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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 13:24

 

 

He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Adam Clarke Commentary

He that spareth his rod hateth his son - That is, if he hated him, he could not do him a greater disservice than not to correct him when his obstinacy or disobedience requires it. We have met with this subject already, and it is a favourite with Solomon. See Psalm 34:10; (note) and Psalm 37:3; (note).

The Rev. Mr. Holden makes some sensible observations on this passage: "By the neglect of early correction the desires (passions) obtain ascendancy; the temper becomes irascible, peevish, querulous. Pride is nourished, humility destroyed, and by the habit of indulgence the mind is incapacitated to bear with firmness and equanimity the cares and sorrows, the checks and disappointments, which flesh is heir to."


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-13.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 13:24

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

The child wisely chastened

Under this apparent severity is to be found the spirit of true kindness. It would seem as if the last word in the text were an emphatic word. There is a good deal of chastening, but it is not timely; the will has grown strong, the passions have acquired tenacious hold upon the mind, the chastening comes too late in life. It is the easiest of all things to spare the rod; it enables family life to proceed with fluency; it avoids all controversy and all painful collision as between the elder and the younger. For a time this is beautiful, so much so that people commend the family as one characterised by great harmony and union; on the contrary, it ought to be reprobated. The child that is wisely chastened comes to love the very hand that used the rod. Children must be taught that all things are not theirs, that the world is a place for discipline, and that all life is valuable only in proportion as it has been refined and strengthened by patient endurance. Let no merely cruel man take encouragement from these words to use the rod without measure, and to use it merely for the sake of showing his animal strength. That is not the teaching of the passage. The chastening is to be with measure, is to be timely, is to have some proportion to the offence that is visited, and is to give more pain to the inflicter of the punishment than to its receiver. Great wisdom is required in the use of the rod. The rod has to be used upon every man sooner or later; we cannot escape chastisement: we must be made to feel that the world is not all ours, that there are rights and interests to be respected besides those which we ourselves claim: the sooner that lesson can be instilled into the mind the better; if it can be wrought into the heart and memory of childhood it will save innumerable anxieties and disappointments in all after-life. (J. Parker, D. D.)

The wise use of the rod

The rod is to be taken for correction or punishment in general, not specifically for corporal punishment.

1. The rod should be the last resource. The cases in which it is necessary to appeal to the rod are very rare.

2. When the rod is used, be quite sure that a fault has been committed. Children are sometimes severely chastened when they have committed no fault, and this produces a sense of injury and a loss of confidence, which cannot fail to exert evil influences.

3. Let there be a due proportion between the fault and the correction.

4. Never chastise in a passion.

5. Let chastisement be preceded by, or accompanied with, earnest efforts to convince the offender of his fault.

6. Accompany the correction with a system of encouragement. (R. Wardlaw.)

The use of the rod

Properly treated and fully expanded, this subject of “the stick” would cover all the races of man in all regions and all ages; indeed, it would hide every member of the human family. Attention could be drawn to the respect accorded in every chapter of the world’s history, sacred and profane, to the rabdos--to the fasces of the Roman lictors, which every schoolboy honours (often unconsciously) with an allusion when he says he will lick, or vows he won’t be licked--to the herald’s staff of Hermes, the caduceus of Mercury, the wand of AEsculapius, the rods of Moses, and the contending sorceress--to the mystic bundle of nine twigs, in honour of the nine muses, that Dr. Bushby loved to wield, and which many a simple English parent believes Solomon, in all his glory, recommended as an element in domestic jurisdiction--to the sacred wands of savage tribes, the staffs of our constables and sheriffs, the highly-polished gold sticks and black rods that hover about the ante-rooms of courts at St. James or Portsoken. The rule of thumb has been said to be the government of this world. And what is this thumb but a short stick, a sceptre emblematic of a sovereign authority which none dares to dispute? “The stick,” says the Egyptian proverb “came down from heaven.” (J. Cordy Jeaffreson.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 13:24". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-13.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"He that spareth the rod hateth his son; But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."

