Proverbs 3:12
For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
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3:7-12 There is not a greater enemy to the fear of the Lord in the heart, than self-conceit of our own wisdom. The prudence and sobriety which religion teaches, tend not only to the health of the soul, but to the health of the body. Worldly wealth is but poor substance, yet, such as it is, we must honour God with it; and those that do good with what they have, shall have more to do more good with. Should the Lord visit us with trials and sickness, let us not forget that the exhortation speaks to us as to children, for our good. We must not faint under an affliction, be it ever so heavy and long, not be driven to despair, or use wrong means for relief. The father corrects the son whom he loves, because he loves him, and desires that he may be wise and good. Afflictions are so far from doing God's children any hurt, that, by the grace of God, they promote their holiness.The first distinct utterance of a truth which has been so full of comfort to many thousands; it is the summing up of all controversies (compare John 9:2) as to the mystery of suffering. The apostle writing to the Hebrews can find no stronger comfort Hebrews 12:6 than this; the Church, in her visitation service, has no truer message for the sufferer. 12. he delighteth—or receiveth as denoting reconciliation regarding the offense which produced chastisement. Afflictions are not infelicities, but benefits and comforts, because their are testimonies of God’s love, which is infinitely more desirable than any evil can be terrible. They show God’s purpose, and desire, and care to purge us from our sins, and to make us fit for his presence and kingdom. This and the former verse seem to be here inserted in the midst of his commendations of wisdom, to remove an objection against the excellency and happiness of wise or pious men, taken from those many calamities to which such persons are frequently exposed, the reason of which providence he here giveth.

For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth,.... This is a reason why the children of God should not despise corrections, nor be weary of them; since they spring from love, are given in love, nor is there any abatement of it in them: when the Lord chastens and corrects, he does not take away his lovingkindness from them; yea, it is because he loves them that therefore he thus deals with them; wherefore they ought to be patiently bore, and kindly taken by them;

even as a father the son in whom he delighteth; as a father chastens and corrects his son, whom he dearly loves, and has the greatest pleasure in, so the Lord chastens and corrects his people; see Deuteronomy 8:5. There is such a relation subsisting between them as that of father and son, which flows from the inexpressible love of God to them; and which is a love of complacency and delight in them, and is invariable and unchangeable, and continues the same under all their afflictions; as appears by what he does for them in them, and by the issue of them; he knows their souls in adversity, and chooses them in the furnace of affliction; he pays love visits to them, and comforts them under all their tribulation; he sympathizes with them, and supports them; he makes their bed in their affliction, and delivers out of it, or takes them to himself: the issue is always his own glory, and their good.

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
12. even as a father &c.] The LXX. (reading the same Heb. consonants with different vowels) renders this clause, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, which is followed in Hebrews 12:6.

The R.V., guided perhaps by the direct address, “My son,” Proverbs 3:11, begins the fresh paragraph there. The thought will then be: Wisdom has been commended to you by the happiness it brings (Proverbs 3:1-10); but if you have to suffer in the pursuit of it, be not discouraged (Proverbs 3:11-12); for it is worth the cost (Proverbs 3:13-20). The argument is in reality continuous, however the paragraphs are arranged.

Verse 12. - In this verse the motive for submissiveness to Jehovah's corrections is brought forward. They are corrections, but they are the corrections of love. One of the most touching relationships of life, and that with which we are most familiar, viz. that of father and son, is employed to reconcile us to Jehovah's afflictive dispensations. A comparison is drawn. God corrects those whom he loves after the same manner as a father corrects ("correcteth" has to be understood from the first hemistich) the son whom he loves. The idea of the passage is evidently taken from Deuteronomy 8:5, "Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee." The idea of the paternal relationship of God to mankind is found elsewhere (Jeremiah 31:9; Malachi 2:10), and especially finds expression in the Lord's prayer. When the truth of this passage is learned, we shall be drawn to, rather than repelled from, God by his corrections. The gracious end of earthly trials is expressed in Hebrews 12:6, 2; cf. Romans 5:3-5; 2 Corinthians 4:17 (Wardlaw). "These gracious words (Hebrews 12.) are written in Holy Scripture for our comfort and instruction; that we should patiently and with thanksgiving bear our heavenly Father's correction, whensoever by any manner of adversity it shall please his gracious goodness to visit us" (see Visitation Office). Even as a father the son in whom he delighteth (vuk'av eth-ben yir'tseh); literally, even as a father the son be delighteth in. Various renderings have been given to this passage.

(1) Delitzsch, De Wette, et al., agree with the Authorized Version, and take ו vav, as explicative, and yir'tseh, "in whom he delighteth," as a relative sentence. The ו is used in this explanatory sense in 1 Samuel 28:3 (see Gesenius, § 155, 1 a). The relative usher, "whom," is omitted in the original, according to the rule that the relative is omitted, especially in poetry, where it would stand as a pronoun in the nominative or accusative case (comp. Psalm 7:16, "And he falls into the pit (which) he made;" and Proverbs 5:13). We have the same elision of the relative in the English colloquial expression, "the friend I met" (see Gesenius, § 123:3, a).

