“Like a madman who throws Firebrands, arrows and death,
So is the man who deals treacherously with his neighbor,
And says, ‘Was I not joking?’”
“Verses 18–19 could be taken to condemn any kind of antics (such as modern practical jokes played on a groom on his wedding day). While practical jokes can be destructive and hurtful, the larger context here implies that such may not be precisely the nature of the deceit implied here. Rather, this is a person who enjoys gossiping about or tampering with the affairs of other people. Such a person will purposefully confuse others and engage in a kind of social disinformation. When called to account, he or she will treat the whole thing as a game and be oblivious to all the hurt such actions created.”
–Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, NAC (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1993), 214.