The 20th century in America has witnessed the alarming and disastrous rejection of what is taught here. For any who might wish to pursue this thought further, we have thoroughly discussed it in Vol. 10 (Hebrews) of our New Testament Commentary, pp. 294-295. Today, our Society of the Undisciplined is in the business of dismantling and wrecking a whole civilization that was constructed upon a foundation of Christian values.

"He that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24). Betimes, here is hardly a current English expression. It means "in a timely manner." or "as it may be required." The alternate reading from the American Standard Version margin is diligently.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that spareth his rod hateth his son,.... Who withholds or withdraws his rod of correction, which is in his hand, which he has power to use, and ought to exercise at proper times; he, instead of loving his son, may be said to hate him; for such fond love is no better than hatred; and, if he really hated him, he could scarcely do a more ill thing by him than not to correct him for a fault; which was the sin of good old Eli, and both he and his sons suffered for it;

but he that loveth him; that has a true love for his son, and a hearty concern for his welfare and future good; he will regulate his affections by his judgment, and not give way to a fond passion, to the prejudice of his child: but he

chasteneth him betimes, or "in the morning"F24שחרו "mane castigat eum", Munster; "matutinat ei disciplinam", Michaelis. ; in the morning of his infancy, before vicious habits are contracted, or he is accustomed to sinning, and hardened in it; or as soon as a crime is perpetrated, before it is forgot or repeated: or every morning, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra; that is, continually, as often as it is necessary, or as faults are committed.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-13.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

spareth — or, “withholds.”

rod — of correction.

hateth — or, acts as if he hated him (compare Proverbs 3:12; Proverbs 8:36).

chasteneth … betimes — or, “diligently seeks for him all useful discipline.”


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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-13.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son,

And he who loveth him visits him early with correction.

The paedagogic rule of God, Proverbs 3:12, avails also for men, Proverbs 23:13., Proverbs 29:15. The rod represents here the means of punishment, the patria potestas . He who spareth or avoideth this, and who does this even from love, has yet no true right love for his son; he who loveth him correcteth him early. With ἐπιμελῶς παιδεύει of the lxx (cf. Sir. 30:1, ἐνδελεχήσει μάστιγας ) the thought is in general indicated, but the expression is not explained. Many erroneously regard the suffix of שׁחרו as referring to the object immediately following (de Dieu, Ewald, Bertheau, Zöckler); Hitzig, on the contrary, rightly remarks, that in this case we should expect the words to be, after Proverbs 5:22 (cf. Exodus 2:6), את־המּוּסר . He himself, without any necessity, takes שׁחר in the sense of the Arab. skhar , compescere . Hofmann ( Schriftbew . ii. 2. 402) is right in saying that “ שׁחר is connected with a double accusative as elsewhere קדּם occurs; and the meaning is, that one ought much more to anticipate correction than restrain it where it is necessary.” שׁחר means to go out early to anything, according to which a Greek rendering is ὀρθρίζει ( Venet . ὀρθριεῖ ) αὐτῷ παιδείαν : maturat ei castigationem = mature eum castigat (Fl.). שׁחר does not denote the early morning of the day (as Rashi, לבקרים ), but the morning of life (as Euchel, בשׁחר ימיו ). “The earlier the fruit, the better the training.” A father who truly wishes well to his son keeps him betimes under strict discipline, to give him while he is yet capable of being influenced the right direction, and to allow no errors to root themselves in him; but he who is indulgent toward his child when he ought to be strict, acts as if he really wished his ruin.


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Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-13.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Note, 1. To the education of children in that which is good there is necessary a due correction of them for what is amiss; every child of ours is a child of Adam, and therefore has that foolishness bound up in its heart which calls for rebuke, more or less, the rod and reproof which give wisdom. Observe, It is his rod that must be used, the rod of a parent, directed by wisdom and love, and designed for good, not the rod of a servant. 2. It is good to begin betimes with the necessary restraints of children from that which is evil, before vicious habits are confirmed. The branch is easily bent when it is tender. 3. Those really hate their children, though they pretend to be fond of them, that do not keep them under a strict discipline, and by all proper methods, severe ones when gentle ones will not serve, make them sensible of their faults and afraid of offending. They abandon them to their worst enemy, to the most dangerous disease, and therefore hate them. Let this reconcile children to the correction their good parents give them; it is from love, and for their good, Hebrews 12:7-9.


