Proverbs 30:11

There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
– Proverbs 30:11

Verses 11-14 are a group of sayings with the general theme of pride and arrogance. The word for generation can refer to an age, as in a period of time, or the people living in that age. Here it refers to a class or group of people characterized by dishonor to parents, or rebellion. The saying uses parallelism to state the sinful folly negatively and positively. Cursing and not blessing are the sins of commission and omission, both prohibited by the law (Exodus 20:12; 21:17; Leviticus 20:9; Deuteronomy 27:16) and wisdom (Proverbs 19:26; 20:20; 28:24; 30:17). The Pharisees neglected this command in their parents’ old age by teaching the practice of Corban (Mark 7:9-13). Paul later wrote that such a one denied the faith (1 Timothy 5:4, 8).

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 14:1

Chapter 14 continues the second major section of Proverbs. It is also part of the first subsection of Chapters 10-15, which are primarily two-line, antithetical proverbs on various topics. The proverbs in this chapter touch on the use of words, contrasts of folly and wisdom, wisdom at home, friends, etc.

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
– Proverbs 14:1

The contrast in this proverb is the result of the qualities of wisdom and folly. The wise woman is the woman who possesses wisdom and walks in wisdom. This is no statement on her physical appearance or domestic skills. She understands a house is built and continues through wisdom (Proverbs 24:3-4). The stability of the home centers on the woman. Her wisdom starts with her husband where she can be a source of good (Proverbs 18:22; 19:14), even to being a crown to him (Proverbs 12:4), and his safe counselor (Proverbs 31:11). She is one with her husband in the teaching, training, discipline, and correction of their children (Proverbs 1:8-9; 4:3; 6:20; 23:22). A child that does not heed the instruction and pursues folly instead is equally dishonorable to mother and father (Proverbs 10:1; 15:20; 17:25; 19:26; 20:20). However, the children who rise in wisdom bless her (Proverbs 23:25; 31:27-28). And so her house is well established.

The contrast is the foolish woman. The word used here describes an obstinate silliness. Foolishness describes one who will not stretch to wisdom (Proverbs 24:7) and her words are destructive (Proverbs 10:14). She is quick tempered (Proverbs 12:16) and argumentative (Proverbs 20:3). This fool despises “wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7), runs on at the mouth rather than listen to wise counsel (Proverbs 10:8), and is a know-it-all (Proverbs 12:15). It is no surprise that such a foolish woman ruins her husband (Proverbs 12:4), and he would be better off on a roof or in a desert (Proverbs 21:19; 25:24). She neglects to care for her children and inherits shame (Proverbs 29:15). Thus, her house is destroyed by her own hands.

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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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