mean the guilt-offering as it commonly does in the Levitical prescriptions,23 but the more likely meaning is simply the
abstract one of guilt. Whatever interpretation of Mwx is
chosen, it is clear that it is certainly nothing at which one scoffs. Even Philistines were credited with more sense than to do that.24
The fool is beyond the pale since he despises the discipline of his father (15:5), undoubtedly because his life is upright "in his own eyes" (12:15). While he deludes himself that his way is straight the sages pointedly observe that the devising of folly is quite simply sin (24:9). This character is always quarreling (20:3), and his mouth brings disaster near (10:14). The fool is so far beyond help that
Translation and Notes (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1965), p. 96, who reads “'ewil melis”= "A fool mocks at." Other solutions offered include those of McKane, pp. 231, 475-76, who calls the verse an "unsolved problem"; Ringgren, p. 59, who translates MT, "Tore vetspotten Schuld (opfer) (?)" and comments, "Der erste halbversist unverstandlich" (p. 62); Oesterley,
57-78, who emends Mylyvx to Myhlx; and Toy,
pp. 286-87, who cites and rejects several possibilities. The most violent solution is proposed by Gemser, p. 50, who emends following the Greek oikiai paranomwn ofeilhsousin kaqarismon, oikiai de dikaiwn dektai,
to read: Nvcr Mylwy ytbv Mwx Nyly Mylyvxy ytb,
translating "In den Zelten der Narren weilt Schuld, aber in den hausern der Rechtschaffenen Wohlgefallen.”
Lev. 5:6, 7, 14, 19.
I Sam. 6:1-18.