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Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-13.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

He acts as if he hated his child, who, by false indulgence, permits sinful habits to gather strength, which will bring sorrow here, and misery hereafter.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-13.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Hateth his son — His fond affection, is as pernicious to him as hatred.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-13.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Ver. 24. He that spareth his rod hateth his son.] It is as if one should be so tender over a child as not to suffer the wind to blow upon it, and therefore hold the hand before the mouth of it, but so hard as he strangleth the child. It is said of the ape that she huggeth her young one to death; so do many fond parents, who are therefore peremptores potius quam parentes, rather parricides than parents. Eli would not correct his children: God therefore corrected both him and them. David would not once cross his Absalom and his Adonijah, and he was therefore singularly crossed in them ere he died. (a) The like befell old Andronicus the Greek emperor, in his unhappy nephew of the same name; and Muleasses king of Tunis, in his son Amida, whom he cockered so long, till, Absalom like, he rose against his father, and possessing himself of the kingdom, put out his father’s and brethren’s eyes, slew his captains, polluted his wives, and took the castle of Tunis. (b)

But he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes.] And this is a God like love. Proverbs 3:12, Revelation 3:19. {See Trapp on "Proverbs 3:12"} {See Trapp on "Revelation 3:19"} Correction is a kind of cure, saith the philosopher, (c) the likeliest way to save the child’s soul; where yet, curare exigeris, non curationem, saith Bernard, it is the care of the child that is charged upon the parent, not the cure, for that is God’s work alone. But he usually worketh by this mean, and therefore requires that it be soundly set on, if need so require. A fair hand, we say, makes a foul wound. A weak dose doth but stir bad humours and anger them, not purge them out. In some diseases, the patient must be let bleed, even ad deliquium animae, till he swoon again: so here. Quintilian tells us of some faults in a child that deserve not a whipping. And Chrysippus is ill spoken of by some, because he first brought the use of the rod into the schools. It was he, I trow, that first offered that strict and tetrical division to the world, Aut mentem aut restim comparandam: Either a good heart, or a good halter for yourself and yours. The condemned person comes out of a dark prison, and goes to the place of execution; so do children, left to themselves and not nurtured, come from the womb, their prison, to the fire of hell, their execution, Severitas tamen non sit tetra, sed tetrica: (d) Corrections must be wisely and moderately dispensed. "Parents provoke not your children to wrath, lest they be disspirited," [Colossians 3:21] and, through despondency, grow desperate or heartless. Our Henry II first crowned his eldest son Henry while he was yet alive, and then so curbed him, that, through discontent, he fell into a fever, whereof he died before his father. (e) A prince of excellent parts, who was at first cast away by his father’s indulgence; and afterwards by his rigour.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-13.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 24. He that spareth his rod hateth his son, for it is not love, but the lack of love, which causes parents to forget and set aside their parental power and duty in correcting their children, if necessary, with the rod; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes, applying correction in the measure required by the occasion, Pro_3:12; Pro_23:13-14; Pro_29:15.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-13.html. 1921-23.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 13:24. Chasteneth him Instructeth him, is the rendering of several versions. As the chapter begins with an admonition to hearken to reproof, especially from parents, which is repeated again in the 13th and 18th verses; so here again advice is given to parents not to spare the rod, if reproof will not do. The Lacedemonians, out of an universal love and care for each others good, made it lawful for any man to correct the child of another person, if he saw him do amiss: and if the child complained of it to his father, it was looked upon as a fault in the father if he did not correct him again for making that complaint. For they did not, says Plutarch, look every man after his own children, servants, and cattle; but every man looked upon what was his neighbour's as his own; that there might be, as much as possible a communion among them; and they might take care of what belonged to others, as if they were their own proper goods.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-13.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He that spareth, Heb. withholdeth it from his son when it is due to him,

his rod, that correction which his son’s fault requires, and he as a father is required to give him,

hateth his son; not directly and properly in regard of his affection, but consequently, and in respect of the event. His fond affection is as pernicious to him as his or another man’s hatred could be.

