PROVERBS 26 - A Fool
The first part of this Proverb talks about a fool - one who is lacking sense, judgment, or understanding (the knowledge of God - Proverbs 9:10). Psalm 14:1 says, "The fool says in his heart there is no God. They are corrupt, their deed are vile; there is no one who does good." So one who believes there is no God is a fool.
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you will be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.
These seem to contradict each other; but they are trying to draw a distinction between reason and folly. The fool remains a fool whether he is answered or not. But at times, it is necessary to answer a fool to show the truth to the fool and to others.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly.
How often does a foolish man not learn from his mistakes? He seems to repeat the same mistake over and over again. It has become a bad habit; it can be pride, alcohol or drug abuse, sexual sin, or something else.