Proverbs 12:15

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
– Proverbs 12:15

The fool in Proverbs isn’t necessarily unintelligent but rather he refuses instruction and correction. In fact, he despises it (Proverbs 1:7; 15:5). Solomon uses another description that parallels this proverb when he speaks of not being “wise in thine own eyes” (Proverbs 3:7). The fool stubbornly clings to his own thoughts and ways. If he is willing to receive any counsel, it will only be that he already agrees with. The word for hearkeneth means to hear intelligently. This is exactly what Solomon admonished his son to do and thus be wise. The only path presented to acquiring wisdom is to receive correction and instruction (Proverbs 1:5; 9:9; 19:20).

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Proverbs 11:14

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
– Proverbs 11:14

The word for counsel literally means steerage, and so direction or guidance. The fool is depicted as one who will neither seek nor receive counsel (Proverbs 1:7; 10:8; 12:15; 15:5). The end of their folly is falling. The word for safety indicates a rescue or some deliverance. In this case, a multitude of counselors rescues or delivers from the fall in the first phrase. The proverb assumes the counselors to give wise counsel. The emphasis is the multitude, or abundance, which brings some different perspectives. The wisdom in this is echoed through Proverbs (Proverbs 15:22; 20:18; 24:6). No matter how knowledgeable a man is, he doesn’t know everything. Every man also has biases and blind spots. A multitude of counselors help to see what we don’t and help us to think through things from different angles.

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Proverbs 8:14

Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
– Proverbs 8:14

Verses 14-21 describes various physical and spiritual benefits wisdom brings to those who have it. Wisdom has counsel and so advises the recipient in the ways of life. Sound wisdom is proper judgment or good sense. Understanding refers to discernment. Strength is might or power. It is not typically listed with wisdom, but it is the force for good actions. We might contrast it with the halting steps of the uncertain or doubting man. He who goes in the straight path of wisdom, goes with strength of conviction.

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