Proverbs 14:6

ESV A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
NIV The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
NASB A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, But knowledge is easy for one who has understanding.
CSB A mocker seeks wisdom and doesn't find it, but knowledge comes easily to the perceptive.
NLT A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.
KJV A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.

What does Proverbs 14:6 mean?

A "scoffer" (Proverbs 1:22) is someone who arrogantly mocks what they don't understand: the person who sneers at truth instead of learning from it. "Wisdom" is godly truth (Proverbs 1:7). In that sense, the idea of such a person "seeking" seems self-contradictory. It is, and this is the point being made. The "scoffer" looks to sources other than the Lord (Proverbs 9:10). Scoffers bypass the spiritual path to wisdom because they are proud (1 Corinthians 2:14). They think they can obtain wisdom by applying their mind to life's mysteries. They blindly accept what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3–4) and stubbornly ignore what they don't like (John 5:39–40), instead of submitting to what's real (Romans 1:18–20).

However, the wisdom of the world (Colossians 2:8) is no match for the wisdom of God, and scoffers learn the hard way that "God opposes the proud" (1 Peter 5:5). A man who respects God and submits to truth gains knowledge easily. Because he looks to the Lord for knowledge instead of to himself, he is open to what the Lord wants to teach him.
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