Discipline of a son (Sir 30:1-30:3)

“He who loves his son

Will whip him often.

Thus he may rejoice

At the way he turns out.

He who disciplines his son,

Will profit by him.

He will boast of him

Among acquaintances.

He who teaches his son

Will make his enemies envious.

He will glory in him

In the presence of friends.”

Sirach says that if you love your son, you will whip him often. This is the spare the rod spoils the son idea, since there is no rejection of corporal punishment. Then you will rejoice when you see how your son has turned out. You will have a great reward, if you discipline your son. You will be able to boast about him among your acquaintances. If you teach your son, your enemies will be envious. You will also be able to glorify your son in the presence of your friends. There is this constant problem of friends and enemies.

Discipline your children (Prov 23:13-23:16)

“Do not withhold discipline from your children.

If you beat them with a rod,

They will not die.

If you beat him with the rod

You will save their lives from Sheol.

My child!

If your heart is wise,

My heart too will be glad.

My soul will rejoice

When your lips

Speak what is right.”

Here is the reason for the good use of discipline. You were not to withhold discipline to a child. Your children were not going to die from being beat with a stick or rod. In fact, they will be saved from the underworld Sheol. If the child has a wise heart, the heart of the parents will be glad. Parents will rejoice when the lips of their children speak what is right.