The Hebrew term mezim·mahʹ is used to designate thinking ability, or the ability to give wise and thoughtful consideration to a matter, based on thorough knowledge (Pr 5:2; 8:12); the schemes, devices, and foolish ideas of wicked men (Ps 10:2, 4; 21:11; 37:7; 139:19, 20; Pr 12:2; 24:8; Jer 11:15); or the purposeful ‘ideas’ of Jehovah God or of his “heart” (Job 42:2; Jer 23:20; 30:24; 51:11).
One of the aims of the Proverbs is to give to a young man knowledge and thinking ability. (Pr 1:1-4) The information contained in the Proverbs enables an individual to formulate wholesome thoughts and ideas that can give purposeful direction to his life. Thinking ability safeguards him from following a wrong course and associating with those who would influence him toward bad, as it helps him to see what such action would lead to. This results in blessing for the individual. Wisdom and thinking ability safeguard him from engaging in activities leading to calamity and thus prove to be life to his soul. He enjoys security, not needing to fear that justice might catch up with him for having become guilty of wrongdoing.—Pr 3:21-25.
However, the one who truly exercises thinking ability may also become an object of hatred. This could be the thought expressed at Proverbs 14:17: “The man of thinking abilities is hated.” Often persons who are not thinkers themselves look unfavorably upon those who utilize their mental faculties. Also, in principle, those who exercise their minds in doing God’s will are hated. As Jesus Christ said: “Because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you.” (Joh 15:19) Of course, the original-language term for “thinking abilities” at Proverbs 14:17 can embrace malicious thinking. Therefore, the text may also mean that a man who devises evil is hated, and some translations read accordingly: “And a man of wicked devices is hated.”—JP, Ro.