What does Proverbs 12:1 mean?
ESV: Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
NIV: Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.
NASB: One who loves discipline loves knowledge, But one who hates rebuke is stupid.
CSB: Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but one who hates correction is stupid.
NLT: To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
KJV: Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
Verse Commentary:
Life is filled with trial and error. Most people learn from their mistakes. A bruised knee is adequate motivation for a child learning to ride a bicycle. He gains the desire to practice more, so he can balance properly. A student learns from mistakes in homework assignments and exams what is wrong and what is right. A child receives correction from a parent for misbehaving, and he changes the misbehavior. Everyone faces a learning process when starting a new job, learning what performance is acceptable. He goes on to correct what is unacceptable and to do what is expected.

Those are all natural and beneficial ways of responding to the "discipline" implied here by Solomon. A wise person takes correction and criticism under consideration. The contrast to this is the one who refuses to hear those corrections. Such a reaction marks the person as "stupid." The term used here implies someone with an animal's uncontrolled and simplistic mind. Those who refuse to be corrected are like unreasoning animals (2 Peter 2:12). They may be highly intelligent, and well-educated, but the person who refuses to be corrected is inarguably "stupid," in that sense.

The use of the terms "love" and "hate" here must be understood in their ancient contexts. Solomon is not primarily speaking about emotions. Rather, this implies an extreme contrast between preferences. The point is not that godly people "enjoy" being corrected. Rather, it's that they welcome constructive criticism and seek to apply it. Those who ignore those lessons have chosen to "hate" them and are acting stupidly.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 12:1–11 describes the righteous person and the wicked person. Solomon contrasts their character, their conduct, their relationship to the Lord, and the consequences of their behavior.
Chapter Summary:
Proverbs 12 contains a series of contrasts between lifestyles, comparing those who honor God to those who reject His wisdom. The results of those decisions are also compared. This repeats several common themes from the book of Proverbs, such as the self-destructive nature of sin and God's distaste for those who lie.
Chapter Context:
Proverbs 12 continues Solomon's wise sayings. A large portion of the book of Proverbs includes these short, common sense pieces of advice. After a series of introductions and lessons in chapters 1—9, chapter 10 began a long list of individual statements. In this chapter he continues to contrast the righteous and the wicked, showing that the life of the righteous is far better than the life of the wicked. This pattern will continue, covering the same basic theme, through chapter 15.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
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