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Foolish (878)(aphron from a = without + + phren = understanding, means originally meant diaphragm and was regarded as the seat of mental and spiritual activity, then mind or understanding -- see another study on aphron - click here) is literally a lack of sense, reflection, understanding or reason. Aphron is one who does not use his rational powers. Aphron describes one not employing his understanding especially as it relates to practical matters. It means lack of good judgment and can refer to folly in action. It can express a reckless and inconsiderate habit of one's mind. Related ideas inherent in aphron are not using common sense, mindless or unmindful of the consequence of a thought or action, acting rashly. The aphron is not a dim-witted person or clown (as in ‘play the fool’), but in secular Greek was the person who had lost the correct measure of himself and the world around him. He was one who lacked prudence (= the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason and includes the idea of acting with or showing care and thought for the future) In the present verse foolish describes one who does not know the will of the Lord. Only as one understands what pleases God can he carry it out in his life, and not to do otherwise is foolish! In Ephesians 5:15 Paul describes the unwise, those who simply lack wisdom, but in this verse, the foolish behave contrary to what they know to be right. In the OT exalting human reason is folly (aphron). The aphron is the fool who denies God in the Psalms. In Proverbs aphron refers to the simple or inexperienced person. Josephus uses aphron to describe youthful folly or lack of restraint. Vincent writes that aphron means... Senseless. In Xenophon’s “Memorabilia,” Socrates, addressing Aristodemus, says, “Which do you take to be the more worthy of admiration, those who make images without sense (aphrona) or motion, or those who make intelligent and active creations?” (1, 4:4). Sometimes, (aphron is used) also, in the sense of crazed, frantic, but never in New Testament. (Vincent, M. R. . Word Studies in the New Testament 1:369) NIDNTT writes that in classic Greek use... aphron, senseless, foolish and aphrosune, lack of sense, foolishness (both words from Homer onwards) indicate by the use of the Alpha-privative that the term is essentially defined by a lack or a negation, i.e. lack of insight and reason. But the possible development of a diseased mind is not excluded here either (Homer, Od. 23, 10-14). aphron can thus mean infatuated (Homer, Od. 21, 102) and aphrosune can be referred back to mania (Aristotle, Eth. Nic. 7, 6, both times, incidentally, through active intervention of the gods). But the words chiefly describe deficient perception of value and truth. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan) Aphron is used 11 times in the NT (see below) and 111 times in the Septuagint (LXX) (9.13" class="scriptRef">19.13" class="scriptRef">13.13" class="scriptRef">2Sa 13:13; 10" class="scriptRef">Job 2:10; 5.2-Job.5.3" class="scriptRef">5:2, 3; 30.8" class="scriptRef">30:8; 4.36" class="scriptRef">34:36; Ps 14:1; 39:8; 49:10; 53:1; 7" class="scriptRef">74.18" class="scriptRef">18" class="scriptRef">18" class="scriptRef">74:18, 22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">22" class="scriptRef">22; 92:6; 94:8; Pr 1:22; 12" class="scriptRef">12" class="scriptRef">12" class="scriptRef">6:12; 7:7; 9:4, 13, 16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">16; 10:1, 4, 18, 21" class="scriptRef">21, 23" class="scriptRef">23; 29" class="scriptRef">11:29; 12:1, 15f, 23; 13:16, 20" class="scriptRef">20" class="scriptRef">20; 14:1, 3, 7, 8, 16, 18, 24, 29, 33; 15:2, 5, 7, 20; 16:22, 27; 17:2, 7, 10, 12, 16, 18, 21, 25" class="scriptRef">24, 25; 18:6, 7, 22; 19:10, 13, 25, 28, 29; 20:3; 21:20; 22:3; 23:9; 24:9, 30; 26:1, 4, 5, 6, 27:3, 12, 22; 28:26; 29:11, 20; 30:2, 22; Eccl. 2:14, 15, 16, 19; 4:5, 13; 5:1, 3, 4; 6:8; 7:4, 5, 6, 9; 10:2, 3, 6, 12, 14, 15f; Is 59:7; Je 4:22; 17:11) Luke 11:40 "You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also? Comment: Jesus uses aphron to describe the Pharisees because they thought that their external works based righteousness could gain favor with God.) Jesus called the Pharisees fools for their preoccupation with externals. Luke 12:20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?' Comment: The rich man was a fool because he had failed to prepare to meet God. A fool is the one whose plans end at the grave! In both this verse and the preceding, Luke 11:40, willful and culpable ignorance is involved warranting a strong reproach. The Pharisees and the farmer both refused to take into account what God had revealed to his OT people. Romans 2:20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, Comment: In this context aphron is used by those who are "religious" to refer to those they classify as immature in moral and religious matters. 1 Corinthians 15:36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies Comment: Here a fool is one who questions the fact of the resurrection and the life (cp Jn 11:25, 26). 2 Corinthians 11:16 Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, that I also may boast a little. 2 Corinthians 11:19 For you, being so wise, bear with the foolish gladly. 2 Corinthians 12:6 For if I do wish to boast I shall not be foolish, for I shall be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one may credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me. 2 Corinthians 12:11 I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody. Ephesians 5:17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 1 Peter 2:15 -note For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Comment: In this context foolish describes those obstinately set against the gospel. BUT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WILL OF THE LORD IS: alla suniete (2PPAM) ti to thelema tou kuriou.: (Deut 4:6; 1Ki 3:9, 10, 11, 12; Job 28:28; Ps 111:10; 119:27; Pr 2:5; 14:8; 23:23; Je 4:22; 1Th 4:1, 2) Deut 4:6 “So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ Job 28:28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Ps 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever. Ps 119:27 Make me understand the way of Thy precepts, So I will meditate on Thy wonders. WHAT IS GOD'S WILL? FOR HIS PEOPLE TO BE FILLED! Take a moment and do a survey of some Scriptural passages related to God's will (interrogate with the 5W'S & H [for many of the passages it will be important to check the context] and write down your observations/applications in your devotional notebook) - Mt 6:10, 7:21, 12:50, 26:42, Mark 3:35, Jn 4:34, 6:40, 7:17, Acts 13:22, 21:14, 22:14, Ro 12:1-2, Eph 5:17, Eph 6:6, Col 1:9, 4:12, 1Th 4:3, 5:18, Heb 10:7, 10:36, 13:21, 1Pe 2:15, 4:2, 1Jn 2:17, Ps 40:8, 143:10. As a corollary, one can hardly expect to know God's will if they are not depending on Spirit filled (Spirit directed in their discernment) understanding (understand is a command calling for continual adherence and the only way to truly obey it is by dependence upon the Spirit's enabling power!) Jesus prayed... Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done. (Lk 22:42) And He taught us to pray... Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. (Mt 6:10 -note) Paul described a similar idea when he wrote that believers walking as children of light should continually be trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ep 5:10-note) But (alla) is a strong adversative. Each time you encounter a term of contrast is an opportunity to pause and ponder, asking what is the writer contrasting, why now, how are the points contrasted, etc.

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