Zeal and enthusiasm are emotions that have not been the subject of a proverb until now. Some English translations have the first half of the proverb as “the soul without knowledge is not good.” While other translations have, “it is not good to have zeal without knowledge.” The second is clearer considering the rest of the proverb, “nor to be hasty (with feet) and miss the way (and sin).”
Zeal here is enthusiastic devotion to a cause, an ideal, or a goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance and growth. Zeal is not bad when I have all the facts and understand them correctly. However, if I do not know everything and thus am not in the truth, then I could bring harm to my loved ones, myself, my friends, and society.
Billy Graham was once asked, “What would you do if you believed that Jesus was coming in seven years?” He answered, “I would study the Bible for six years, and then if I still believe it preach the gospel for one year.” So many prior generations have been fooled by doctrines and political ideologies because they do not study the Bible or walk in the Spirit of God.
An expert is praised until their facts are proven lacking truth. “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” (18:17, 19:9, 21:28)