Chasteneth him betimes; either,

1. In his tender years, as soon as he is capable of it. Or,

2. Speedily, before he be hardened and inveterate in sin. God’s favour and blessing gives the righteous man a competent estate, and a heart to use it, and comfort and satisfaction in it; whereas wicked men commonly want either all these blessings, or some of them.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-13.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24. He that spareth his rod — Withholdeth suitable correction of some kind.

Hateth his son — The effect of undue indulgence and lack of discipline will be to injure the child, and the result be as though he hated him.

But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes — Literally, Seeketh for him chastising. Really regards the entire well-being of the child, and would discharge to him the early obligation of a parent.

Solomon seems to have had no idea that a good education could be secured without correction. It is not necessary, says Stuart, “to understand the word rod in a literal sense; but it at least means correction of some kind for faults.” It must be remembered that moral suasion alone, as the exclusive appliance in the education of children, is a comparatively modern idea. It may be doubted whether it will stand the test of experience, in opposition to the judgment of the wise and good of the past ages. There are, probably, in this matter extremes on either hand to be guarded against, and a golden mean of right conduct, which every parent will do well to seek. There are some children who perhaps, never need corporal punishment; but there are others who are injured by the neglect of it. Compare Proverbs 3:11; Proverbs 23:13-14; Proverbs 29:15.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-13.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

""Spare the rod and spoil the child." This common maxim (a one-size-fits-all approach to child discipline) is often wrongly attributed to the Bible. (This maxim comes from a poem written by Samuel Butler in1664.) In reality the book of Proverbs , when taken as a whole, encourages its readers to use multiple levels of discipline ranging from pointing out improper behavior to the use of corporal punishment." [Note: Paul D. Wegner, "Discipline in the Book of Proverbs: "To Spank or Not To Spank?"" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society48:4 (December2005):715-32. See also Waltke, The Book . . ., p574.]

"The proverb simply commends bodily chastisement as a means of training; details are left to the judgment of parents . . ." [Note: Toy, p278.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/proverbs-13.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 13:24. He that spareth — Hebrew, חושׂךְ, withholdeth; his rod — From his son, when it is due to him; or that keeps back that correction which his son’s fault requires, and which he, as a father, is required to give him; hateth his son — His fond affection is as pernicious to his son as his or another man’s hatred could be; but he that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes — Either, 1st, In his tender years, as soon as he is capable of being profited by chastisement; or, 2d, Speedily, before he be hardened in sin. Thus, “as the chapter begins,” says Bishop Patrick, “with an admonition to hearken to reproof, especially from parents, which is repeated again in the thirteenth and eighteenth verses, so here again, in the last verse but one, advice is given to parents not to spare the rod, if reproof will not do, some children being so disposed that they must be thus treated. And it seems a wonderful piece of wisdom in the old Lacedemonians, as Plutarch relates, who, out of a universal love and care for each other’s good, made it lawful for any man to correct the child of another person, if he saw him do amiss. And if the child complained of it to his father, it was looked upon as a fault in the father if he did not correct him again for making that complaint. For they did not, according to Plutarch, look every man only after his own children, servants, and cattle; but every man looked upon what was his neighbour’s as his own, οπως οτι μαλιστα κοινονωσι και φροντιζωσιν ως ιδιων, that there might be, as much as possible, a communion among them; and they might take care of what belonged to others, as if they were their own proper goods.”


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-13.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Betimes. God has always treated his friends in this manner, to preserve them from sin, or to increase their reward. (Calmet)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

spareth = withholdeth. Illustrations: Eli (1 Samuel 3:13; 1 Samuel 4:11); David (2 Samuel 13:39; 2 Samuel 14:25. 1 Kings 1:6).

chasteneth him betimes = carefully seeketh correction (or discipline) for him: or, seeketh early, &c.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

He that spareth his rod hateth his son - i:e., acts in such a way as one who hated the boy and desired his ruin might be supposed to act. "His rod," the rod which the parent is bound to use.

