What does Proverbs 14:6 mean?
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.
NKJV: A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 14:1–10 continues a long series of short, general-case, common-sense statements of godly wisdom. This section focuses on personal diligence, relationship to the Lord, conversation, witness, prudent behavior, and private emotions. Once again, the spotlight focuses on what is admirable versus that which is disgraceful.
Chapter Summary:
This continues a series of literal "proverbs:" short statements of general-case wisdom. The first ten verses of this chapter contrast positive and negative traits related to work ethic, self-control, and seeking wisdom. Then come several verses contrasting the fate of the righteous with that of the wicked. The rest of this passage provides statements on a broad range of subjects.
Chapter Context:
Proverbs 14 continues King Solomon's wise sayings. In this chapter he discusses a variety of topics such as wisdom and folly, honesty and dishonesty, righteousness and evil, national security and national disgrace, personal security and destruction, the fear of the Lord, generosity, and wise servanthood. This series of astute comments will continue for several more chapters.
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.
Accessed 5/24/2024 10:57:29 PM
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