Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge.
Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge.
If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson; if you reprove the wise, they will be all the wiser.
Punish the insolent--make an example of them. Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson.
When blows overtake the man of pride, the simple will get sense; say sharp words to the wise, and knowledge will be made clear to him.
Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove the intelligent, and they will gain knowledge.
Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The Hiphil imperfect תַּכֶּה (takeh) is followed by another imperfect. It could be rendered: “strike a scorner [imperfect of instruction] and a simpleton will become prudent.” But the first of the parallel verbs can also be subordinated to the second as a temporal or conditional clause. Some English versions translate “beat” (NAB “if you beat an arrogant man”), but this could be understood to refer to competition rather than physical punishment. Therefore “flog” has been used in the translation, since it is normally associated with punishment or discipline.
2 sn Different people learn differently. There are three types of people in this proverb: the scorner with a closed mind, the simpleton with an empty mind, and the discerning person with an open mind (D. Kidner, Proverbs [TOTC], 135). The simpleton learns by observing a scoffer being punished, even though the punishment will have no effect on the scoffer.
3 sn The word is related to “shrewdness” (cf. 1:4). The simpleton will learn at least where the traps are and how to avoid them.
4 tn The second half begins with הוֹכִיחַ (hokhiakh), the Hiphil infinitive construct. This parallels the imperfect tense beginning the first half; it forms a temporal or conditional clause as well, so that the main verb is “he will understand.”
sn The discerning person will learn from verbal rebukes. The contrast is caught in a wordplay in the Midrash: “For the wise a hint [r’mizo], for the fool a fist [kurmezo]” (Mishle 22:6).