Thoughts on the Proverbs
[Proverbs 23:12-19]

Proverbs 23:12 [The Strict School of Wisdom]

Proverbs 23:12 Pay attention to your teacher and learn all you can.

Translations: AAT: apply your mind to instruction

CROSS REFERENCE: Proverbs 22; Proverbs 5:1; Proverbs 2217 = discipline

NOTES: In order for the heart to be reach the ear must first listen and this implies a proper motive coupled with appreciation for the source of such knowledge.

Proverbs 23:13, 14 [To Spank or Not to Spank?]

Proverbs 23:13 Don't hesitate to discipline children. A good spanking won't kill them. Proverbs 23:14 As a matter of fact, it may save their lives.

Translations: NEB: take the stick to him

CROSS REFERENCE: Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 19:18; Proverbs 29:15, 17; Ephesians 6:4 = parental guidance

NOTES: The HEB for "rod" is shebet (Strong’s # 7626) and means a stick for punishing. The HEB for "beat" is nakah (Strong’s # 5221) and means to strike lightly or severely; give wounds, give stripes. This ancient advice is considered abuse or brutality by some in the Western world in this modern age and indeed some parents have abused what appears to be a standard norm through most societies in history. One need only judge by current examples of youth as to whether a passive permissiveness or a consistent and reasonable corporal punishment works best.

Proverbs 23:15, 16 [Parental Joy]

Proverbs 23:15 My child, if you become wise, I will be very happy. Proverbs 23:16 I will be proud when I hear you speaking words of wisdom.

Translations: JB: my innermost self rejoices when from your lips come honest words; BAS: and my thoughts in me will be full of joy when your lips say right things

CROSS REFERENCE: Proverbs 4:1; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 27:11 = parental joy

NOTES: Nothing makes a parent happier than a child who is honest and truthful.

Proverbs 23:17, 18 [Enviable Sinners?]

Proverbs 23:17 Don't be envious of sinful people; let reverence for the Lord be the concern of your life. Proverbs 23:18 If it is, you have a bright future.

Translations: MOF: never envy evil men

CROSS REFERENCE: Proverbs 3:31; Proverbs 15:16; Proverbs 24:1 = envy

NOTES: The simultaneous admiration and resentment which make up envy, spring from an undue preoccupation with oneself and with the present.

Proverbs 23:19 [Guiding Heart]

Proverbs 23:19 Listen, my child, be wise and give serious thought to the way you live.

Translations: NAB: guide your heart in the right way; RSV: direct your mind in the way

CROSS REFERENCE: Proverbs 4:21

NOTES: A parents wise advice for the child to lead or direct his heart in the correct path of life.

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Nazarene Commentary 2000© by Mark Heber Miller

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