But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes - i:e., early, diligently, painstakingly, while the boy is yet tender; as soon as the corruption of the boy begins to sprout up. The tree is to be bent while young. The punishment is to follow the sin so soon as to prevent the habit of sin being formed-literally, 'early seeks chastening (discipline) for him' (Gesenius, Mercer). Gejer and Maurer take the Hebrew suffix, 'early seeks it'-namely, 'chastening.'


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-13.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) Betimes.—While he may yet be influenced rightly, and before faults are rooted in him.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
3:12; 8:36; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14; 29:15,17; Luke 14:26; Hebrews 12:6-8

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-13.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

THE CHILD AND THE ROD

I. Pain is a necessary instrument in human training. The rod is to be included in the means of education. Some natures need an experience of pain to quicken their mental capabilities. Sometimes children are like untilled land (see Pro ), they have large capabilities lying dormant, which will not awaken unless they are subjected to severe discipline and punished for their shortcomings. And what is necessary in intellectual training is also necessary in moral training. Children must be made to feel that pain is the outcome of transgression, and evil habits must if possible be crushed while in the bud. They can be overcome then at the expense of far less suffering than when they have taken firmer hold, and the pain is as nothing compared with that which the habits themselves will inflict if they are allowed to go on through life and enthrall the soul entirely. A thorn which has but just entered the skin can be extracted with a very small amount of suffering, even by an unskilful hand; if left for a few days it may produce a festering wound; if not extracted at all, it may end in mortification. The fear of suffering is also a great preventive of sin. The Great Father of men uses it as an instrument to dissuade men from breaking His laws. He warns them, over and over again, of the suffering which they will bring upon themselves if they disobey His commands and their experience of the suffering that has followed sin in the past often leads them to avoid it in the future. And what is effectual in the training of men is effectual also with children. They will often avoid the repetition of an act which they know has brought them punishment before and will do so again. This fear of pain is not the highest motive for abstinence from wrong-doing, but in both the child and the man it may be the foundation of an upbuilding of character which shall by-and-by go on growing in goodness without this instrumentality.

II. That infliction of pain is compatible with the highest love, and is often a token of it. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us that God scourges His children whenever He sees that they need it. And yet they have become His children only by the exercise of His own Infinite love. But we know that He chastens not for His pleasure, but for our profit (Heb ); that He has love and wisdom enough to see the "far-off interest of tears." So it is the father or mother, who truly loves his or her child, who is willing to undergo the present suffering of inflicting pain in order to ensure a future blessing to their children. "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for your iniquities" (Amo 3:2). What is true of the Divine parent is true also of the human. It follows—

III. That the neglect of chastisement is a proof of the want of real love. "He that spareth his rod hateth his son." What should we think of a father who would see his child bleed to death rather than bind up the wound, because in so doing he would inflict some present bodily pain upon the child, and some mental suffering upon himself? Or of the physician who would not use the knife to stop the progress of mortal disease because the patient shrinks from the incision, and he himself is averse to the sight of blood? We should say they were destroyers of life which had been entrusted to them to preserve. But what shall we say of a parent who is so fond of his child that he cannot inflict pain upon him now for deeds that, if repeated until they become habits, will ruin him for time and for eternity? Such sickly sentimentalism in a parent makes him unworthy of his name, and turns him who should have been his child's highest earthly blessing into his direst curse. Many inmates of our gaols are there because they have been the victims of this so-called love; and when God sums up their misdeeds a large portion of the guilt will fall elsewhere than on the child cursed by such a parent.

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

Fond parents think it love (that spares the rod), but Divine wisdom calls it hatred.—-John Howe.

The discipline of our children must commence with self-discipline. Nature teaches us to love them much. But we want a controlling principle to teach us to love them wisely. The indulgence of our children has its root in self-indulgence.—Bridges.

This phrase "betimes," or "early in the morning," admonisheth parents to procure the means of their children's welfare before all other matters; and, as it were, as soon as they rise out of their beds. The Lord be merciful to us for the neglect of this duty; for if we have any worldly business to do we go first about that, and then teach and instruct our children at our leisure. O reckless carelessness about the chiefest matters! Oh that as we use to feed our children in the morning so we could once be brought to instruct them also betimes.—Muffet.

Justice must be observed in the correction of children.

