contrasting him with one who is wise. Ecclesiastes 10:2 says, “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.” A fool is one whose wayward heart turns continually toward foolishness. “Fools speak foolishness and make evil plans” (Isaiah 32:6). Proverbs 26:11 says, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Fools do not learn their lessons from the mistakes they make. They continue doing the same foolish things over and over again, to their own destruction (Proverbs 18:7).
The following is a partial list of some characteristics of a fool from the book of Proverbs: a fool hates knowledge (Proverbs 1:22), takes no pleasure in understanding (Proverbs 18:2), enjoys wicked schemes (Proverbs 10:23), proclaims folly (Proverbs 12:23), spurns a parent’s discipline (Proverbs 15:5), speaks perversity (Proverbs 19:1), is quick-tempered (Proverbs 12:16), gets himself in trouble with his proud speech (Proverbs 14:3), mocks at sin (Proverbs 14:9), is deceitful (Proverbs 14:8), and despises his mother (Proverbs 15:20). A foolish child brings grief to his or her parents (Proverbs 17:25; 19:13). A foolish man commits sexual immorality (Proverbs 6:32; 7:7–12). A foolish woman tears down her own house (Proverbs 14:1).
The ultimate description of a fool is one who “says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). Although fools can choose to become wise by heeding wise counsel and applying it (Proverbs 8:5; 21:11), the Bible warns against associating with fools (Proverbs 14:7). Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
There is an important distinction between the biblical definition of a fool and the word Jesus used (raca) in Matthew 5:22 when He forbade calling a Christian brother a “fool.” The term raca, spoken from a heart of contempt, implied utter worthlessness. Jesus was not saying that we cannot call the choices of another foolish. But to call someone “raca” was saying that this person was beyond the reach of God and therefore condemned forever. To say, “You fool!” to a brother or sister in that day was the equivalent of saying, “Damn you!” to someone today. We do not have the power or the right to condemn anyone to hell. That position of judgment belongs only to God. A born-again Christian cannot be “damned” because he or she has been purchased by the blood of Christ (Colossians 1:14). We can and should, however, do all we can to turn the hearts of those exhibiting foolishness toward wisdom and possibly save their lives and their eternal souls (James 5:20).
To the Christian on pilgrimage throughout the world, the Bible is the perfect map and chart.
The path brightens as you travel over mountains and through valleys, eventually leading to the ideal day. That’s what the wise say (Proverbs 4:18). If we pay attention and steer our rickety schooner by God’s Word, we will reach the promised land of eternal peace and rest without hitting any snags along the way. But if we are not careful and arrogant and rely on our own conceits, we will sink our faith. A young lieutenant in the English navy recently reported a previously unknown and potentially hazardous rock in the Mediterranean to the admiralty. The directive to include it on all charts was sent via telegraph to every station.
You may safely and confidently navigate all the mazes of this world with God’s Word in your hands and mind. The true and narrow path is so boldly outlined that even a runner can read it. A traveler, even a fool, can safely navigate it (Isaiah 35:8) because it is clearly marked with God’s laws, even though the rest of the world can’t see them. The Spirit of Truth, who is unseen, guides us and reassures us when we are unsure of what to do, saying “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isaiah 30:21). As a result, you can continue on your journey to the city of God with peace of mind as you rely on the Bible as “a lamp to your feet, and a light unto your path” (Psalm 119:105), a route that no one knows save He who leads you.
The first vessel to pass over the spot was captained by an elderly man who, upon seeing the fresh warning on his map, was curious as to who had first reported the rock. When told this, he said, “There is no such rock there.” Twenty years of sailing this sea has left me without evidence of such a rock. Then, full of self-importance, he ordered his sailing-master to take the ship straight over the target. The brave ship sailed straight through the perilous area. The ship crashed with terrible force, taking the lives of everyone aboard. Many a Christian has gone down in flames due to arrogance or ignoring his infallible compass. We pray that the Holy Spirit would prompt us to carefully examine the course laid out for us by God.
Bible Verses About Fools KJV
Proverbs 18:2 ESV / 272 helpful votes
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
Proverbs 29:11 ESV / 168 helpful votes
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
Proverbs 1:7 ESV / 150 helpful votes
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 10:14 ESV / 114 helpful votes
The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
Proverbs 29:9 ESV / 103 helpful votes
If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
Proverbs 18:7 ESV / 96 helpful votes
A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 ESV / 88 helpful votes
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
Proverbs 18:6 ESV / 83 helpful votes
A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.
Matthew 5:22 ESV / 81 helpful votes
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Proverbs 14:7-9 ESV / 79 helpful votes
Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving. Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.
Psalm 14:1-4 ESV / 79 helpful votes
To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord?
Proverbs 15:7 ESV / 72 helpful votes
The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.
Proverbs 10:23 ESV / 64 helpful votes
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
Proverbs 12:15 ESV / 63 helpful votes
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Titus 3:3 ESV / 59 helpful votes
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
Romans 1:22 ESV / 58 helpful votes
Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
Matthew 7:26 ESV / 56 helpful votes
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
Proverbs 26:3-12 ESV / 54 helpful votes
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools. …
Ecclesiastes 4:5 ESV / 53 helpful votes
The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.
Psalm 14:1 ESV / 47 helpful votes
To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.
Proverbs 17:28 ESV / 44 helpful votes
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
Proverbs 10:18 ESV / 44 helpful votes
The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.
