The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
– Proverbs 14:15
Verses 15-17 speak directly to wisdom and folly, while verse 18 speaks to the reward to each. This proverb contrasts the gullibility of the simple with the discernment of the prudent. The simple thoughtlessly take in what they hear and are easily led astray. To him it is all in good fun (Proverbs 15:21). The naïveté of the simple leads them to trouble (Proverbs 22:3). The word for prudent means shrewd and can be negative or positive given the context. It can refer negatively to schemes, or positively to making plans. His character is described here as discerning, so he proceeds cautiously (Proverbs 4:26; 14:8). Because he looks ahead with discernment, he can foresee evil and avoid it (Proverbs 27:12).