Proverbs 27:22—Is foolishness correctable?

Problem: Proverbs 22:15 teaches that “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, But the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” But, according to this verse, foolishness is irremediable, because, “Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his foolishness will not depart from him.”

Solution: There are two significant differences in these passages. First, one is speaking of a child, who is still teachable. The other is referring to an adult who is beyond hope. Second, the correctable foolishness is only waywardness, whereas the incorrigible foolishness is beyond hope.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.