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Better a poor youth

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who is wise than an old king who is foolish

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and will no longer take warnings.


People say: A poor youth who is wise is better than an old king

who is foolish and

will not accept advice.




This word means “child, son, youth,” and other things that are closely related. “Youth” fits the context best but understand that this is pointing to a very young, very immature, very inexperienced person. It is intended to plant a seed of doubt in the reader’s mind as to the capabilities and trustworthiness of this person. However, that is balanced by the addition of the word “but wise,” which tells the reader that he was not an ordinary youth.

2: “an old king who is foolish”

Solomon is not talking about himself at this point; he is speaking in general terms.