People with physical disabilities are frequently mentioned in the Bible. Unfortunately, in the ancient world, they were neither well cared for nor appreciated for the good qualities they did possess.
This verse discusses a man whose legs didn’t work as they should. He still had them, but they did not allow him to get around or help him accomplish much.
In the world of Solomon’s time “a lame man’s legs that hang limp” disqualified him from making much of a contribution in his community. His legs were a hardship, even a hindrance, for both him and others.
It is these legs of “a lame man” that are compared to “a proverb in the mouth of a fool” – not the lame man, himself!
The lame man had legs, but they didn’t work. The fool had a mouth and it did work. But the result was the same – very little value from either
A wise saying in a fool’s mouth didn’t do much good for him or anyone who hears it. While a fool may speak a wise saying, it doesn’t mean he or she understands, believes or practices it. It will probably do him or her little good.
Their wise saying probably won’t mean much to anyone else, either. First, most people won’t pay much attention to what the fool says. Secondly, those who are listening to this fool are probably fools, themselves, and they won’t know what to do with any good words.
Of course, it the ancient world, it was easier for a fool to change than it was for lame legs. The good news is that fools can change! Even more good news, with medical technology today, so can lame legs!