Proverbs 10:8 ESV / 41 helpful votes
The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
Proverbs 14:16 ESV / 38 helpful votes
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.
Psalm 53:1 ESV / 37 helpful votes
To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
1 John 4:18 ESV / 36 helpful votes
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Proverbs 3:35 ESV / 36 helpful votes
The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.
Proverbs 26:4 ESV / 35 helpful votes
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
Proverbs 21:20 ESV / 35 helpful votes
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.
Proverbs 10:13 ESV / 35 helpful votes
On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
Proverbs 9:6-8 ESV / 35 helpful votes
Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Bible Verse About Fools Talking Too Much
Proverbs 26:5 ESV / 33 helpful votes
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 14:15 ESV / 33 helpful votes
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
Psalm 37:8 ESV / 32 helpful votes
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
Proverbs 15:21 ESV / 31 helpful votes
Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
Proverbs 15:2 ESV / 31 helpful votes
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
Proverbs 1:22 ESV / 30 helpful votes
“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
Proverbs 20:3 ESV / 29 helpful votes
It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.
Proverbs 17:16 ESV / 29 helpful votes
Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense?
Proverbs 19:13 ESV / 28 helpful votes
A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
Proverbs 15:20 ESV / 28 helpful votes
A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.
Proverbs 14:1 ESV / 28 helpful votes
The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.
Proverbs 9:13-17 ESV / 28 helpful votes
The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
Psalm 107:17 ESV / 27 helpful votes
Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
2 Peter 3:9 ESV / 25 helpful votes
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Proverbs 17:24 ESV / 25 helpful votes
The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
Psalm 74:18-22 ESV / 24 helpful votes
Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name. Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of your poor forever. Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name. Arise, O God, defend your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!
James 2:20-24 ESV / 23 helpful votes
Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Proverbs 10:1 ESV / 23 helpful votes
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
Proverbs 15:5 ESV / 22 helpful votes
A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
James 1:19-20 ESV / 21 helpful votes
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
1 Corinthians 3:19 ESV / 21 helpful votes
For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”
Ecclesiastes 10:2 ESV / 21 helpful votes
A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.
Proverbs 17:25 ESV / 21 helpful votes
A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.
Ecclesiastes 10:12 ESV / 20 helpful votes
The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.
Proverbs 10:10 ESV / 20 helpful votes
Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will come to ruin.
Ecclesiastes 10:11-15 ESV / 19 helpful votes
If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness. A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him? The toil of a fool wearies him, for he does not know the way to the city.
Proverbs 14:6 ESV / 19 helpful votes
A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
2 Peter 2:9 ESV / 18 helpful votes
Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
Proverbs 1:1-33 ESV / 18 helpful votes
The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, …
Matthew 25:1-13 ESV / 16 helpful votes
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. …
Proverbs 13:20 ESV / 16 helpful votes
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
1 Corinthians 3:18 ESV / 15 helpful votes
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
Proverbs 28:26 ESV / 15 helpful votes
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
Proverbs 23:9 ESV / 15 helpful votes
Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.
Luke 12:16-20 ESV / 14 helpful votes
And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
Proverbs 26:11 ESV / 14 helpful votes
Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.
Proverbs 11:23 ESV / 14 helpful votes
The desire of the righteous ends only in good, the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
What Does The Bible Say About A Foolish Man
Romans 1:1-32 ESV / 13 helpful votes
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, …
Proverbs 14:7 ESV / 13 helpful votes
Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
Psalm 5:5 ESV / 13 helpful votes
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.
Romans 1:14 ESV / 12 helpful votes
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.
Ecclesiastes 6:8 ESV / 12 helpful votes
For what advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living?
Proverbs 29:20 ESV / 12 helpful votes
Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Proverbs 26:12 ESV / 12 helpful votes
Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Proverbs 14:9 ESV / 12 helpful votes
Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.
Revelation 14:10 ESV / 11 helpful votes
He also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
Ecclesiastes 10:14 ESV / 11 helpful votes
A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him?
Proverbs 27:22 ESV / 11 helpful votes
Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.
Proverbs 26:4-5 ESV / 11 helpful votes
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs 17:12 ESV / 11 helpful votes
Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.
Proverbs 12:16 ESV / 11 helpful votes
The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.
John 6:50-71 ESV / 10 helpful votes
This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. …
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ESV / 10 helpful votes
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Proverbs 14:8 ESV / 10 helpful votes
The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.
Proverbs 13:16 ESV / 10 helpful votes
Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV / 10 helpful votes
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Ephesians 5:15 ESV / 9 helpful votes
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
Proverbs 26:19 ESV / 9 helpful votes
Is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”
Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV / 8 helpful votes
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
John 6:55-59 ESV / 8 helpful votes
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
John 6:47-50 ESV / 8 helpful votes
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
Luke 12:20 ESV / 8 helpful votes
But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
Matthew 24:26-27 ESV / 8 helpful votes
So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 7:27 ESV / 8 helpful votes
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Isaiah 32:6 ESV / 8 helpful votes
For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
Ecclesiastes 10:3 ESV / 8 helpful votes
Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense, and he says to everyone that he is a fool.
Ecclesiastes 2:15 ESV / 8 helpful votes
Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.
Matthew 23:33 ESV / 7 helpful votes
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
Ecclesiastes 7:6 ESV / 7 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity.