Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Children’s children are the crown of old men.—Comp. Psalms 127, 128.Proverbs 17:6. Children’s children are the crown of old men — It is an honour to parents, when they are old, to leave children, and children’s children growing up, that tread in the steps of their virtues, and are likely to maintain and advance the reputation of their families, and to serve their generation according to the will of God; and the glory of children are their fathers — Namely, fathers that are wise and godly. To have such parents is an honour to children, and to have them continued to them even after they are themselves grown up, and settled in the world. Those are unnatural children indeed who reckon their aged parents a burden to them, and think they live too long; whereas, if children be wise and good, it is their greatest honour, that thereby they are comforts to their parents in the unpleasant days of their old age.The crown of old men; their honour and happiness, because they are in themselves blessings of God, and testimonies of God’s favour, although sometimes they may become the shame of their father’s house.
Their fathers; namely, such fathers as are wise and godly, as is evident from the nature of the thing, for wicked parents bring infamy upon their children. 1 Thessalonians 2:19;
and the glory of children are their fathers; who are wise, as Aben Ezra observes; and righteous, as Jarchi: if they are wise and good men, it is an honour to their children that they descend from them; nor are they ashamed to own their relation to them, but glory in it, as the Jews did in Abraham, saying, "We have Abraham for our father", Matthew 3:9, Luke 3:8, but, on the contrary, if their fathers are foolish or wicked, their children are ashamed of them, and do not care to acknowledge their descent from them; and such parents, who are an honour to their children, their children should be careful to tread in their steps, that they reflect no dishonour on them; particularly as it is our great honour and glory to have God for our father, to be his adopted sons and daughters, we should be followers of him as dear children, and be obedient ones.Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. “A beautiful family picture of linked and mutually blessed “generations.” Horton.Verse 6. - Children's children are the crown of old men (comp. Psalm 127; Psalm 128). (For the term "crown," comp. Proverbs 16:18.) Thus St. Paul calls his converts his "joy and crown" (Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19) In the East a large number of children is considered a great blessing, being a guarantee of the stability of the family. Thus writes Euripides ('Iph. Taur.,' 57) -
Στύλοι γὰρ οἴκων παῖδες εἰσιν ἄρσενες
"Male children are the pillars of the house." The glory of children are their fathers. A long line of good or celebrated ancestors is the glory of their descendants, and brings a blessing on them (see 1 Kings 11:13; 1 Kings 15:4). Hereditary nobility, based on descent from some eminent progenitor, may be a source of not unseemly pride, and a spur to a life worthy of such excellent ancestry.
But all its decision cometh from Jahve.
The Tra knows only in one instance an ordeal (a judgment of God) as a right means of proof, Numbers 5:12-31. The lot is nowhere ordained by it, but its use is supported by a custom running parallel with the Mosaic law; it was used not only in private life, but also in manifold ways within the domain of public justice, as well as for the detection of the guilty, Joshua 7:14., 1 Samuel 14:40-42. So that the proverb PRomans 18:18 says the same thing of the lot that is said in the Epistle to the Heb; Hebrews 6:16, of the oath. The above proverb also explains the lot for an ordeal, for it is God who directs and orders it that it fall out thus and not otherwise. A particular sanction of the use of the lot does not lie in this, but it is only said, that where the lot is cast, all the decision that results from it is determined by God. That is in all cases true; but whether the challenging of the divine decision in such a way be right in this or that case is a question, and in no case would one, on the contrary, venture to make the person of the transgressor discoverable by lot, and let it decide regarding human life. But antiquity judged this matter differently, as e.g., the Book of Jonah (chap. 1) shows; it was a practice, animated by faith, in God's government of the world, which, if it did not observe the boundary between faith and superstition, yet stood high above the unbelief of the "Enlightenment." Like the Greek κόλπος, חיק (from חוּק, Arab. ḥaḳ, khaḳ, to encompass, to stretch out) means, as it is commonly taken, gremium as well as sinus, but the latter meaning is the more sure; and thus also here it is not the lap as the middle of the body, so that one ought to think on him who casts the lot as seated, but also not the lap of the garment, but, like Proverbs 6:27, cf. Isaiah 40:11, the swelling, loose, external part of the clothing covering the bosom (the breast), where the lot covered by it is thrown by means of shaking and changing, and whence it is drawn out. The construction of the passive הוּטל (from טוּל equals Arab. tall, to throw along) with the object. accus. follows the old scheme, Genesis 4:18, and has its reason in this, that the Semitic passive, formed by the change of vowels, has not wholly given up the governing force of the active. משׁפּט signifies here decision as by the Urim and Thummim, Numbers 27:21, but which was no lot-apparatus.
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