Proverbs 15:20
A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish man despises his mother.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Proverbs 15:20-21. A wise son, &c. — See the note on chap. 10:1, where we have the same proverb. Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom —

He not only works wickedness, but takes pleasure in doing it; but a man of understanding walketh uprightly — Hebrew, יישׁר לכת, directeth, or maketh straight, his going; that is, ordereth all his actions by the rule of God’s word, and delights in so doing, as may be understood from the opposite clause.15:16,17. Believers often have enough when worldly eyes see little; the Lord is with them, without the cares, troubles, and temptations which are with the wealth of the wicked. 18. He that is slow to anger, not only prevents strife, but appeases it, if kindled. 19. Those who have no heart to their work, pretend that they cannot do their work without hardship and danger. And thus many live always in doubt about their state, because always in neglect of some duty. 20. Those who treat an aged mother or a father with contempt or neglect, show their own folly. 21. Such as are truly wise, study that their thoughts, words, and actions should be regular, sincere, and holy. 22. If men will not take time and pains to deliberate, they are not likely to bring any thing to pass. 23. Wisdom is needed to suit our discourse to the occasions. 24. A good man sets his affections on things above; his way leads directly thither.To "despise" a mother is to cause her the deepest grief, and is therefore not unfitly contrasted with "making a glad father." 20. (Compare Pr 10:1). Maketh a glad father, by giving him that honour and obedience which he oweth to him.

Despiseth his mother; whereby he maketh her sad. See Poole "Proverbs 10:1", where we have the same proverb. A wise son maketh a glad father,.... See Gill on Proverbs 10:1;

but a foolish man despiseth his mother; that bore him and brought him up, and perhaps was too indulgent to him; which aggravates his sin and her sorrow; See Gill on Proverbs 10:1; or causes her to be despised by others, as Jarchi interprets it; such a man's sin, which is great folly, and shows him to be a foolish man, is highly resented by the Lord, and will be severely punished; see Proverbs 30:17. The Targum is,

"a foolish son despises his mother;''

and so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, which makes the antithesis more clear; and the Hebrew text designs one grown up to man's estate.

A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. despiseth] and so maketh her sad, in latent contrast with the first clause of the verse.Verse 20-ch. 19:25. - Third section of this collection. Verse 20. - (For this verse, see Proverbs 10:1.) A foolish man despiseth his mother, and therefore is "heaviness" to her. Or the verb may mean "shameth." "A foolish man" is literally "a fool of a man." 14 The heart of the understanding seeketh after knowledge,

     And the mouth of fools practiseth folly.

Luther interprets רעה as metaphor. for to govern, but with such ethical conceptions it is metaphor. for to be urgently circumspect about anything (vid., Proverbs 13:20), like Arab. ra'y and r'âyt, intentional, careful, concern about anything. No right translation can be made of the Chethib פני, which Schultens, Hitzig, Ewald, and Zckler prefer; the predicate can go before the פּני, after the Semitic rule in the fem. of the sing., 2 Samuel 10:9, cf. Job 16:16, Chethib, but cannot follow in the masc. of the sing.; besides, the operations of his look and aspect are ascribed to his face, but not spiritual functions as here, much more to the mouth, i.e., to the spirit speaking through it. The heart is within a man, and the mouth without; and while the former gives and takes, the latter is always only giving out. In Proverbs 18:15, where a synonymous distich is formed from the antithetic distich, the ear, as hearing, is mentioned along with the heart as appropriating. נבון is not an adj., but is gen., like צדיק, 28a (opp. ופי). חכם, Proverbs 16:23. The φιλοσοφία of the understanding is placed over against the μωρολογία of the fools. The lxx translates καρδία ὀρθὴ ζητεῖ αἲσθησιν (cf. Proverbs 14:10, καρδία ἀδρὸς αἰσθητική); it uses this word after the Hellenistic usus loq. for דעת, of experimental knowledge.

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