For Your Parents’ Sake – Seek to Be a Wise Son/Daughter

Notes on Proverbs 10:1

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Pronunciation notes:
1) The first shewa is not pronounced because it is preceded by a short vowel (hireq). Therefore, read mišlê = mish-lay.
2) The shewa in Solomon is pronounced because it is at the beginning of the word. The shewa at the beginning of a word is always pronounced. Read šülömò.
3) Note that the kaph (כ) of חָכָם is pronounced just like a chet (ח). This is the way a kaph without daggesh (lene or qal) is pronounced.
4) The bet in the following Hebrew words is pronounced v: אבְֹ and וּבֵן . This is how a bet is pronounced when it does not have a daggesh (lene or forte).
Grammar and textual notes:
1. The first word in מִ שְֹ לֵיְֹ ש לֹ מה is in construct form. It has a typical masculine plural ending (יֵֵ ) that should be memorized. The word in absolute state is מָשָל (proverb).
2. His is gapped in verset A.
3. A foolish son is literally “a son, a fool.” Note that son in construct is usually בֶּּן .
4. The lone verb in this passage is a Piel. This can be easily identified for two reasons. The verbal root has a daggesh forte (chazaq) in its second consonant (מּ), and there is a shewa under the prefixed yodh. While a strong verb has a tsere under the second consonant in the Piel (יְפַקֵּד ), gutturals prefer patachs. Hence the patach before cheth ( ישְַֹֹ מְַֹֹּח ).
Translation: The proverbs of Solomon.
(A) A wise son gladdens [his] father, (B) but a foolish son [is] a grief to his mother.

COMMENTS: The law motivates sons to honor their parents by divine authority (Exod. 20:12; Deut. 5:16). This proverb and others motivate them by tender family affections (cf. 15:20; 17:21, 25; 19:26; 23:15-16, 24-25; 27:11; 28:7; 29:3). [Waltke]
The child who has been prayed over, instructed, and disciplined will in the Lord’s time choose the path of wisdom and so bring joy to his father. Many mothers suffered grief because of their foolish son(s). In such cases, has not indulgence instead of restraint, pleasure instead of goodness, the world instead of the Bible educated the child? [adapted from Bridges]
KEY WORDS: Piel, construct, gutturals.

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