15 The simple believe anything,
but the prudent give thought to their steps.
16 The wise fear the Lord and shun evil,
but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.
17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things,
and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.
Just as a person may wander in in any direction, there are many ways to be foolish. The first one, into which we are all born, is the way of the simple. Limited experience makes the simple gullible, they believe what the world tells them about attaining happiness. Many of them never reach their goals, but those who do find that happiness is more complex than they once believed. This may be avoided with prudence, as there is plenty of proof that the promises of the world are not what they seem.
The second way of foolishness is overconfidence, the one who “is hotheaded and yet feels secure.” The wise acknowledge their accountability to the Lord, and with it their own limitations, shunning evil along with its risks. But the overconfident fears neither the Lord nor the dangers of evil, believing himself invulnerable to the consequences of his actions. But he cannot escape them, and is eventually caught in his own nets.
The remaining two ways mentioned here are the impulsive and mischievous. The “quick-tempered person” is a slave to his emotions, which often lead him into decisions he regrets. It is not only patience he lacks, for patience only renders a fool mischievous. In fact all four of these fools lack the same things; the prudence to choose the right path and the wisdom to forsake all evil.