Wisdom states in Proverbs 1:22:
How long, you simple ones [pethiy], will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools [pethiy] hate knowledge.
Notice how “the fool” and “the simple” are often addressed together? This happens more than once in Scripture.
Because there is very little delineation between the two. They are “joined at the hip,” as it were.
When you speak to someone displaying foolish behavior (according to Yahweh’s definition of “foolish”), you’re speaking to the simple. The reverse is true as well.
It’s a guarantee that a simple person will act like a fool.
What exactly is “Prudence”?
Later on in the book of Proverbs, we see Wisdom pleading with these same people:
O you simple ones [pethiy], understand prudence [‘ormah], and you fools [kecyl], be of an understanding heart.
Wisdom wants the simple ones to learn “prudence.”
The Hebrew word for “prudence” is ‘ormah  and it comes from the root word ‘orem  which means “strategy” or “plan.”
So we can derive from the text that Wisdom is pleading with the simple to have a plan or a strategy for their life, as they seek out “the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:1-5)
This plan (strategy) had to be in existence when the book of Proverbs was written, and we know from Scripture that Solomon – at least in the years prior to his old age – was following that strategy.
Solomon was known to be “the wisest king” for a reason. He was blessed with and walked according to the supernatural wisdom bestowed upon him by the God of Israel.
Digging further into the Hebrew definition for “prudence,” you can trace ‘orem to its root word ‘aram , which means “to be crafty.”
If you look at all of the places the word ‘aram and its derivatives (‘ormah, ‘orem, etc.) are used in Scripture, you will notice that “being crafty” has both positive and negative connotations.
You can be crafty by having a plan to cause harm to someone (Exodus 21:14, Psalm 83:3), or you can be crafty by having a plan to better your life (Proverbs 1:4, 15:5).
Since God’s Wisdom is the one doing the talking in these passages in Proverbs, it’s safe to assume that the ‘ormah she wants you “understand” will ultimately be for your benefit. Through understanding this ‘ormah (this “prudence” or “plan” or “strategy”), you will be able to acquire “an understanding heart.”
Thus, Wisdom is saying, “allow your understanding to be molded to fit within the framework that I have set forth.”
How can my understanding be molded to fit within Wisdom’s framework?
A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent. [‘aram]
Here, Wisdom is saying that if you will “receive correction” – or allow Wisdom to correct your point of view – you will become ‘aram – or “crafty” in a good sense. Once you have received Wisdom’s correction and aligned yourself with her views (which are the Father’s views), you will have the “understanding heart” spoken of in Proverbs 8:5.
Earlier, in Proverbs 1:4, we read that one of the main purposes behind the entire book of Proverbs is “to give prudence [‘orem] to the simple [pethiy],” so we can trust that whatever wisdom we find in this book will help us align with Wisdom and the wise who embrace the Father’s ways instead of the foolish.
Again, who are the foolish? This has been the subject of the last few posts.
The foolish are those who know-that-they-know-that-they-know that their way is right, even though it stands opposed to Wisdom as defined by Scripture, which is rooted and grounded in the Torah.
O you simple ones, understand prudence, and you fools, be of an understanding heart.
How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.
Now, I want you to notice Wisdom’s tone in these verses.
She’s not saying, “Hey, wait until I give you prudence. Kick back and wait for me; I’ll give you this understanding heart.”
No, she’s pleading with them to make the choice themselves.
Unfortunately, this cry usually falls on deaf ears. Fools are usually too wrapped up in their own paradigm of slothfulness to even take notice.
Fools and the System of Slothfulness
In Proverbs, we see the way of the righteous (which is the way of Wisdom) contrasted with slothfulness.
The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns; but the way of the righteous is made plain.
Just like the fool, the way of the slothful also runs opposed to the way of Wisdom, so it shouldn’t surprise any of us when we see this negative trait appear in our study of the fool and the simple.
Most of us equate the “slothful” with “those who do not want to work,” and that is not entirely incorrect, but there is much more to the analogy in this verse that is relevant to our current conversation.
Now, it goes without saying that the slothful want some kind of benefit without doing anything.
A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.
Just like a lazy man has no desire to put forth any effort to accomplish his desire, so the fool walks his path seeking to exert minimal-to-no effort in order to find “the knowledge of God.”
At this point, I want to call to your remembrance the “sinners” that we addressed in an earlier post. (See: Recognizing the Proverbial Sinner) Remember those who want to “freely” get treasure from the righteous? What did they say?
