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Encyclopedia of The Bible – Simple

SIMPLE (פֶּ֫תִי֒, H7343; ἄκακος, ἁπλότης; foolish, ignorant of consequences, unsuspecting, blameless). The OT usage is primarily in Proverbs. The simple man hates knowledge and the fear of the Lord (1:32), is a fool (8:5) who shall inherit folly (14:18); this is expanded by observing that while the prudent foresee, the simple just go on their way and are punished (21:11), as when they visit the harlot (7:7). While it is possible to place on one level the simple and the scorner (1:22), there is still more hope for the simple; when the scorner is punished, the simple learn from it (19:25; 21:11), which apparently could not be said of the scorner. Since the simple can still learn, he is invited to the dinner prepared for him by Wisdom (9:4), and the Book of Proverbs itself is written to give him wisdom (1:4). The Book of Psalms also teaches that God gives understanding and wisdom to the simple (19:7; 116:6; 119:130).

The NT usage is somewhat different. While ἄκακος, G179, can still refer to the unsuspecting who can be easily deceived (Rom 16:18, 19), the same term is used to refer to the blamelessness of Christ (Heb 7:26), the straightforwardness of His obedience. The word ἁπλότης, G605, means either simple or sincere, again indicating a purity of attitude, a naivete of devotion to Christ (2 Cor 11:3; Eph 6:5).