Proverbs 22:15
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
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(15) Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child.—Self-will is meant. (See above on Proverbs 1:7.) Children have to be taught to yield their wills to others.

Proverbs 22:15. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child — Is fixed and settled there, as being born with him, and rooted in his very nature; but the rod, &c., shall drive it far from him — The smart of punishment will make him weary of his sin, and watchful against it. “Ignorance, weakness, inclination to evil, corruption of heart,” says Calmet, “are maladies which accompany all men from their birth; education, instruction, correction,” to which we must add divine grace, earnestly asked of God, and received, “cure them, or diminish, very much, their ill effects.”22:1 We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate. 2. Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God's grace the poor are as welcome as the rich. 3. Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm. 4. Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. 5. The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. 6. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour. 7. This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference. 8. The power which many abuse, will soon fail them. 9. He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed. 10. Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace. 11. God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints. 12. God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion. 13. The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him. 14. The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery. 15. Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father. 16. We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will.The fall of the man into the snare of the harlot seems to be the consequence of the abhorrence or wrath of Yahweh. That abhorrence is, however, the result of previous evil. The man is left to himself, and sin becomes the penalty of sin. 15. is bound—or firmly fixed. Chastisement deters from crime and so leads to reformation of principle. Is bound; is fixed and settled there, as being born with him, and rooted in his very nature, and not plucked up without great difficulty and diligence.

The rod of correction shall drive it far from him; the smart of punishment makes him weary of his sin, and watchful against it. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child,.... That is, sin, the greatest of all folly; this is naturally in the heart of man; it is in the heart of a child, it is in him from his infancy; it is bound in his heart, it is rooted and riveted in him, being conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity; it is what cleaves close to him, and he has a strong affection for and desire after: the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth, Genesis 8:21; so that he is not easily brought off of sin, or becomes wise;

but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him; the rod used by parents, for the correction of sin and folly, is a means of making children wise, and of restraining the folly that is bound up in them; and of reclaiming them from those sinful ways, which the folly of their hearts leads them to, and so in some measure of driving it far from them.

Foolishness is bound {l} in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

(l) He is naturally given to it.

15. bound] Better, bound up, R.V. Comp., for the force of the Heb. word, Genesis 44:30.Verse 15. - Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. Foolishness (ivveleth) here implies the love of mischief, the waywardness and self-will, belonging to children, bound up in their very nature. Septuagint, "Folly is attached (ἐξῆπται) to the heart of the young," in which version Cornelius a Lapide sees an allusion to the ornament hung by fond parents round the neck of a child whom they were inclined to spoil rather than to train in self-denying ways. To such a child folly adheres as closely as the bulla with which he is decorated. But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Judicious education overcomes this natural tendency, by punishing it when exhibited, and imparting wisdom and piety (see on Proverbs 13:24 and Proverbs 19:18; and comp. Proverbs 23:13; Proverbs 29:15; Ecclus. 30:1, etc). The LXX. pursue their notion of the the indulgent parents letting the child have his own way, for they render the last clause, "But the rod and discipline are far from him." 9 He who is friendly is blessed;

   Because he giveth of his bread to the poor.

The thought is the same as at Proverbs 11:25. טוב עין (thus to be written without Makkeph, with Munach of the first word, with correct Codd., also 1294 and Jaman), the contrast of רע עין, Proverbs 23:6; Proverbs 22:22, i.e., the envious, evil-eyed, ungracious (post-bibl. also צר עין), is one who looks kindly, is good-hearted, and as ἱλαρὸς δότης, shows himself benevolent. Such gentleness and kindness is called in the Mishna עין טובה (Aboth ii. 13), or עין יפה. Such a friend is blessed, for he has also himself scattered blessings (cf. גּם־הוּא, Proverbs 11:25; Proverbs 21:13); he has, as is said, looking back from the blessing that has happened to him, given of his bread (Luther, as the lxx, with partitive genitive: seines brots equals of his bread) to the poor; cf. the unfolding of this blessing of self-denying love, Isaiah 8. The lxx has also here another distich:

Νίκην καὶ τιμὴν περιποιεῖται ὁ δῶρα δοὺς,

Τὴν μέντοι ψυχὴν ἀφαιρεῖται τῶν κεκτημένων.

The first line appears a variant translation of Proverbs 19:6, and the second of Proverbs 1:19, according to which selfishness, in contrast to liberality, is the subject to be thought of. Ewald translates the second line: And he (who distributes gifts) conquers the soul of the recipients. But κεκτημένος equals בּעל (בּעלים) signifies the possessor, not the recipient of anything as a gift, who cannot also be here meant because of the μέντοι.

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