15. The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16. When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17. Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
18, Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
19. By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.
20. Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21. Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir.
22. A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
23. One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honour.
24. The partner of a thief hates his own life;
he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25. The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
26. Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.
27. An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.
Comment: There are still 2 more chapters in the book of Proverbs but listed as if by different authors. So who does Solomon concentrate on at the end?
- Discipline of children and slaves (servants). He claims lack of discipline leads to shame, but being well disciplined gives delight! He says that words, even if understood, are unlikely to change a servant’s attitude. Obviously child servants could become very dear to their masters and were likely to be their heirs. In another translation it seems as if he might be adopted as a son. I’m not certain what Solomon means by pampered because it sounds as if that treatment is at least to some extent unwise. I choose to think he means treats already as his child, but you may feel differently.
- He mentions again restraint in wrath and speaking without thinking it through; also against pride and associating with evil people.
- But in a number of ways he underlines the principle of fearing God, listening to prophetic vision, obeying the law, and trusting God for justice and safety.
There is more in these proverbs, but if we can learn well these three important issues we will be well on the way to a good life, that is, good as God sees goodness.
Prayer: Thank you for teaching us in the Bible, Your word to us, basic principles of living aright.