3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
See here, 1. A proud fool exposing himself. Where there is pride in the heart, and no wisdom in the head to suppress it, it commonly shows itself in the words: In the mouth there is pride, proud boasting, proud censuring, proud scorning, proud commanding and giving law; this is the rod, or branch, of pride; the word is used only here and Isa 11:1. It grows from that root of bitterness which is in the heart; it is a rod from that stem. The root must be plucked up, or we cannot conquer this branch, or it is meant of a smiting beating rod, a rod of pride which strikes others. The proud man with his tongue lays about him and deals blows at pleasure, but it will in the end be a rod to himself; the proud man shall come under an ignominious correction by the words of his own mouth, not cut as a soldier, but caned as a servant; and herein he will be beaten with his own rod, Ps 64:8. 2. A humble wise man saving himself and consulting his own good: The lips of the wise shall preserve them from doing that mischief to others which proud men do with their tongues, and from bringing that mischief on themselves which haughty scorners are often involved in.