A prudent man foreseeth evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
– Proverbs 22:3
The word for prudent means shrewd, or sensible. The word can be used negatively in terms of crooked schemes, as seen in the three uses outside of Proverbs (Genesis 3:1; Job 5:12; 15:5). The word is used positively in Proverbs to refer to planning ability. Such wisdom is the result of receiving instruction, correction, and training. The prudent man has learned to look to the end of the way. He sees the potential for calamity and takes refuge from it. The word for simple means silly, or naïve. They plunge forward in life with little or no thought about what lies ahead. The word for punishment means penalty and here indicates the simple have to pay for their mistakes. Put plainly, the simple lack wisdom, but there is hope for the simple, if they will learn wisdom (Proverbs 1:2-5; 8:5; 9:4-6).