Solomon has often shown what mischief bad men do to others with their ungoverned tongues; here he shows what mischief they do to themselves. 1. They embroil themselves in quarrels: A fool’s lips, without any cause or call, enter into contention, by advancing foolish notions which others find themselves obliged to oppose, and so a quarrel is begun, or by giving provoking language, which will be resented, and satisfaction demanded, or by setting men at defiance, and bidding them do if they dare. Proud, and passionate men, and drunkards, are fools, whose lips enter into contention. A wise man may, against his will, be drawn into a quarrel, but he is a fool that of choice enters into it when he might avoid it, and he will repent it when it is too late. 2. They expose themselves to correction: The fool’s mouth does, in effect, call for strokes; he has said that which deserves to be punished with strokes, and is still saying that which needs to be checked, and restrained with strokes, as Ananias unjustly commanded that Paul should be smitten on the mouth. 3. They involve themselves in ruin: A fool’s mouth, which has been, or would have been, the destruction of others, proves at length his own destruction, perhaps from men. Shimei’s mouth was his own destruction, and Adonijah’s, who spoke against his own head. And when a fool, by his foolish speaking, has run himself into a premunire, and thinks to bring himself off by justifying or excusing what he has said, his defence proves his offence, and his lips are still the snare of his soul, entangling him yet more and more. However, when men by their evil words shall be condemned at God’s bar their mouths will be their destruction, and it will be such an aggravation of their ruin as will not admit one drop of water, one drop of comfort, to cool their tongue, which is their snare and will be their tormentor.
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