“The sacrifice of the wicked is
An abomination to Yahweh.
But the prayer of the upright is
The way of the wicked is
An abomination to Yahweh.
But he loves whoever
There is severe discipline
For one who forsakes the way.
But one who hates rebuke will die.
Sheol and Abaddon lie open before Yahweh.
How much more the human hearts!
Scoffers do not like to be rebuked.
They will not go to the wise.”
The wicked are so bad that their sacrifice to Yahweh is an abomination. However, the prayer of the upright is delightful to Yahweh. The way of the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh because Yahweh loves righteousness. He rebukes those who forsake his way. However, the wicked do not like to be rebuked. These wicked ones will die and go to Sheol, the shadowy underground world, or Abaddon, the bottomless pit. Those cynic scoffers do not like to be rebuked either. They refuse to go with their human heart in following the wise ones.
“A faithful witness does not lie.
But a false witness breathes out lies.
A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain.
But knowledge is easy for one who understands.
Leave the presence of a fool.
There you do not find words of knowledge.
It is the wisdom of the clever
To understand where they go.
But the folly of fools misleads.”
The problem of lying appears often. The faithful witness does not lie. However, the false witnesses breathe out lies without even thinking about it. The scoffer cynic will seek wisdom in vain. Knowledge, on the other hand, is easy for those people who understand what is going on. Stay away from fools because they do not have words of knowledge. The clever ones have wisdom so that they understand where they are going, but the folly of the fools will mislead you down the wrong path.
“Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse.
Whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.
A scoffer who is rebuked,
Will only hate you.
The wise man,
Will love you.
Give instruction to the wise.
They will become wiser still.
Teach the righteous,
They will gain in learning.
The fear of Yahweh
Is the beginning of wisdom.
The knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Your days will be multiplied.
Years will be added to your life.
If you are wise,
You are wise for yourself.
If you scoff,
You alone will bear it.”
If you mock or deride people as scoffers, there is no sense in rebuking you. You will only get hurt and abused because you are as if rebuking a wicked person. They will hate you. On the other hand, if you give instruction to the wise ones, they will become wiser still. If you teach the righteous, they will gain in learning. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of Yahweh. The knowledge of the Holy One leads to insight. Wisdom will multiple your days and years. If you are wise, it will go well with you. If you are a scoffer or cynic, you will bear the whole burden alone.
“Wisdom cries aloud in the street.
In the squares,
She raises her voice.
At the busiest corner,
She cries out.
At the entrance of the city gates
‘O simple ones!
Will you love being simple?
Will scoffers delight in their scoffing?
Will fools hate knowledge?
Give heed to my reproof!
I will pour out my thoughts to you.
I will make my words known to you.’”
Wisdom is personified as a female here. She cries out in the streets and raises her voice in the city squares like a prophetess. She cries out and speaks at the busy corners and at the gate to the entrance to a city or town. She calls out people for being simple. She wanted to know why they were deriding her. How long would these fools hate knowledge? There is a lot of mention of scoffers in these proverbs. A scoffer is someone who mocks others, a kind of a cynic. Why would they not accept a criticism? Nevertheless wisdom was going to pour out her thoughts and make her words known to them.