Proverbs 28:7

Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
– Proverbs 28:7

This saying brings common wisdom elements together. The structure of the saying is antithetical parallelism. Keeping the law is contrasted with being a companion of gluttons and a wise son is contrasted with shaming one’s father. Gluttony is one of the sins of the incorrigible son in Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

Prior sayings warn against the companionship of gluttons due to waste and poverty (Proverbs 23:19-22). A wise son keeps the law and keeps away from harlots (Proverbs 29:3) and gluttons (Proverbs 23:20) and honors his father.

Proverbs 27:11

My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.
– Proverbs 27:11

The father/teacher/sage rejoices when the children/students learn what is being taught (Proverbs 10:1; 15:20; 23:15-16, 24-25). The word for reproacheth gives the idea of taunting or criticism. The best answer is a wise son. Jesus referred to this principle when he said, “But wisdom is justified of her children” (Matthew 11:19).

 


 

 

Proverbs 23:26

My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
– Proverbs 23:26

The word for heart means the cardiac muscle in a person’s chest. It has a wide range of figurative uses in the Hebrew Old Testament. It can refer to the whole inner being of man, the immaterial being. It can refer to the mind and understanding. It can refer to the will. It can refer to the feelings, or emotions, and more. Modern day westerners presuppose a reference to the heart being about affection and feelings. The word appears over 90 times in Proverbs and could seldom be thought to refer to emotions. When you couple this verse with similar calls to wisdom, particularly in the fatherly addresses, it is plainly an admonition to give thoughtful attention (Proverbs 1:8, 33; 2:1-2; 3:1, 21; 4:1-2, 4-5, 10, 10; 5:1, 7; 6:20-21; 7:1-3, 24; 8:1-6, 10-11, 32-33). The second phrase seals that understanding by calling for observation.

The word for observe means to be pleased with, or to accept. The word is translated, delighteth, in Proverbs 3:12. The call is clearly a call to hearken to wisdom and to recognize and embrace the rightness of the ways of the teacher. The picture of instructing in and imparting wisdom to another is a picture of master and apprentice, or discipling (Proverbs 13:20).

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Proverbs 19:26

He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.
– Proverbs 19:26

This proverb presents another specimen of a son who causes shame. Parents have a great responsibility with the “rod and reproof” in training their children in wisdom (Proverbs 29:15; 22:6). However, the son or daughter must receive that correction and instruction and must seek after wisdom (Proverbs 2:1-5). Wise parents may raise foolish children who are sluggards (Proverbs 10:5), despisers (Proverbs 15:20), immoral wretches (Proverbs 29:3), or mockers and cursers (Proverbs 30:11, 17). Here the shameful son is a waster of the family resources (Proverbs 28:24). Having wasted the family substance, the ingrate turns his mother out, or refuses to provide support in old age. The law commanded the honoring of parents, which includes supporting them in old age (Deuteronomy 5:16). Sons who waste their father through foolish selfishness, or who refuses to honor his parents by putting on piety are wicked, shameful, and reproachful sons (Luke 15:11-24; Mark 7:9-13).

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Proverbs 17:25

A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
– Proverbs 17:25

All children start out the same way, with foolishness “bound in the heart” (Proverbs 22:15). Parents are to bring up their children in the way of wisdom (Proverbs 22:6). The way of wisdom is the way of correction and instruction (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 29:17). A foolish son can be the result of neglect (Proverbs 29:15), the active folly of the parents (Proverbs 14:1), or the incorrigible pride of the son or daughter (Proverbs 17:10; 27:22). The last case is most likely to bring “heaviness,” “sorrow,” and “calamity” (Proverbs 10:1; 17:21; 19:13).

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Proverbs 6:20

My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
– Proverbs 6:20

This verse begins a new address that goes through verse 35, the end of the chapter. The exhortation culminates in the warning against the evil woman. This address focuses on the life of the mind and fighting the battle there. To keep and to forsake not are familiar admonitions to the son to take pains to understand and guard the father’s commandment and the mother’s law. We see the importance of both father and mother instructing their children in the way of wisdom and the role of the early home life in preparing them for life outside the home.

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Proverbs 4:3

For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
– Proverbs 4:3

Solomon acknowledges his own experience in learning wisdom from his father and mother. He was once the tender-eyed pupil of his father and now he is the wizened father. We infer from this the duty of wisdom we have to learn it and to teach it to our children. This is the ideal of the law (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Psalms 145:4).

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