Proverbs 13:24
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
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(24) Betimes.—While he may yet be influenced rightly, and before faults are rooted in him.

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.”

13:14. The rule by which the wise regulate their conduct, is a fountain yielding life and happiness. 15. The way of sinners is hard upon others, and hard to the sinner himself. The service of sin is slavery; the road to hell is strewed with the thorns and thistles that followed the curse. 16. It is folly to talk of things of which we know nothing, and to undertake what we are no way fit for. 17. Those that are wicked, and false to Christ and to the souls of men, do mischief, and fall into mischief; but those that are faithful, find sound words healing to others and to themselves. 18. He that scorns to be taught, will certainly be brought down. 19. There are in man strong desires after happiness; but never let those expect any thing truly sweet to their souls, who will not be persuaded to leave their sins. 20. Multitudes are brought to ruin by bad company. And all that make themselves wicked will be destroyed. 21. When God pursues sinners he is sure to overtake them; and he will reward the righteous. 22. The servant of God who is not anxious about riches, takes the best method of providing for his children. 23. The poor, yet industrious, thrive, though in a homely manner, while those who have great riches are often brought to poverty for want of judgment. 24. 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. 25. It is the misery of the wicked, that even their sensual appetites are always craving. The righteous feeds on the word and ordinances, to the satisfying of his soul with the promises of the gospel, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Bread of life.The contrast is the ever recurring one between honest poverty and dishonest wealth. "The new-plowed field of the poor is much food, but there are those, who, though rich, perish through their disregard of right." 24. spareth—or, "withholds."

rod—of correction.

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

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

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.

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" (x); 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.

(x) "mane castigat eum", Munster; "matutinat ei disciplinam", Michaelis.

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
24. betimes] Or, diligently, R.V. marg. See Proverbs 1:28 note.

Verse 24. - He that spareth his rod hateth his son. Correction of children is a great point with our author (see Proverbs 19:18; Proverbs 22:15; Proverbs 23:13, etc.; Proverbs 29:15, 17). So Ecclus. 30:1, "He that loveth his son causeth him oft to feel the rod, that he may have joy of him in the end." Dukes, "Gold must be beaten, and a boy needs blows" ('Rabbin. Blumenlese,' 71). Chasteneth him betimes; literally, early in the morning (Proverbs 1:28; Proverbs 8:17), which may mean, in the morning of life, ere evil habits have time to grow, or directly after the offence. Or the expression may signify "diligently." Vulgate, instanter; Septuagint, ἐπιμελῶς. Proverbs 13:2424 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, Zckler); 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 equals 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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