Spare the Rod Spoil the Child: What Does Proverbs 13:24 Mean?


Proverbs 13:24, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” King James Version (KJV)

TranslationProverbs 13:24
ESVWhoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
NASBHe who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
NIVWhoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
NLTThose who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Spare the Rod Spoil the Child: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

13:14. The rule by which the wise regulate their conduct, is a fountain yielding life and happiness. 15. The way of sinners is hard upon others, and hard to the sinner himself. The service of sin is slavery; the road to hell is strewed with the thorns and thistles that followed the curse.

16. It is folly to talk of things of which we know nothing, and to undertake what we are no way fit for. 17. Those that are wicked, and false to Christ and to the souls of men, do mischief, and fall into mischief; but those that are faithful, find sound words healing to others and to themselves.

18. He that scorns to be taught, will certainly be brought down. 19. There are in man strong desires after happiness; but never let those expect any thing truly sweet to their souls, who will not be persuaded to leave their sins.

20. Multitudes are brought to ruin by bad company. And all that make themselves wicked will be destroyed. 21. When God pursues sinners he is sure to overtake them; and he will reward the righteous.

22. The servant of God who is not anxious about riches, takes the best method of providing for his children. 23. The poor, yet industrious, thrive, though in a homely manner, while those who have great riches are often brought to poverty for want of judgment.

24. He acts as if he hated his child, who, by false indulgence, permits sinful habits to gather strength, which will bring sorrow here, and misery hereafter.

25. It is the misery of the wicked, that even their sensual appetites are always craving. The righteous feeds on the word and ordinances, to the satisfying of his soul with the promises of the gospel, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Bread of life.

Proverbs 13:24 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

24. spareth—or, “withholds.”

rod—of correction.

hateth—or, acts as if he hated him (compare Pr 3:12; 8:36).

chasteneth … betimes—or, “diligently seeks for him all useful discipline.”

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