God’s Discipline And Reproof

Proverbs 3: 11

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline: Despise translates a word having nearly the same meaning as that used in 1:7 and 30. The learner is cautioned not to reject, refuse, or, as Contemporary English Version says, “turn away.” In some languages this warning may be expressed as “Don’t throw it behind you.” Discipline renders a word used in 1:2, 3, 7, and 8, where Revised Standard Version translates it as “instruction.” However, in the present verse it refers to correction, rebuke, or warning. The Lord’s discipline is the correction or rebuke that the Lord gives. We may say, accordingly, “Do not refuse it when the Lord corrects you” or in a positive way “When the Lord corrects you, accept it.” The French Common Language Version says “My son, accept the Lord as your educator.”

Or be weary of his reproof: Be weary translates a verb used, for example, in Gen 27:46, where Rebekah says to her husband “I am weary of my life because of the Hittite women.” There, as here, the sense is to hate, loathe, be disgusted with. The teacher of wisdom asks the learner not to be disgusted or to hate the reproof or punishment the Lord gives. We may translate verse 11, for example: “My child, do not resist it when the Lord corrects your ways, and do not resent it when he punishes you for the wrong you do.” In this verse the connector for introduces the reason why a person should accept or welcome the Lord’s correction.

Reyburn, W. D., & Fry, E. M. (2000). A handbook on Proverbs (pp. 77–78). New York: United Bible Societies.