Proverbs chapter 26 is primarily about the fool. Of the chapters in Proverbs, this one has more about the fool than any other chapter. Here we have what happens when someone in business makes the mistake of hiring a fool or who does not take the proper time to vet those whom he hires.
This particular verse in Proverbs has very interesting translations. If you've read the King James translation of this passage, it is quite different than what we have here, but the Hebrew is based out of a slight difference between two words that are close in their pronunciation. The idea here is to compare the damage wrought by a crazy archer who is wounding those who pass by - and the man who hires people indiscriminately for his business.
Several years ago there was a sniper who terrorized the Washington D.C. area by randomly shooting people. This caused fear all over the area. Can you imagine an archer who decided to wound everyone who passed by him? The horror and the terror would be unbelievable. There would be problems as anyone who walked by would be shot for no reason at all. There would be fear for everyone because of the crazy man who was injuring people all over the place. This is compared to a businessman who hires a fool.
The statement here is telling for those who are in the business world. The man who hires a fool is preparing everyone who works for him - as well as everyone who partakes of his buisness for trouble. The fool is arrogant, he is selfish and self-centered. He thinks he is wiser than seven men who all are able to answer questions wisely. He repeats his stupidity again and again and does not learn from the troublesome things his actions cause. He is lazy and undisciplined - is constantly late because he loves his sleep more than hard work - is a glutton - and is unable to process any kind of advice or help offered to him. You are looking at a hiring disaster here. This would be a worker who would bring dishonor to his employer - and - who would eventually bring great harm to the business itself. The worst part of all this is that everyone who comes into contact with the fool that he has hired - will be injured as a result. Kinda like a crazy archer who shoots everyone who passes by him.
There is another warning given here to employers. All these things are also equated to the businessman who simply hires those who pass by. The idea here is that the employees are not interviewed or properly vetted. The businessman just hired anyone who passes by him. When this is done - disaster is eminent. Businesses need to check out who they hire. Wisdom and great care need to be taken in whom you hire to work for you. I remember while in seminary talking with my boss at UPS. I worked there loading trucks to make a living for my family while in school. They wanted to hire additional students from my school, but asked me to be wise when I told people about the position. They wanted men and women who were willing to work hard - because it cost them a great deal to train someone. My boss told me it took almost 3 months for a new hire to actually begin making the company money. Therefore to just "hire those who pass by" was the worst kind of foolishness. If the worker did not work out, they not only lost the profitability of three months - but actually lost more. They would have to start all over again trying to train the next person. Therefore he made it clear to me that just hiring "anyone who passes by" was very detrimental to the health and success of the business.
The average business owner knows this and does interviews in order to find the most qualified candidates. But the one who does not - is taking the chance that he might have hired a fool. That man is taking very serious risks with his business. Nice to know that the wisdom of God has our backs on business issues like this . . . if we'll listen.