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Amsal 19:18


19:18 Discipline your child, for 1  there is hope,

but do not set your heart 2  on causing his death. 3 

Amsal 23:13-14


23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;

even if you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

23:14 If you strike 4  him with the rod,

you will deliver him 5  from death. 6 

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[19:18]  1 tn The translation understands כִּי (ki) as causal. Some prefer to take כִּי as temporal and translate, “while there is hope” (so KJV, NASB, NCV, NRSV, NLT), meaning that discipline should be administered when the child is young and easily guided. In the causal reading of כִּי, the idea seems to be that children should be disciplined because change is possible due to their youth and the fact that they are not set in their ways.

[19:18]  2 tn The expression “do not lift up your soul/life” to his death may mean (1) “do not set your heart” on his death (cf. ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV), or it may mean (2) “do not be a willing partner” (cf. NIV). The parent is to discipline a child, but he is not to take it to the extreme and destroy or kill the child.

[19:18]  3 tn The Hiphil infinitive construct הֲמִיתוֹ (hamito) means “taking it to heart” in this line. The traditional rendering was “and let not your soul spare for his crying.” This involved a different reading than “causing his death” (J. H. Greenstone, Proverbs, 206-7).

[23:14]  4 tn Or “punish” (NIV). The syntax of these two lines suggests a conditional clause (cf. NCV, NRSV).

[23:14]  5 tn Heb “his soul.” The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) functions as a synecdoche of part (= soul) for the whole (= person); see BDB 660 s.v. 4.

[23:14]  6 tn The term שְׁאוֹל (shÿol, “Sheol”) in this context probably means “death” (so NIV, NCV, NLT) and not the realm of the departed (wicked) spirits (cf. NAB “the nether world”). In the wisdom of other lands, Ahiqar 6:82 says, “If I strike you, my son, you will not die.” The idea is that discipline helps the child to a full life; if the child dies prematurely, it would be more than likely a consequence of not being trained by discipline. In the book of Proverbs the “death” mentioned here could be social as well as physical.

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