1. That there is a fault committed.

2. That the fault so committed deserveth punishment.

3. That the punishment do not exceed the quality of the fault, which will otherwise seem to rage and revenge rather than to chastise for amendment.—Spencer.

To spare the rod in the first clause being opposed to chastening in the second, by the rod must be meant not only that particular instrument of punishment, but everything besides that may prove the means of our correction and amendment. And by chastisement is here intended every instrument of correction, every means of effecting what we intend by chastising, whether it be reproof, restraint of liberty, disappointment of our children's wills, or corporal punishment. By loving and hating is not here meant the exerting actually those passions in the heart, for then the text would be untrue, but the acting agreeably to the reason, and not the blindness of those passions; the producing such effects as are in God's account, and in wise men's too, and in our own when freed from partial prejudices; the consequences and fruits of love and hatred acting regularly, such as are commonly esteemed the effects of those two causes, whether they indeed proceed from them or no. For if we are to reckon of love or hatred by the effects, then it is easy to discern when parents hate their children, namely, when, through neglect or fondness, they permit them to enter on a course of ruin, and so let them fall into such miseries as the utmost hatred of their inveterate enemies could neither wish nor make them greater, whatever love there may be at the bottom. A mother is as much a murderess who stifles her child in a bed of roses as she that does it with a pillow-bear (pillow-case). The end and mischief is as great, though the means and instrument be not the same.—Bishop Fleetwood.

He that spareth the rod from his son maketh him to be his rod, wherewith he whips himself, and wherewith God whips both of them. It is better thy son should feel thy rod than thou feel the sorrow of his wicked life. And do not hate him in not correcting of him, lest he hate thee by thy not correcting of him, and God shew His hatred against both by His wrath upon you.—Jermin.

The Koh-i-noor diamond, when it came into the Queen's possession, was a mis-shapen lump. It was very desirable to get its corners cut off and all its sides reduced to symmetry; but no unskilful hand was permitted to touch it. Men of science were summoned to consider its nature and capabilities. They examined the form of its crystals and the consistency of its parts. They considered the direction of the grain, and the side on which it would bear a pressure. With their instructions, the jewel was placed in the hands of an experienced lapidary, and by long, patient, careful labour, its sides were ground down to the desired proportions. The gem was hard, and needed a heavy pressure; the gem was precious, and every precaution was taken which science and skill could suggest to get it polished into shape without cracking it in the process. The effort was successful. The hard diamond was rubbed down into forms of beauty, and yet sustained no damage by the greatness of the pressure to which it was subjected. "Jewels, bright jewels," in the form of little children, are the heritage which God gives to every parent. They are unshapely and need to be polished; they are brittle, and so liable to be permanently injured by the pressure; but they are stones of peculiar preciousness, and if they were successfully polished they would shine as stars for ever and ever, giving off, from their undimning edge, more brilliantly than other creatures can, the glory which they get from the Sun of Righteousness. Those who possess these diamonds in the rough should neither stike them unskilfully nor let them be uncut … Prayer and pains must go together in this difficult work. Lay the whole case before our Father in heaven; this will take the hardness out of the correction, without diminishing its strength.—Arnot.

Correction is a kind of cure, saith the philosopher (Arist. Ethic. lib. ii.), the likeliest way to save the child's soul; where, yet, saith Bernard, it is the care of the child that is charged upon the parent, not the cure, that is God's work alone.—Trapp.

In order to form the minds of children, the first thing to be done is to conquer the will. To inform the understanding is a work of time, and must, with children, proceed by slow degrees, as they are able to bear it; but the subjecting of the will must be done at once, and the sooner the better; for, by neglecting timely correction, they will contract a stubbornness and obstinacy which are hardly ever conquered, and not without using such severity as would be as painful to me as to the child. I insist upon the conquering of the will betimes, because this is the only strong and rational foundation of a religious education, without which both precept and example will be ineffectual. But when this is thoroughly done, a child is capable of being governed by the wisdom and piety of its parents till its own understanding comes to maturity, and the principles of religion have taken root in the mind.—Mrs. S. Wesley.

It is his rod that must be used, the rod of a parent, not the rod of a servant.—Henry.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:24". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-13.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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