Proverbs 29:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) A child left to himself.—Allowed to wander unchecked as the wild ass (Job 39:5).

Bringeth his mother to shame.—Whose foolish indulgence has ruined him.

Proverbs 29:15. The rod and reproof give wisdom — Correction and instruction going together; but a child left to himself — Suffered to follow his own will without restraint and chastening; bringeth his mother to shame — And father too, but he names only the mother, either because her indulgence often spoils the child, or because children commonly stand least in awe of their mothers, and abuse the weakness of their sex, and tenderness of their nature.29:11. He is a fool who tells every thing he knows, and can keep no counsel. 12. One who loves flatterers, and hearkens to slanderers, causes his servants to become liars and false accusers. 13. Some are poor, others have a great deal of deceitful riches. They meet in the business of this world; the Lord gives to both the comforts of this life. To some of both sorts he gives his grace. 14. The rich will look to themselves, but the poor and needy the prince must defend and plead for. 15. Parents must consider the benefit of due correction, and the mischief of undue indulgence. 16. Let not the righteous have their faith and hope shocked by the increase of sin and sinners, but let them wait with patience. 17. Children must not be suffered to go without rebuke when they do amiss. 18. How bare does a place look without Bibles and ministers! and what an easy prey is it to the enemy of souls! That gospel is an open vision, which holds forth Christ, which humbles the sinner and exalts the Saviour, which promotes holiness in the life and conversation: and these are precious truths to keep the soul alive, and prevent it from perishing.Left to himself - The condition of one who has been pampered and indulged. The mother who yields weakly is as guilty of abandoning the child she spoils, as if she cast him forth; and for her evil neglect, there shall fall upon her the righteous punishment of shame and ignominy. 15. (Compare Pr 13:24; 23:13). The rod and reproof; correction and instruction going together.

Left to himself; suffered to follow his own will or lusts without restraint and chastening. His mother, and father too; but he names only the mother, either because her indulgence oft spoils the child, or because children commonly stand in least awe of their mothers, and abuse the weakness of their sex, and tenderness of their natures. The rod and reproof give wisdom,.... Are the means of giving wisdom to a child, reproved by its parent with the rod; and of driving out foolishness from him, and of making him wiser for the time to come; he shunning those evils for which he was before corrected, Proverbs 22:15; So the children of God grow wiser by the corrections and chastisements of their heavenly Father, which are always for their good; and he is a man of wisdom that hearkens to the rod, and to him that has appointed it, and learns the proper instructions from it, Micah 6:9;

but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame; a child that has the reins thrown upon his neck, is under no restraint of parents, but suffered to take his own way, is left to do his own will and pleasure; he does those things which his parents are ashamed of, one as well as another; though the mother is only mentioned, being generally most fond and indulgent, and most criminal in suffering children to have their own wills and ways; and so has the greater share in the shame that follows on such indulgences.

The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. left to himself] Comp. 1 Kings 1:6.Verse 15. - The rod and reproof give wisdom to the young. The former denotes bodily correction, what we call corporal punishment; the latter, discipline in words, rebuke administered when any moral fault is noticed. The idea here enunciated is very common in this book (see Proverbs 10:1, 13; Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 23:13). But a child loft to himself bringeth his mother to shame. The verb translated "left" (שָׁלַח, shalach) is used in Job 39:5 of the wild ass left to wander free where it wills. A child allowed to do as he likes, undisciplined - spoiled, as we call it - is a shame to his mother, whose weakness has led to this want of restraint, fond love degenerating into over-indulgence (comp. Proverbs 17:21; Proverbs 28:7). Septuagint, "A son that goeth astray shameth his parents." 9 If a wise man has to contend with a fool,

   He the fool rageth and laugheth, and hath no rest.

Among the old translators, Jerome and Luther take the "wise man" as subject even of the second line, and that in all its three members: vir sapiens si cum stulto contenderit, sive irascatur sive reideat, non inveniet requiem. Thus Schultens, C. B. Michaelis, Umbreit, Ewald, Elster, and also Fleischer: "The doubled Vav is correlative, as at Exodus 21:16; Leviticus 5:3, and expresses the perfect sameness in respect of the effect, here of the want of effect. If the wise man, when he disputes with a fool, becomes angry, or jests, he will have no rest, i.e., he will never bring it to pass that the fool shall cease to reply; he yields the right to him, and thus makes it possible for him to end the strife." But the angry passion, and the bursts of laughter alternating therewith, are not appropriate to the wise man affirming his right; and since, after Ecclesiastes 9:17, the words of the wise are heard בּנחח, the ואין נחת [and there is no rest] will cause us to think of the fool as the logical subject. So far correctly, but in other respects inappropriately, the lxx ἀνὴρ σοφὸς κρινεῖ ἔθνη (after the expression עם, i.e., עם, instead of את), ἀνὴρ δὲ φαῦλος (which אישׁ אויל does not mean) ὀργιζόμενος καταγελᾶται καὶ οὐ καταπτήσσει (as if the words were ולא יחת).

(Note: According to this the Targum ולא מתתּבר (he remains obstinate), according to which the ולא מתתפיר (he does not lose his wits) of the Peshito is perhaps to be corrected. The distribution of the subjects is obscure.)

The syntactical relation would be simpler if נשׁפּט in 9a were vocalized as a hypothetical perfect. But we read for it the past נשׁפּט. Ewald designates 9a as a conditional clause, and Hitzig remarks that the Lat. viro sapiente disceptante cum stulto corresponds therewith. It marks, like 1 Samuel 2:13; Job 1:16, the situation from which there is a departure then with perf. consec.: if a wise man in the right is in contact with a fool, he starts up, and laughs, and keeps not quiet (supply לּו as at Proverbs 28:27), or (without לו): there is no keeping quiet, there is no rest. The figure is in accordance with experience. If a wise man has any controversy with a fool, which is to be decided by reasonable and moral arguments, then he becomes boisterous and laughs, and shows himself incapable of quietly listening to his opponent, and of appreciating his arguments.

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