It has been a few weeks since our last post, so let’s do a quick review before proceeding on to the next facet of “foolishness.”
By now, we should all be well acquainted with our current “focus verse.”
How long, you simple ones [pethiy], will you love simplicity [pethiy]? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.
By studying this verse, we know that the simple . . . the “pethiy” . . . are Wisdom’s target audience.
We also know that, Wisdom is not addressing three groups of people – “the simple,” “the scorner” and “the fool” – but rather, Wisdom is addressing only “the simple,” and that “the simple” will both “scorn” and be “foolish.” (Check out: “Wisdom’s Target Audience.”)
Prior posts have touched on “the simple” and the “scorning” characteristic of “the simple,” but the “foolishness” of the “simple” is a very deep study. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface on this topic.
It needs to be understood that, when trying to view and define “fools” (and “foolishness”) from a scriptural perspective, “Nabal” (discussed in our last post) is not the only Hebrew word translated as “fool” in our English translations of the Old Testament (Tanakh).
The truth is, there are two other Hebrew words that are translated into English as “fool” or “foolishness.”
- Keciyl – (used 70 times) 
- Root: Kacal (used 1 time) 
- ‘Ivveleth – (used 25 times) 
- Root: ‘Eviyl – (used 26 times) 
Taken together, these 3 words (keciyl, ‘ivveleth, nabal) paint a composite picture of the Father’s view of fools and their foolishness.
For the purposes of this study, I’m not going to be going into the Hebrew word ‘ivveleth (and its root word, ‘eviyl) because there really doesn’t seem to be anything unique about the term to consider.
From what I’ve studied so far, “‘ivveleth” and “‘eviyl” seem to be general expressions for “fools” and “foolishness,” while, contextually, “keciyl” and “nabal” describe specific – and even complementary – aspects of these words (fool/foolishness). I will leave a link in the reference section for you to study “‘ivveleth” out on your own, if you wish. 
Meanwhile, as we move forward, continue to remind yourself that this entire series is all within the context of being on a quest to find “the knowledge of God” or simply “to know God.” (Proverbs 2:1-5)
We’ve already studied “nabal,” the fool who despises and dishonors the heart of David and everything it stands for. In the next few posts, we are going to be taking a “deep dive” into the Hebrew word “Keciyl.”
While “Nabal” is mentioned a fair amount of times in the Tanakh (mostly referring to the man in 1 Samuel 16), “Keciyl” seems to get the lion’s share of attention. In fact, it’s used 49 times in the book of Proverbs alone!
According to the Strong’s Concordance, the definition of “Keciyl” is much closer aligned to our traditional understanding of a fool.
- Keciyl [H3684] – fat, gluttonous, stupid, silly 
- From the root: Kacal [H3688] – to be foolish, be stupid 
When one reads the Strong’s definition, it’s easy to picture a court jester or Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, or maybe even some video game addict who has lived in his mom’s basement for too long, smoking weed and eating fast food all day.
This impression derived from the Strong’s Concordance definition is highly inaccurate and robs us of valuable insight when forming our own mental image of a fool and discerning foolishness.
But the Hebrew word “Keciyl” is literally pregnant with meaning, and studied in the light of the Proverbs of Solomon, will completely reshape your mental image of what it means to be a fool in the eyes of your Creator.
In fact, if you’re willing to depart from your preconceived notions about what a fool really is, your eyes will open, and you will understand just how foolish a society we have become. You will even see the fool within yourself!
Fools are always right in their own eyes.
This was touched on in an earlier post, but it bears repeating because it is so prevalent among those who profess to believe. It also sets the stage for what comes later.
The way of a fool [kecyil] is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.
A key characteristic of fools – “keciyl” fools – is that they dogmatically believe that they are on the right path, even though it runs counter to the ways of Wisdom.
When we consider that fools think they are always right, most of us probably have a laundry list of people we know who fit this description; I know I sure do. It’s deeply ingrained in our society.
But let’s take a step back and consider something.
Are WE the fools? Do WE “know-that-we-know-that-we-know” that we’re right in what we know?
Now, don’t be so quick to answer these questions. As we consider the characteristics that follow, the truth of who is and is not a fool will become painfully clear.
Meanwhile, I want to encourage you to let go of the mindset you’ve been “fooled” into believing. It’s vital that you grasp this.
Let the divine wisdom given to Solomon reshape your paradigm.
It’s going to be painful . . . it’s going to be humbling . . . it’s going to be fun! <grin>
Fools Hate Knowledge
The fact that “fools hate knowledge” is something that Wisdom wants everyone to know at the onset of her message. This is foremost in her mind as she offers her services to those who pass by. Let’s take another look at the key verse.
How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools [keciyl] hate knowledge.
Most Bible readers hit a wall when they read this verse because it appears to oppose Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 8:1 that says “knowledge puffs up.”
For centuries, theologians and Christian authors have written volumes trying to sort out all the conflicts between Paul’s writings and the Old Testament (Tanakh). Their views are as varied as the number of existing denominations out there.
One of the many conflicts has to do with what knowledge is considered “carnal,” what knowledge is considered “spiritual” and what knowledge “puffs up.”
Good luck finding an agreement between two or more people on this one – it’s near impossible. But one thing most Christians will agree upon is that their views and doctrines are superior to the Torah.
Go figure . . . and here’s the irony . . .