If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause. . .”
We already know by studying the Hebrew behind the translation in this verse that “without cause” actually means “freely” as in “looking for free stuff.”
These “sinners” have no desire to actually put forth an effort to DO what it takes to gain the benefits of walking a righteous walk, so they take from those who do. In this, the “sinner” exhibits the same sloth as the fool.
It’s all about “freely” getting what is not yours in the first place . . . and as hard as it is to think about it, this has practical, spiritual and historical relevance.
The Online Ministry – A Sloth’s Dream
Due to my past exposure to the corruption in online ministries, I would be remiss in not mentioning the following.
Online ministries are a dime a dozen these days. Once you have a website up and running, and have enough people to follow you and contribute to your ministry, you can write a post once a month and make six or seven figures annually.
I’m not joking. Given the right circumstances, it can be that lucrative.
I’ve associated with several people who have online ministries. A select few (very few) were genuine, good-hearted people who just wanted to get their messages out. Those were the people who never came close – and probably will never come close – to being millionaires.
But the people who did get to a high-income level were (and are), to-a-man (or woman), completely underhanded people. Where the rubber meets the road, their end goal is always to take time, money and energy from the “underlings” they come into contact with.
These slothful fools like to claim that they are just being blessed by God because they are putting His message out.
They claim that they are being wise with their finances and efficient where it counts – and don’t get me wrong, there is a place for efficiency and wise dealings in any business – but if “the blessed of God” are begging for money with one breath and hosting “prophetic cruises” with the next, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there’s a wolf in the sheepfold.
While it takes a lot of work to set up an online presence – so much so that many people just pay someone to set it up for them – the online ministry is a slothful person’s dream.
I hope that doesn’t offend the few good-hearted people with online ministries who might read this. Rest assured, I’m not talking about you . . . yet.
From what I’ve experienced in the past couple of decades, the more “residual income” you make from others, the more slothful and dishonest you become (both with yourself and those you claim to serve).
It’s just a simple fact, and I have yet to meet one person who has deviated from that pattern.
Eventually, it becomes all about “lying in wait,” seeking out the opportunity to bilk a few bucks off of the gullible and unaware.
Those who have accomplished this dream – those dishonest enough in the religious arena with online “ministries” – will usually come out on top because there are multitudes out there seeking someone to follow in matters of faith, the supernatural and the afterlife.
Slothfulness and Church Doctrine
I’m sure most of you can name several people (and possibly ministries) who fit into the proverbial description of the slothful, but you stop short in realizing something a little more uncomfortable.
The cold, hard truth is that scriptural “slothfulness” has been an identifying characteristic of the Christian religion since its inception, so it should really come as no surprise that those who adhere to this system would fall victim to the same tendency.
I realize that this statement may be extremely offensive to many, and my goal is not to offend you. My goal is to take an honest look at history and our current situation and, I’m sorry, but both prove this bombastic claim to be true.
The facts are indisputable.
One cannot deny that both doctrinally and viscerally, Christians have always wanted what was promised to the nation of Israel.
Doctrinally, any time a promise, blessing or benefit of any kind appears in the Bible, the Christian says, “That’s mine! Jesus made the way, Hallelujah!”
But any time a curse or a command appears – anything having to do with a cost or penalty – the Christian says “That’s for the Jews!” or “That’s been done away with!”
And there’s a history of Christians shedding Jewish blood to prove this out viscerally.
Most notably, Hitler had high regard for Martin Luther’s teachings  and was embraced by the church  when he carried out the pogroms against the Jews, leading to the Holocaust.
If you take the time to research this and stop listening to those who have a vested interest in furthering the Christian paradigm, you will see that this has always been at the core of church doctrine, clear back to the early “apostolic” church fathers.
“Let us swallow them alive”
Am I saying that those in the church are the slothful in Proverbs 15 and the robbers in Proverbs 1?
To a great degree, yes. If the shoe fits, you must wear it.
What else did the “sinners” say in Proverbs 1?
Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down to the Pit . . .
The very fact that the church continues to claim to be “spiritual Israel” should demonstrate the extent to which Christians are taught to claim what is not theirs.
Assuming they have “favored status” in the eyes of their Creator, they “swallow” Israel’s identity “whole,” while God’s people are relegated to the role of the “rejected son.”
And yet, ironically, the prophet Zechariah says that during the end of days:
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'”
Notice it doesn’t say, “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Christian . . .” or, “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of ‘spiritual Israel.'”