(2) Hitzig and Zockler translate, "and holds him dear as a father his son." This, though grammatically correct, does not preserve the parallelism. It serves only to expand the idea of love, whereas the predominant idea of the verse is that of correction, to which love is an accessory idea (see Delitzsch). For similar parallels, see Deuteronomy 8:5 as before, and Psalm 103:13. In the comparison which is instituted, yir'tseh, "in whom he delighteth," corresponds with eth asher ye'hav y'hovah, "whom the Lord loveth," and not with yokiah, "correcteth."

(3) Kamph translates, "and (dealeth) as a father (who) wisheth well to his son." This is substantially the same as the Authorized Version, except that in the relative sentence "son" is made accusative after yir'tseh, here translated, "wisheth well to," and the emitted relative (asher) is placed in the nominative instead of the accusative case.

(4) The variation in the LXX., μαστιγοῖ δὲ πάντα ὑίον ο{ν παραδέχεται, "and scourgeth every son whom he rcceiveth," cited literally in Hebrews 12:5, evidently arises from the translators having read יַכְאֵב, (yakev), "he scourgeth" for וּכֵאָב (vuk'av), "even as a father." It will be seen that this alteration could be easily effected by a change in the Masoretic pointing.

(5) The Vulgate renders, et quasi pater in filio complacet sibi. He delighteth; yir'tseh is from ratsah, "to be delighted" with any person or thing. Proverbs 3:12The contrast here follows. As God should not be forgotten in days of prosperity, so one should not suffer himself to be estranged from Him by days of adversity.

11 The school of Jahve, my son, despise thou not,

     Nor loathe thou His correction;

12 For Jahve correcteth him whom He loveth,

     And that as a father his son whom he loveth

Vid., the original passage Job 5:17. There is not for the Book of Job a more suitable motto than this tetrastich, which expresses its fundamental thought, that there is a being chastened and tried by suffering which has as its motive the love of God, and which does not exclude sonship.

(Note: Here Procop. rightly distinguishes between παιδεία and τιμωρία.)

One may say that Proverbs 3:11 expresses the problem of the Book of Job, and Proverbs 3:12 its solution. מוּסר, παιδεία, we have translated "school," for יסּר, παιδεύειν, means in reality to take one into school. Ahndung [punishment] or Rge [reproof] is the German word which most corresponds to the Hebr. תּוכחה or תּוכחת. קוּץ ב (whence here the prohibitive תּקץ with אל) means to experience loathing (disgust) at anything, or aversion (vexation) toward anything. The lxx (cited Hebrews 12:5.), μηδὲ ἐκλύου, nor be faint-hearted, which joins in to the general thought, that we should not be frightened away from God, or let ourselves be estranged from Him by the attitude of anger in which He appears in His determination to inflict suffering. In 12a the accentuation leaves it undefined whether יהוה as subject belongs to the relative or to the principal clause; the traditional succession of accents, certified also by Ben Bileam, is כי את אשׁר יאהב יהוה, for this passage belongs to the few in which more than three servants (viz., Mahpach, Mercha, and three Munachs) go before the Athnach.

(Note: Vid., Torath Emeth, p. 19; Accentuationssystem, vi. 6; the differences between Ben-Asher and Ben-Naphtali in the Appendixes to Biblia Rabbinica; Dachselt's Biblia Accentuata, and Pinner's Prospectus, p. 91 (Odessa, 1845).)

The further peculiarity is here to be observed, that את, although without the Makkeph, retains its Segol, besides here only in Psalm 47:5; Psalm 60:2. 12b is to be interpreted thus (cf. Proverbs 9:5): "and (that) as a father the son, whom he loves." The ו is explanatory, as 1 Samuel 28:3 (Gesenius, 155, 1a), and ירצה (which one may supplement by אתו or בּו) is a defining clause having the force of a clause with אשׁר. The translation et ut pater qui filio bene cupit, is syntactically (cf. Isaiah 40:11) and accentually (vid., 13b) not less admissible, but translating "and as a father he holds his son dear," or with Hitzig (after Jeremiah 31:10, a passage not quite syntactically the same), "and holds him dear, as a father his son" (which Zckler without syntactical authority prefers on account of the 2nd modus, cf. e.g., Psalm 51:18), does not seem a right parallel clause, since the giving of correction is the chief point, and the love only the accompanying consideration (Proverbs 13:24). According to our interpretation, יוכיח is to be carried forward in the mind from 12a. The lxx find the parallel word in יכאב, for they translate μαστιγοῖ δὲ πάντα υἱὸν, ὃν παραδέχεται, and thus have read יכאב or ויכאב.

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