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How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
– Proverbs 1:22
Simple ones are ignorant, naïve, and gullible. They are easily persuaded and led this way or that. They come to trouble through a lack of knowledge and discernment. They plunge headlong and do not consider the end of the way they’re going.
Scorners are mockers and cynics. They simultaneously reject and despise wisdom. They are skeptics, “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). They will not receive wisdom. They do not err for any lack of intelligence but for a love of their own intelligence.
Fools are the most commonly met in Proverbs. The word points to stupidity and stubbornness. It is not however a commentary on their mental faculty or ability. A fool is one who takes in all counsels without discernment and just as freely pours them forth. A fool is impatient to learn wisdom and prefers what intuitively appeals at the moment. They lay nothing by true wisdom and will not receive correction.
In verse 22, wisdom confronts these three common characters directly. Their problem is that they “love simplicity,” “delight in their scorning,” and “hate knowledge.” Self-willfulness is prominent in all three. They reject wisdom because they prefer their own way.