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The Fool Shuns Wisdom
Proverbs 15:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
he will not go to the wise.
This means that people who like to mock and ridicule others (scorners) will continue to do so, and people who enjoy being foolish will continue to act foolishly. The verse suggests that these behaviors are a choice and not something that a person is forced to do.
Here is a phrase-by-phrase exegetical commentary on this verse:
“A scoffer” – This refers to someone who makes fun of or scorns others, often in a malicious way. the Hebrew word for “scoffer” is “leitz” (לֵיץ). This word can also be translated as “scorner” or “derider.” The root of the word “leitz” is “lutz,” which means “to mock” or “to make sport of.” The word “leitz” therefore refers to someone who mocks or makes fun of others in a scornful or contemptuous manner. This person is characterized by a sarcastic, disdainful attitude and is often resistant to correction or advice.
“does not like to be reproved” – This means that the mocker becomes angry or annoyed when they are corrected or given advice. They do not want to be told that they are wrong or that they need to change their behavior. The Hebrew word for “does not like to be reproved” is “chakam” (חָכַם). This word can be translated as “wise,” “sensible,” “resents correction,” or “prudent.” In this verse, the word “chakam” is used in a negative sense to describe someone who resists or resents correction or advice. It suggests that this person is not receptive to wisdom or guidance and is unwilling to learn or change their behavior.
“he will not go to the wise” – The scoffer refuses to seek out or listen to the counsel of wise and knowledgeable people. They do not value the wisdom of others and prefer to rely on their own understanding. The Hebrew for the phrase “he will not go to the wise” is “al-yâdê` lâ-châkam” (אַל־יָדֵעַ לָחַכְם). The word “al” (אַל) means “not” or “do not.” The phrase “yâdê`” (יָדֵעַ) means “to know,” “to be aware,” or “to be informed.” The word “lâ” (לָ) is a preposition meaning “to,” “for,” or “in the direction of.” The word “chakam” (חָכַם) means “wise,” “sensible,” or “prudent.” Together, this phrase means “he will not be aware of the wise,” or “he will not seek out or listen to the counsel of wise people.” It suggests that the person being described is not interested in learning from others or gaining knowledge and wisdom.
Overall, this verse is warning against the attitude and behavior of a mocker, who resists correction and refuses to seek wise counsel. It suggests that this kind of person is closed-minded and unwilling to learn and grow.