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Solomon’s proverbs: Proverbs 13−15

Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs and collected other wise sayings; some made it into the book of Proverbs. These chapters are from the first collection of Solomon’s proverbs.

This proverb about disciplining children has been used and misused so often to justify beating children and treating them harshly;

13:24 Those who spare the rod hate their children,
but those who love them are diligent to discipline them.

But what is this rod? Could it be the shepherd’s rod of Psalm 23?

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.

This is very different proposition to that of beating your children. The rod is a guide rather than a weapon.

Paul makes the same point in his letter to he Ephesians:

Ephesians 6:4And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

This is more consistent with the husband loving his wife (and, by extension, his family), as Christ loved the church—being willing to lay down his life for her.

This is as Solomon said:

Proverbs 22:6Train children in the right way,
and when old, they will not stray.

The child has some responsibility:

Proverbs 15:5A fool despises a parent’s instruction,
but the one who heeds admonition is prudent.

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