35 Verses on Foolishness

Adda Frick
header for 35 Verses on Foolishness

Throughout the Bible God makes it clear that the way of fools brings danger and ruin. These verses make it clear that fools are self-reliant, prideful, wicked, and quarrelsome people who stray away from advice, wisdom, and the Lord as their actions and thoughts create a cycle of despair and brokenness. In contrast, God calls people to exemplify the opposite character of fools by practicing humility, wisdom, and dependence on Him.

What Does the Bible Say About Foolishness?

Old Testament

Job 5:2
Surely vexation kills the fool,
and jealousy slays the simple.

Psalm 14:1
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is none who does good.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 3:35
The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get disgrace.

Proverbs 10:10
Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
and a babbling fool will come to ruin.

Proverbs 10:14
The wise lay up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.

Proverbs 10:23
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.

Proverbs 12:15
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 13:16
Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
but a fool flaunts his folly.

Proverbs 13:20
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Proverbs 14:7–9
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.

Proverbs 14:17
A man of quick temper acts foolishly,
and a man of evil devices is hated.

Proverbs 14:24
The crown of the wise is their wealth,
but the folly of fools brings folly.

Proverbs 17:10
A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.

Proverbs 17:12
Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
rather than a fool in his folly.

Proverbs 18:2
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 18:7
A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Proverbs 26:4–5
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.

Ecclesiastes 5:4
When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.

Isaiah 35:8
And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

New Testament

Matthew 7:26
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.

Mark 7:21–23
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Romans 1:21–22
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

1 Corinthians 1:27
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

1 Corinthians 4:10
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

Ephesians 5:4
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

2 Timothy 2:23
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

Titus 3:3
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.

1 Peter 2:15
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

For Further Reading:

Wisdom’s Call

by K. A. Ellis

Like all great building projects, the world runs on the wisdom of its Architect. The Bible tells us that the universe—its foundation, inner...

book cover for Wisdom’s Call