At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: And reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.”Proverbs 19:25
There are two different paths to knowledge outlined here—one for the person who does not know, and the other for the person who already has some level of understanding.
The first is the simple person who learns through second-hand consequences. The scorner has a brass forehead, and rushes headlong into trouble. That kind of person has to be corrected with a blow. This does not necessarily teach him anything, but it can be successful in stopping him. But the fact that it does not teach him does not make it a worthless exercise. His circumstances can still serve as a cautionary tale. The simple person does not have a brass forehead, and doesn’t understand much. But he does understand that he does not want to go through what is happening to the scorner. So you strike the scoffer, and the simple learn wisdom. So (for example) parents should realize that when they spank one child, they are actually teaching all of them.
The other kind of learning comes through reproof. If you reprove someone who already has understanding, his understanding grows and increases—he will understand knowledge. This is a knowledge that comes less violently than in the first circumstance. There is sometimes a temptation to not reprove some who obviously has some level of knowledge. It is easy to assume that they will “boo doubt figure it out themselves.” But the Scriptures encourage us to reprove the knowledgable. We are not to do this randomly “just because,” but when it is called for, a reproof of such a person is truly valuable.