Proverbs 22:3

ESV The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.
NIV The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
NASB A prudent person sees evil and hides himself, But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty.
CSB A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished.
NLT A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
KJV A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
NKJV A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.

What does Proverbs 22:3 mean?

The word translated "prudent" is sometimes rendered as "shrewd," though that often carries negative associations in modern English. The main idea is someone with good sense: a person who thinks on things and makes a beneficial choice. The word translated "simple" does not mean a person who is unintelligent, rather it means unaware or inexperienced (Proverbs 1:4; 19:25). In some cases, it can refer to someone who is gullible or easily fooled (Proverbs 9:4; 14:15). The shrewd person sees danger coming and avoids it; the ignorant person walks right into trouble.

Solomon doesn't identify a specific danger here, but he may have in mind the kind of trap enemies set to catch unsuspecting victims. Wise believers today should be aware of traps the Devil sets, and they avoid them. Peter warns believers to be "sober-minded" and "watchful" for the adversary the Devil "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus was aware of the Devil's strategy and repelled him by quoting and obeying Scripture (Matthew 4:1–11).
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