“The mind of a fool is
Like a broken jar.
It can hold no knowledge.
When an intelligent person
Hears a wise saying,
He praises it.
He adds to it.
When a fool hears it,
He laughs at it.
He throws it behind his back.
A fool’s chatter is
Like a burden on a journey.
But delight is found
In the speech of the intelligent.
The utterance of a sensible person
Is sought in the assembly.
They ponder his words in their minds.”
Sirach says that the mind of a fool is like a broken jar that cannot hold any knowledge in it. This was the common idea of the mind as an empty jar that knowledge fills up. When an intelligent person hears a wise saying, he or she praises it and adds to it. On the contrary, when the fool hears the same thing, he laughs at it, throwing it behind his back. The fool’s chatter on a long journey is burdensome, but the speech of an intelligent person is delightful. Thus in an assembly, the presentations of a sensible person is often sought after, so that others might ponder his words.
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