Proverbs 10:1
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
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(1) The proverbs of Solomon.—The new title and different style of composition mark a new collection of proverbs. (See above, in the Introduction.) Each verse is distinct and complete in itself; but the collector appears to have endeavoured to throw together such as touched on the same subject. For instance, Proverbs 10:4-5, show why one man fails and another succeeds; Proverbs 10:6-7, how blessings and curses follow different persons. But the connection is sometimes so slight as to be difficult to catch.

Proverbs 10:1. The Proverbs of Solomon — Properly so called; for the foregoing chapters, although they had this title in the beginning of them, yet, in truth, were only a preparation to them, intended to stir up men’s minds to the greater attention to all the precepts of wisdom, whereof some here follow; see the argument prefixed to this chapter. A wise son — That is, prudent, and especially virtuous and godly, as this word commonly signifies in this book, and in many other parts of Scripture; maketh a glad father — And a glad mother too; for both parents are to be understood in both branches of the sentence, as is evident from the nature of the thing, which affects both of them, and from parallel places, as Proverbs 17:25; Proverbs 30:17, although only one be expressed in each branch for the greater elegance. A foolish son is the heaviness of his mother — The occasion of her great sorrow, which is decently ascribed to the mothers rather than to the fathers, because their passions in general are more vehement, and they are more susceptible of grief and trouble. Although I cannot affirm, says Bishop Patrick, “that there is an order observed in all these proverbs, yet this first sentence seems not to have been casually, but designedly, set in the front of the rest; because nothing contributes so much, every way, to the happiness of mankind, as a religious care about the education of children, which parents are here admonished to attend to if they desire their children should not prove a grief and shame to them: and children are put in mind of the obedience they owe to their instructions, that they may be a joy to them.”

10:1 The comfort of parents much depends on their children; and this suggests to both, motives to their duties. 2,3. Though the righteous may be poor, the Lord will not suffer him to want what is needful for spiritual life. 4. Those who are fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, are likely to be rich in faith, and rich in good works. 5. Here is just blame of those who trifle away opportunities, both for here and for hereafter. 6. Abundance of blessings shall abide on good men; real blessings.See the Introduction. CHAPTER 10

Pr 10:1-32. Here begins the second part of the book, Pr 10:1-22:16, which, with the third, Pr 22:16-25:28, contains series of proverbs whose sense is complete in one or two verses, and which, having no logical connection, admit of no analysis. The parallelisms of Pr 10:1-15:33 are mostly antithetic; and those of Pr 16:1-22:16, synthetic. The evidences of art in the structure are very clear, and indicate, probably, a purpose of facilitating the labor of memorizing.

1. wise [and] foolish—as they follow or reject the precepts of wisdom.

maketh … father—or, "gladdens a father."

heaviness—or, "grief."From this chapter to the five and twentieth, are sundry observations of moral virtues, and their contrary vices, with excellent rules for the government of our conversation.

The proverbs of Solomon, properly so called; for the foregoing chapters, though they had this title in the beginning of them, yet in truth were only a preface or preparation to them, containing a general exhortation to the study and exercise of wisdom, to stir up the minds of men to the greater attention and regard to all its precepts, whereof some here follow; of which in general these things are fit to be observed, to help us in the understanding of them:

1. That these sentences are generally distinct and independent, having no coherence one with another, as many other parts of Scripture have.

2. That such sentences being very short, as their nature requires, more is understood in them than is expressed, and the causes are commonly to be gathered from the effects, and the effects from the causes, and one opposite from another, as we shall see.

3. That they are delivered by way of comparison and opposition, which for the most part is between virtue and vice, but sometimes is between two virtues, or two vices.

A wise son, i.e. prudent, and especially virtuous and godly, as this word is commonly meant in this book, and in many other scriptures.

A glad father; and a glad mother too; for both parents are to be understood in both branches, as is evident from the nature of the thing, which affects both of them, and from parallel places, as Proverbs 17:25 30:17, although one only be expressed in each branch, for the greater elegancy.

The heaviness of his mother; the occasion of her great sorrow, which is decently ascribed to the mothers rather than to the fathers, because their passions are most vehement, and make deepest impression in them.

The proverbs of Solomon,.... This title is repeated from Proverbs 1:1; and very properly stands here; since here begin those pithy sentences of Solomon, which bear the name of proverbs; the preceding chapters being a sort of preface or introduction to them; in which Solomon recommends the study of wisdom, shows the profit and advantage of it, gives directions about it, and prepares for the reception of those wise sayings that follow; which are for the most part independent of each other, and consist generally of clauses set in a contrast to one another, and often expressed by similes and metaphors;

a wise son maketh a glad father; as Solomon made glad his father David: for no doubt there were appearances of his wisdom before he came to the throne, though greater afterwards; which made David rejoice that he was placed on the throne before his death, to whom he had committed the charge of building the house of the Lord;

but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother; brings grief and trouble to her, as perhaps Rehoboam did to his mother: though all this is to be understood conjunctly of both parents, and not separately of each; not as if a wise son only was matter of joy to his father, who may be thought to be a better judge of his wisdom, and more abroad to hear the fame of it, and to observe the effects of it; or as if a foolish son only caused grief to his mother, because more at home, and more privy to his foolish behaviour; but as being equally joyous or afflicting to both parents. Nor is this to be understood of such who are wise and foolish as to their natural capacities only; but who are so in a moral sense, either virtuous or vicious, good or wicked. Wherefore parents should be concerned for the education of their children, whose behaviour much depends upon it; and children for their conduct towards their parents and in the world, since their joy and grief are influenced by it. Some interpret the words mystically, the "father", of God; the "mother", of the church; and, the "sons", of the children of them both: and so may fitly describe the different followers of Christ and antichrist; the one being wise, the other foolish; the one acceptable to God, the other not.

