What does Proverbs chapter 14 mean?The first verses of this section point out the consequences of wisdom, in contrast to the consequences of foolishness. This echoes other statements in the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 10:8–9; 11:8; 12:13; 13:6). Foolishness, defined as a rejection of God's truth and instruction (Psalm 14:1; Proverbs 1:7) leads to disaster. It also makes a person vulnerable to further false ideas. Those who wallow in such self-deception should be avoided (Proverbs 14:1–10).
A short segment of verses in the middle of this passage share a theme: the respective fates of the wicked and the righteous. The deceptive nature of sin can make rejecting God seem like a good idea, but the end result is tragedy. Those who follow godliness are at less risk of negative earthly consequences. They are also blessed with an eternal rescue. In either case, that which a person chooses—selfishness or godliness—is repaid to them (Proverbs 14:11–14).
The last, final segment of this chapter covers a broad range of topics. Among these are the importance of self-control, the danger of gullibility, the need to apply justice fairly to all, the benefits of a contented heart, and the cultural value of godly wisdom (Proverbs 14:15–35).
The following chapter continues this long compilation of Solomon's wise sayings.