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 19:13

A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
– Proverbs 19:13

Proverbs begins with Solomon’s fatherly admonitions to his son to forsake the way of folly and embrace the way of wisdom. The first nine chapters teach us a father should make every effort to bring up his son in the way of wisdom, but, ultimately, the son must choose to refuse folly and pursue wisdom. When a son chooses folly, it is a grief, heaviness, and sorrow to his father (Proverbs 17:21, 25). Here it is a calamity, which is a ruin. The man who has foolish children is robbed of joy.

The word for contentions means brawling, or strife. A woman who is querulous and quarrelsome is like an incessant dripping that must drive a man mad (Proverbs 27:15). No one can live with constant complaining, criticizing, and nagging and also have joy or peace of mind in life. The Proverbs mention other conditions that are better to live with (Proverbs 21:9, 19). Having either condition, or both, makes life a misery.

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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 17:2

A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.
– Proverbs 17:2

While possible, a servant rarely advanced beyond being a servant. A wise servant could merit reward (Proverbs 14:35). The emphasis of the proverb is on the son that causeth shame. He is disinherited because of his foolishness and shall see the servant advance beyond him (Proverbs 11:29). Proverbs has many warnings to foolish sons and the consequences of their folly (Proverbs 10:5; 19:26).

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Proverbs 13:1

Chapter 13 continues the first section of the Proverbs of Solomon. The proverbs in this chapter mainly have a two-line antithetical structure. The proverbs in this chapter touch on words, or speech, wealth and poverty, pride, parenting, and wisdom generally.

A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
– Proverbs 13:1

Training in wisdom begins at home with one’s parents. The word for instruction means discipline and so includes correction. A wise son is characterized as one who receives instruction and correction, which sets him at odds with a fool (Proverbs 15:5). The contrast is with a scorner, which is the hardest form of a fool, or the final progression of the fool. A scorner despises correction and hates those who try to correct him (Proverbs 9:7-8; 15:12). The word for rebuke means a chiding and is stronger than in the first phrase. The tenor of the proverb is that a son who chafes at the discipline of his father at home is on his way to becoming a scorner. Scorners ultimately find themselves scorned by God at the last (Proverbs 3:34).

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Proverbs 10:5

He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
– Proverbs 10:5

This proverb contrasts hard work and slothfulness, which is a common theme throughout the Proverbs. Rather than focusing on diligence and abundance contrasted with slothfulness and poverty, this proverb focuses on the effects a son has on his parents. A wise son brings joy (Proverbs 15:20) and a foolish son brings grief (Proverbs 17:25). Looking a little deeper at the proverb, we see the core of it is not so much about industry versus laziness as it is wisdom. The summer and the harvest are seasons that require certain things to be done. The wise son gathers because he discerns the season and is diligent at the appropriate time. The shameful son either doesn’t discern the time or carelessly sleeps, both bringing shame.

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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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