nabhal, ’ewil, kecil, cakhal and forms; aphron, aphrosune, moros):
In the Old Testament
The Wisdom Literature
In the Chokhmah or Wisdom Literature, which, within the Bible, is contained in Job, Proverbs (especially), Ecclesiastes, Canticles, some Psalms and certain portions of the prophetic writings, "fool" and "folly" are frequent and distinctive words. Their significance is best seen in contrast with "Wisdom." This was the outcome of careful observation and long pondering on actual life in the light of religion and the Divine revelation. Wisdom had its seat in God and was imparted to those who "feared" Him ("The fear of Yahweh is the beginning (chief part) of knowledge"
(1) nabhal (
(3) kecil is the word most frequent in Proverbs. It is probably from a root meaning "thickness," "sluggishness," suggesting a slow, self-confident person, but it is used with a wide reference.
(4) cakhal, cekhel, cikhluth, also occur. These are probably from a root meaning "to be stopped up" (Cheyne), and are generally taken as denoting thickheadedness; but they are used in a stronger sense than mere foolishness (compare
(5) pethi, "simple," is only once translated "foolish" (
(6) ba`ar, ’brutish," is translated "foolish" (
(7) taphel, "insipid," "untempered," is translated "foolish" (
(8) toholah (
In the Apocrypha
In the continuation of the Wisdom literature inand Ecclus, "fool" frequently occurs with a signification similar to that in Proverbs; in The we have aphron (12:24; 15:5, etc.), in Ecclesiasticus, moros (18:18; 19:11, etc.; 20:13; 21:16, etc.).
(1) that it is not the vocative of the Greek moros--a word which was applied by Jesus Himself to the Pharisees (
(2) that, as our Lord spake in the Aramaic it is the Greek translation of a word representing the Hebrew nabhal, "vile, or worthless fellow," atheist, etc. (