The Tanakh says many times something akin to what the Father spoke through the true prophet Jeremiah:
But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded (past tense) you, that it may be well unto you.
Christian doctrine does everything it can to destroy this relationship mandate and still claim to be His people.
Most in the Christian religion cannot claim to be blood descendants of Jacob, so they will spiritualize their thievery and put it into the realm of the abstract. This may not be an intentional “theft,” but – at least in their minds – it justifies them “swallowing” what is not theirs.
But I’m getting way ahead of myself. I know that some of you are thinking, “Whoah, Kevin . . . this is going way too far!”
I get it. Believe me, I understand how you feel, but I’m sorry, it proves to be truthful.
I ask you . . . again . . . “Do you love the truth for the sake of its being true, or are we just going to stay where it’s comfortable?”
I’ll elaborate more on this point in future releases.
Hedge of Thorns
Let’s take another look at this verse.
The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
We can see from this verse that Wisdom is not the only one who has created a framework.
To further align themselves with “the slothful man,” fools also build up a “hedge of thorns” to protect their way . . . their perception . . . from those who want to challenge it. Anyone who comes to them with a message that sounds anything like “get up off your butt” will quickly be pricked by the thorns of their elaborate framework.
But this hedge is highly flammable. One just needs to have enough guts to light a match.
The prophet Micah wrote:
Woe is me! For I am like those who gather summer fruits, like those who glean vintage grapes; There is no cluster to eat of the first-ripe fruit which my soul desires.
Notice how the true prophet compares himself to a fruit gatherer. The fruit he is looking for is “faithfulness” and “uprightness,” but he finds no such quality among the men of Israel.
Instead, what Micah sees are those who resemble “thorn hedges” and “briars.” Just like those who “lie in wait for blood” in Proverbs 1:11, they “lie in wait for blood” in Micah 7.
What is their goal as they “lie in wait for blood?”
To receive “gifts,” and “bribes” and to scheme their evil desires.
Again we see the connection between those who “lie in wait for blood” and getting free material possessions. When the prophet spoke this message, he described the “most upright” among them as “sharper than a thorn hedge.”
If the way of the slothful is like a “thorn hedge,” and someone is “sharper than a thorn hedge,” you can be sure that biblical “sloth” has completed its work in that fool. His life is consumed by the desire for the perks earned by those who have put forth the effort to walk a righteous walk.
This has both spiritual and practical relevance to our discussion.
In our pursuit of “the knowledge of God,” we should beware of those who would fit the description of the slothful – and to a greater extent, the fool.
Proverbs goes on to warn us in another place:
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse [H6141 – ‘iqqesh]; he who guards his soul will be far from them.
The Hebrew word for “perverse” in this verse is “iqqesh,” which means “twisted, bent and distorted.”  This same word is used in Deuteronomy 32:5, which describes people who have corrupted themselves.
They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse [H6141 – ‘iqqesh] and crooked generation.
These verses combined tell us that the whole mindset of claiming what is not yours, and those who distribute this way of thinking, need to be avoided at all costs. You can’t hang around, listen to or follow the ethos of these people who have “corrupted themselves” and also successfully “guard your soul.”
It’s simply impossible . . . and there is no reason to think that this logic has changed.
There’s no reason to think that suddenly, men – princes, judges and “great men” – who claim uprightness with their mouths and yet scheme to gain stuff from other people should be people you would want to “draw near” to.
This is such a condemning indictment against those who are actors on the political and religious spectrum as well as those who follow and fawn over them and agree with their way of thinking.
This is a condemning indictment against those who believe that, all of a sudden, they can claim the identity, promises and inheritance of Israel while ignoring the cost and the effort it takes to walk a righteous path.
Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, since he has no heart for it?
To be continued.
-  H6195 – ʿārmâ – Strong’s Hebrew lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Blue Letter Bible. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6195&t=NKJV
-  H6193 – ʿōrem – Strong’s Hebrew lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Blue Letter Bible. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=H6193&t=NKJV
-  H6191 – ʿāram – Strong’s Hebrew lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Blue Letter Bible. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=H6191&t=NKJV
-  Lucy Dawidowicz. The War Against the Jews, 1933–1945. First published 1975; this Bantam edition 1986, p.23.
-  The German churches and the Nazi state. (n.d.). Holocaust Encyclopedia | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-german-churches-and-the-nazi-state
-  H6141 – `iqqesh – Strong’s Hebrew lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Blue Letter Bible. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6141&t=KJV