The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
1. heaviness] or sorrow, as the same somewhat uncommon word is rendered in Proverbs 17:21.

It is perhaps significant that the first proverb deals with so fundamental a relation of human society.

Verse 1-ch. 22:16. - Part III. FIRST GREAT COLLECTION (375) OF SOLOMONIC PROVERBS. Verse 1-ch. 12:28. - First section. The sections are noted by their commencing usually with the words, "a wise son." Verse 1. - The proverbs of Solomon. This is the title of the new part of the book; it is omitted in the Septuagint. There is some kind of loose connection in the grouping of these proverbs, but it is difficult to follow. "Ordo frustra quaeritur ubi nullus fuit observatus," says Mart. Geier. Wordsworth considers the present chapter to contain exemplifications of the principles and results of the two ways of life displayed in the preceding nine chapters. The antithetical character of the sentences is most marked and well sustained. As the book is specially designed for the edification of youth, it begins with an appropriate saying. A wise son maketh a glad father. As wisdom comprises all moral excellence, and folly is vice and perversity, the opposite characters attributed to the son are obvious. The mother is introduced for the sake of parallelism; though some commentators suggest that as the father would be naturally elated by his son's virtues, which would conduce to honour and high estate, so the mother would be grieved at vices which her training had not subdued, and her indulgence had fostered. If this seems somewhat far-fetched, we may consider that the father in the maxim includes the mother, and the mother the father, the two being separated for the purpose of contrast (see on Proverbs 26:3). The word for heaviness occurs in Proverbs 14:13 and Proverbs 17:21. Proverbs 10:1In the introduction, chap. 1-9, there are larger sections of interconnected thoughts having one common aim. Even in Proverbs 6:1-19 there are manifestly three proverbial discourses distinguished from one another, shorter indeed, yet containing one fundamental thought. Such proverbs as are primarily designed to form one completed little whole of themselves, are not here to be met with. On the contrary, the Solomonic collection which now follows consists of pure distichs, for the most part antithetical, but at the same time going over all the forms of the technical proverb, as we have already shown; vid., p. 16. Accordingly the exposition must from this point onward renounce reproduced combinations of thought. The succession of proverbs here is nevertheless not one that is purely accidental or without thought; it is more than a happy accident when three of the same character stand together; the collector has connected together proverb with proverb according to certain common characteristics (Bertheau). And yet more than that: the mass separates itself into groups, not merely succeeding one another, but because a certain connection of ideas connects together a number of proverbs, in such a way that the succession is broken, and a new point of departure is arrived at (Hitzig). There is no comprehensive plan, such as Oetinger in his summary view of its contents supposes; the progressive unfolding follows no systematic scheme, but continuously wells forth. But that the editor, whom we take also to be the arranger of the contents of the book, did not throw them together by good chance, but in placing them together was guided by certain reasons, the very first proverb here shows, for it is chosen in conformity with the design of this book, which is specially dedicated to youth:

1 A wise son maketh glad his father;

   A foolish son is his mother's grief.

One sees here quite distinctly (cf. Hosea 13:13) that חכם (from חכם, properly to be thick, stout, solid, as πυκνός equals σοφός) is primarily a practical and ethical conception. Similar proverbs are found further on, but consisting of synonymous parallel members, in which either the father both times represents the parents, as Proverbs 17:21; Proverbs 23:24, or father and mother are separated, each being named in different members, as Proverbs 17:25; Proverbs 23:25, and particularly Proverbs 15:20, where 20a equals 1a of the above proverb. It is incorrect to say, with Hitzig, that this contrast draws the division after it: the division lies nearer in the synonymous distichs, and is there less liable to be misunderstood than in the antithetic. Thus, from this proverb before us, it might be concluded that grief on account of a befooled son going astray in bypaths, and not coming to the right way, falls principally on the mother, as (Sir. 3:9) is often the case in unfortunate marriages. The idea of the parents is in this way only separated, and the two members stand in suppletive interchangeable relationship. ישׂמּח is the middle of the clause, and is the usual form in connection; ישׂמּח is the pausal form. תּוּגה, from הוגה (יגה), has pass. , as תּורה, act. . "The expression of the pred. 1b is like Proverbs 3:17; Proverbs 8:6; Proverbs 10:14.; cf. e.g., Arab. âlastaḳṣa furkat, oversharpening is dividing, i.e., effects it inquiries become or lead to separation (cf. our proverb, Allzuscharf macht scharig equals too much sharpening makes full of notches); Burckhardt, Sprchw. Nr. 337" (Fl.).

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