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Proverbs 10:1

Context
The First Collection of Solomonic Proverbs 1 

10:1 The Proverbs of Solomon:

A wise child 2  makes a father rejoice, 3 

but a foolish child 4  is a grief to his mother. 5 

Proverbs 15:20

Context

15:20 A wise child 6  brings joy to his father,

but a foolish person 7  despises 8  his mother.

1 sn Beginning with ch. 10 there is a difference in the form of the material contained in the book of Proverbs. No longer are there long admonitions, but the actual proverbs, short aphorisms dealing with right or wrong choices. Other than a few similar themes grouped together here and there, there is no arrangement to the material as a whole. It is a long collection of approximately 400 proverbs.

2 tn Heb “son.”

3 tn The imperfect tense describes progressive or habitual action, translated here with an English present tense. These fit the nature of proverbs which are general maxims, and not necessarily absolutes or universal truths. One may normally expect to find what the proverb notes, and one should live according to its instructions in the light of those expectations; but one should not be surprised if from time to time there is an exception. The fact that there may be an exception does not diminish the need to live by the sayings.

4 tn Heb “son.”

5 tn Heb “grief of his mother.” The noun “grief” is in construct, and “mother” is an objective genitive. The saying declares that the consequences of wisdom or folly affects the parents.

6 tn Heb “son.”

7 tn Heb “a fool of a man,” a genitive of specification.

8 sn The proverb is almost the same as 10:1, except that “despises” replaces “grief.” This adds the idea of the callousness of the one who inflicts grief on his mother (D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 116).



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