Proverbs 15:5
A fool despises his father's instruction: but he that regards reproof is prudent.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) A fool (’evîl).—See above, on Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 15:5. A fool despiseth — Doth not regard nor obey; (which is an evidence of contempt;) his father’s instruction — Who hath both love to him and authority over him, which greatly aggravates his folly; but he that regardeth reproof — That is, is willing to receive, and duly regard the reproof of any person whatsoever, and much more of a father; is prudent — Hath already attained a great degree of wisdom, and prudently consults his own welfare and happiness.15:3. Secret sins, services, and sorrows, are under God's eye. This speaks comfort to saints, and terror to sinners. 4. A good tongue is healing to wounded consciences, by comforting them; to sin-sick souls, by convincing them; and it reconciles parties at variance. 5. If instruction is despised, reprove men rather than suffer them to go on undisturbed in the way to ruin. 6. The wealth of worldly men increases their fears and suspicions, adds strength to their passions, and renders the fear of death more distressing. 7. We use knowledge aright when we disperse it; but the heart of the foolish has nothing to disperse that is good. 8,9. The wicked put other things in the stead of Christ's atonement, or in the place of holy obedience. Praying graces are his gift, and the work of his Spirit, with which he is well pleased. 10. He that hates reproof shall perish in his sins, since he would not be parted from them.A wholesome tongue - literally, as in the margin, the same word as "sound" in Proverbs 14:30 (see the note). A more literal rendering would be soundness of speech.

Tree of life - Compare Proverbs 3:18 note.

Breach in the spirit - With the sense of vexation (compare Isaiah 65:14).

5. (Compare Pr 4:1; 10:17; 13:1-18).

is prudent—acts discreetly.

A fool despiseth, doth not regard nor obey, which is an evidence of contempt,

his father’s instruction; who hath both love to him, and authority over him; which greatly aggravates his folly.

Reproof; the reproof of any person whatsoever, and much more of a father. A fool despiseth his father's instruction,.... They are fools that despise any instruction that is wise, good, and profitable; and especially a father's instruction, whose love, tender affection, and care, will not suffer him, knowingly, to give any but what is good and wholesome: wherefore to despise it is not only a contempt of his authority, but a slight of his love; which are both very aggravating, and sufficiently demonstrate his folly; and of which he may be himself convinced when it is too late, and say, "how have I hated instruction and despised reproof?" Proverbs 5:12. He is a fool that despises the instruction of anyone superior to him in years and experience; of ministers of the word; and especially of our Father which is in heaven, declared in the sacred Scriptures, which are written for instruction in righteousness;

but he that regardeth reproof is prudent; the reproof of a father, whose corrections are to be submitted to, and received with reverence; and especially of the Father of spirits, whose rebukes are in love, and for profit and advantage; yea, he is a wise man that regards the reproof of the word of God, and the ministers of it; and indeed of any Christian, whether his superior, equal, or inferior, as David did, Psalm 141:5.

A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. is prudent] Rather, becometh prudent, by “regarding reproof.”Verse 5. - A fool despiseth his father's instruction (Proverbs 10:1): but he that regardeth reproof is prudent (Proverbs 19:25). The son who attends to his father's reproof dealeth prudently, or becomes wiser. Astutior fiet, Vulgate; πανουργότερος, Septuagint. The Vulgate has here a distich which is not in the Hebrew, but a similar paragraph is found in the Septuagint. Thus Vulgate, "In the abundance of righteousness virtue is greatest; but the imaginations of the wicked shall be rooted up;" Septuagint, "In the abundance of righteousness is much strength; but the impious shall be destroyed from the very root." The addition seems to have been an explanation of the following verse, which has been foisted into the text here. Two proverbs follow regarding the state and its ruler:

34 Righteousness exalteth a nation,

     And sin is a disgrace to the people.

The Hebr. language is richer in synonyms of "the people" than the German. גּוי (formed like the non-bibl. מוי, water, and נוי, corporealness, from גּוה, to extend itself from within outward; cf. Proverbs 9:3, גּפּי, Proverbs 10:13, גּו) is, according to the usus loq., like natio the people, as a mass swollen up from a common origin, and עם, 28a (from עמם, to bind), the people as a confederation held together by a common law; לאם (from לאם, to unite, bind together) is the mass (multitude) of the people, and is interchanged sometimes with גוי, Genesis 25:23, and sometimes with עם, Proverbs 14:28. In this proverb, לאמּים stands indeed intentionally in the plur., but not גוי, with the plur. of which גּוים, the idea of the non-Israelitish nations, too easily connects itself. The proverb means all nations without distinction, even Israel (cf. under Isaiah 1:4) not excluded. History everywhere confirms the principle, that not the numerical, nor the warlike, nor the political, nor yet the intellectual and the so-called civilized greatness, is the true greatness of a nation, and determines the condition of its future as one of progress; but this is its true greatness, that in its private, public, and international life, צדקה, i.e., conduct directed by the will of God, according to the norm of moral rectitude, rules and prevails. Righteousness, good manners, and piety are the things which secure to a nation a place of honour, while, on the contrary, חטּאת, sin, viz., prevailing, and more favoured and fostered than contended against in the consciousness of the moral problem of the state, is a disgrace to the people, i.e., it lowers them before God, and also before men who do not judge superficially or perversely, and also actually brings them down. רומם, to raise up, is to be understood after Isaiah 1:2, cf. Proverbs 23:4, and is to be punctuated תּרומם, with Munach of the penult., and the העמדה-sign with the Tsere of the last syllable. Ben-Naphtali punctuates thus: תּרומם. In 34b all the artifices of interpretation (from Nachmani to Schultens) are to be rejected, which interpret חסד as the Venet. (ἔλεος δὲ λαῶν ἁμαρτία) in its predominant Hebrew signification. It has here, as at Leviticus 20:17 (but not Job 6:14), the signification of the Syr. chesdho, opprobrium; the Targ. חסדּא, or more frequently חסּוּדא, as among Jewish interpreters, is recognised by Chanan'el and Rashbam. That this חסד is not foreign to the Mishle style, is seen from the fact that חסּד, Proverbs 25:10, is used in the sense of the Syr. chasedh. The synon. Syr. chasam, invidere, obtrectare, shows that these verbal stems are formed from the R. הס, stringere, to strike. Already it is in some measure perceived how חסד, Syr. chasadh, Arab. hasada, may acquire the meaning of violent love, and by the mediation of the jealousy which is connected with violent love, the signification of grudging, and thus of reproach and of envy; yet this is more manifest if one thinks of the root-signification stringere, in the meaning of loving, as referred to the subject, in the meanings of disgrace and envy, as from the subject directed to others. Ewald (51c) compares חסל and חסר, Ethiop. chasra, in the sense of carpere, and on the other side חסה in the sense of "to join;" but חסה does not mean to join (vid., Psalm 2:12) and instead of carpere, the idea more closely connected with the root is that of stringere, cf. stringere folia ex arboribus (Caesar), and stringere (to diminish, to squander, strip) rem ingluvie (Horace, Sat. i. 2. 8). The lxx has here read חסר (Proverbs 28:22), diminution, decay, instead of חסד (shame); the quid pro quo is not bad, the Syr. accepts it, and the miseros facit of Jerome, and Luther's verderben (destruction) corresponds with this phrase better than with the common traditional reading which Symmachus rightly renders by ὄνειδος.

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