Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
– Proverbs 17:28
This proverb is a companion to the previous one about the restraint of the tongue. Solomon noted elsewhere, “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7), but fools are “full of words” (Ecclesiastes 10:14) and ready to pour out their speech (Proverbs 15:2). Solomon’s point is made with irony that a fool can appear wise if he holds his tongue. He gives a different angle on the value of silence and restraint. He doesn’t intend to teach fools how to put on a good show.