Proverbs 29:19
A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) A servant will not be corrected with words.—A slave must be corrected by sterner means; it is only fear of punishment which will move him; “for though he understand, he will not answer,” will not reply to your call, or render obedience to your command. The willing obedience of a son, and the grudging obedience of a slave, are contrasted in Romans 8:15.

Proverbs 29:19. A servant, &c. — “A slave, and he who is of a servile nature, is not to be amended by reason or persuasion: no, nor by reproofs or threats; for though he hear, and understand too, what you say, yet he will not obey, till he be forced into it by punishment of his disobedience.” The LXX. read, οικετης σκληρος, a stubborn, or obstinate servant will not, &c.29:19. Here is an unprofitable, slothful, wicked servant; one that serves not from conscience, or love, but from fear. 20. When a man is self-conceited, rash, and given to wrangling, there is more hope of the ignorant and profligate. 21. Good usage to a servant does not mean indulgence, which would ruin even a child. The body is a servant to the soul; those that humour it, and are over-tender of it, will find it forget its place. 22. An angry, passionate disposition makes men provoking to one another, and provoking to God. 23. Only those who humble themselves shall be exalted and established. 24. The receiver is as bad as the thief. 25. Many are ashamed to own Christ now; and he will not own them in the day of judgment. But he that trusts in the Lord will be saved from this snare.Servant - i. e., A slave, whose obedience is reluctant. He may "understand" the words, but they produce no good effect. There is still lacking the true "answer" of obedience. 19. A servant—who lacks good principle.

corrected—or discovered.

will not answer—that is, will not obey.

A servant, who is so not only ill condition, but also in the temper of his mind, disingenuous, perverse, and stubborn,

will not be corrected by words; by mere words without blows. Compare Proverbs 19:29.

Though he understand, though he know thy mind and words, and his own duty,

he will not answer; either by words, expressing his readiness; or by deeds, speedily and cheerfully performing thy commands; but will neglect his duty, pretending that he did not hear or understand thee. A servant will not be corrected by words,.... Not by them only, especially one that is of a servile, surly, and untractable disposition; otherwise a good servant, and well disposed to his master, and willing to serve him, and promote his interest, a word is sufficient for such an one; when he is bid to go, he goes; or to come, he comes, Matthew 8:9; or if he has done wrong, and his fault is told him, he will amend another time; whereas a rough ill natured servant will not regard words, but must have blows to correct him;

for though he understand; what his master says, and what is his will, and knows he has done wrong, and ought to do otherwise, which is an aggravation of sin:

he will not answer; own his fault and promise to do better for the future; through the surliness of his nature, and contempt of his master, whom he does not think worthy of an answer: so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "he despises to answer"; thus Job was used by his servants, Job 19:16; There is an answering which is forbidden servants, Titus 2:9; but this what becomes them, and is expressive of their respect and reverence to their masters, and their ready, hearty, and cheerful obedience to them; and which especially should be in Christian servants to Christian masters, 1 Timothy 6:1.

A {e} servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understandeth he will not answer.

(e) He who is of a servile and rebellious nature.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. words] He needs sterner measures.

answer] i.e. respond in work and action: give heed, R.V.; οὐχ ὑπακούσεται, LXX. The Vulg. appears to understand it, as do some commentators, literally—he will not even deign to answer you—quia quod dicis intelligit, et respondere contemnit.Verse 19. - A servant will not be corrected by words. Mere words will not suffice to teach a slave, any more than a child, true, practical wisdom. He needs severer measures, even the correction of personal discipline. Septuagint, "By words a stubborn (σκληρὸς) slave will not be instructed." The next clause gives an explanation of this necessity. For though he understand he will not answer. The answer is not merely the verbal response to a command, as, "I go, sir;" but it implies obedience in action. The reluctant slave thoroughly understands the order given, but he pays no heed to it, will not trouble himself to execute it, and therefore must meet with stern treatment (comp. ver. 15; Proverbs 23:13, etc.; Proverbs 26:3). "That servant which knew his Lord's will, and made not ready, nor did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes" (Luke 12:47). Septuagint, "For even if he understand, he will not obey." 13 The poor man and the usurer meet together -

     Jahve lighteneth the eyes of both.

A variation of Proverbs 22:2, according to which the proverb is to be understood in both of its parts. That אישׁ תּככים is the contrast of רשׁ, is rightly supposed in Temura 16b; but Rashi, who brings out here a man of moderate learning, and Saadia, a man of a moderate condition (thus also the Targ. גּברא מצעיא, after Buxtorf, homo mediocris fortunae), err by connecting the word with תּוך. The lxx δανειστοῦ καὶ χρεωφειλέτου (ἀλλήλοις συνελθόντων), which would be more correct inverted, for אישׁ תככים is a man who makes oppressive taxes, high previous payments of interest; the verbal stem תּכך, Arab. tak, is a secondary to R. wak, which has the meanings of pressing together, and pressing firm (whence also the middle is named; cf. Arab. samym âlaklab, the solid equals the middle point of the heart). תּך, with the plur. תככים, scarcely in itself denotes interest, τόκος; the designation אישׁ תככים includes in it a sensible reproach (Syr. afflictor), and a rentier cannot be so called (Hitzig). Luther: Reiche [rich men], with the marginal note: "who can practise usury as they then generally all do?" Therefore Lwenstein understands the second line after 1 Samuel 2:7 : God enlighteneth their eyes by raising the lowly and humbling the proud. But this line, after Proverbs 22:2, only means that the poor as well as the rich owe the light of life (Psalm 13:4) to God, the creator and ruler of all things - a fact which has also its moral side: both are conditioned by Him, stand under His control, and have to give to Him an account; or otherwise rendered: God maketh His sun to rise on the low and the high, the evil and the good (cf. Matthew 5:45) - an all-embracing love full of typical moral motive.

(Note: מאיר has, by Lwenstein, Mehuppach Legarmeh, but incorrectly, since after Legarmeh two conjunctives cannot occur. Also Norzi with Mehuppach Mercha is irregular, since Ben-Asher recognises only two examples of this double accentuation to which this מאיר does not belong; vid., Thorath Emeth, p. 12. That the penultima toning מאיר in several editions is false scarcely needs to be remarked. Jablonski rightly points with Mehuppach on the ult., and Zinnorith on the preceding open syllable.)

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