Those people expressing their beliefs to others claim that they are being “led by the spirit” as they walk along their path and that their knowledge is “spirit-led, biblical” knowledge and all other knowledge is the knowledge that “puffs up.”
I’m sure that you have your own set of theological conclusions that you are convinced are 100% “spirit-led” and feel confident enough that you need to express them, but you can always count on another “believer” coming along and saying something akin to:
“Oh! No . . . no . . . no, my brother! I love you, but ‘this’ is what the Holy Spirit showed me, so you are obviously wrong! Remember what our dear brother Paul said . . . ‘knowledge puffs up!’ Perhaps you should spend more quiet time with your Heavenly Father and get your head on straight.”
If you doubt this claim, go ahead and express your religious viewpoints on Facebook . . . but don’t forget to duck!
Unless you surround yourself with a handful of people who see things the exact same way as you, it won’t be long before you see a pattern of “spirit-led revelation” opposing “spirit-led revelation” – yet most in your circle will agree, and even celebrate, that “knowledge puffs up” and the Torah is a curse.
A “curse” by a “loving God.”
Once again, go figure.
The “man after God’s own heart” penned:
Rivers of water run down from my eyes, because men do not keep Your law [Torah].”
I can see why.
After years of trying to debate on social media, I’ve found that it’s foolish to enter into these conflicts . . . both on Facebook and in real life.” The world’s wisest king said “fools hate knowledge,” so I’m going to go with that.
David and Solomon also wrote:
O LORD, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know, nor does a fool [keciyl] understand this.
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool [keciyl], but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool [keciyl] does not do so.
So if the world’s wisest king – who was given divine wisdom – placed value on knowledge of the Torah and (from reading about his life) other areas of knowledge, we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it.
Unfortunately, most Bible believers prefer this ignorance because it’s the easy path and, in their hermeneutically induced understanding, Paul’s words are the Rosetta Stone for all other Scripture.
Charismatics, you’ve been manipulated!
Due to this ongoing, generational headache, valuing knowledge runs counter to the religious system that we’ve been raised in.
This inherently flawed system values emotion and experience (aka “what can be found ‘in our hearts’“) above knowledge, facts and basic logic – and we’ve suffered the consequences as a result.
This is especially true in charismatic circles, where the unspoken goal of each meeting is to conjure up an experience that will affect a person’s emotions.
Think about it, Charismatic. You’ve been a victim in a consistent pattern.
Each church service starts off with bombastic worship to get you hyped up and participating. After about 20-30 minutes of rhythmically and melodically-induced euphoria, the music takes on a more somber, contemplative tone, often ending in the tearful pleas of the congregants.
Sometimes it’s complete silence.
After the silence, the speaker comes out and gives an empty yet relatable message that appeals to what the tithers are expecting, followed by an altar call that ends at a certain time so that you can be home in time for the game.
This is all planned.
I’ve been on worship teams, I’ve taught from pulpits and I’ve been in the audience, so yes, I’ve been there.
It’s all about getting you into a state where you can be manipulated.
And, when you are in this emotionally pliable state, you can easily be infused and confused with the idea that it is your “spirit” that is feeling all of these sensations. This leaves you ready and willing to absorb the spiritual junk food that the speaker/worship leader wants to feed you. (Check out: “Spiritual Junk Food and You”)
Non-charismatics, you are not off the hook!
Even with their more solemn and “dignified” ways of expressing their faith, non-charismatics still follow the same pattern.
Sure, it’s a little more toned down, but their end goal is to get you to a place where they can change you into their image.
- The speaker (pastor, evangelist, prophet) wants to convince you of what THEY believe.
- They want you to view the Scripture the way THEY view it.
- They want you to take the action THEY feel is appropriate.
- They want you to give to THEIR ministry.
If that’s not trying to change you into their image, what is?
The problem is, the image is not originally theirs; it’s only a reflection spawned from a mind that has (somewhere down the line) been trained by the seminary indoctrinated and “those who have gone before.”
This is just as deceiving as the charismatic chaos because it all contributes to the conservative Christian’s religious experience.
Charismatic and non-charismatic alike have been taught to blindly accept the framework that has been handed to them from those who are perceived to be “in the know,” and it’s just a simple truth that the longer you live within a certain paradigm, the more it cements itself into your perception of what is truth.
This greatly contributes to our foolish perception that, by golly, we’re right and nothing is going to move us.
We know that we know that we know . . .
But King Solomon – infused with supernatural wisdom – says:
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool [Keciyl] . . .
The truth is that we have had emotion, experience and unquestioning submission grilled into us from the moment we walked the aisle by those who largely knew no better. These values are now at the heart of who we are, and fools and automatons that we have become, we hate any knowledge that contradicts what we have been indoctrinated into.
There’s a reason God told Moses long before New Testament theology existed:
You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Why would God say this to Moses?
Because He knew that there would be many fools who would try.
Church history is bursting at the seams with fools who have preached an offshoot of real knowledge and successfully passed it off as “divine revelation” . . . all in the name of Wisdom.
And we swallowed it because we can’t evaluate our faith beyond our experience, our feelings and the 70-80 years we live on this earth.
More to come . . .
-  H3684 – keciyl – Strong’s Hebrew lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Blue Letter Bible.
-  H3688 – kacal – Strong’s Hebrew lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Blue Letter Bible.
-  H200 – ‘ivveleth – Strong’s Hebrew lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Blue Letter Bible.
-  H191 – ‘eviyl – Strong’s Hebrew lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Blue Letter Bible.