The wise child (Prov 15:20-15:23)

“A wise child makes a glad father.

But foolish children despise their mothers.

Folly is a joy

To one who has no sense.

But a person of understanding

Walks straight ahead.

Without counsel,

Plans go wrong.

But with many advisers,

Plans succeed.

To make an apt answer

Is a joy to anyone.

How good it is

To have a word in season!”

A wise child makes their father happy. However, the foolish children despise their mothers. Foolishness can be a joy to those who have no sense. The understanding person walks straight ahead and never deviates. Plans work out better if you take counsel with many advisers. The right answer is a joy to anyone. It is very agreeable to have the right word at the right time.

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The wise child (Prov 10:2-10:5)

“A wise child makes a glad father.

But a foolish child is a mother’s grief.

Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit anyone.

But righteousness delivers from death.

Yahweh does not let the righteous go hungry,

But he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

A slack hand causes poverty.

But the hand of the diligent makes rich.

A child who gathers in summer is prudent,

But a child who sleeps in harvest brings shame.”

Right from the start of these sayings there is the contrast between the wise and the foolish child. Wickedness did not bring profit, but righteousness would save you from death. Early death was considered a punishment for sin. Yahweh would not let the righteous go hungry, but the wicked would be hungry. Notice the contrast and the idea of ‘but’. Here we have the classic explanation of poverty. You are poor because you do not work hard. You are rich because you have worked hard. There is never any mention of circumstances. Once again, we are back at the prudent child who gathers in the summer, while the other shameful child sleeps during the harvest time.