This chapter starts with wisdom again calling out to the naïve and the foolish. Wisdom is calling for everyone to forsake folly and proceed in understanding. This is very similar to what we saw in chapter 8.
Starting in verse 7, it changes topics a bit.
He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
It seems like we should try to help everyone gain wisdom, and that would be great. However, is someone does not want to gain wisdom, or isn’t open to listening to you, you need to be prepared for their reaction. You may be insulted or even hated for trying to impart wisdom. I don’t think this means that you should give up on those who insult you, but possibly there are times to back off or change tactics.
On the other hand, we should each look at how we respond to someone who is trying to help us seek wisdom. Are we upset when someone points out that we are not making the best decision? Or, do we appreciate the instruction being given to us. This is a sign of where each of us are in our pursuit of wisdom. Verse 12 says:
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
If we are scoffers, we are lacking in wisdom and will have to deal with that ourselves.
Then, starting in verse 13, we see another section where folly is being personified and calling out to people, trying to pull them away from wisdom. There is a battle between wisdom and folly shown between the beginning and the end of the chapter. This is showing us that gaining wisdom is not easy, even when that is what we want. We know the outcome of seeking wisdom, and the outcome of folly. So, we need to make sure we are continuing to seek wisdom and not be lead astray by folly.