23:14 beat him with the rod. This verse does not imply child-beating in the modern sense of the word. The Hebrew word for “beat” is the same as used in II Kings 11:12 (“they clapped their hands”). Actually, it has a range of meanings, from “strike lightly” to “smite lethally,” depending on context. Similarly, the word for “rod” can mean anything from a flexible switch to a weapon of war. There is no doubt that this and a number of other passages prescribe reasonable corporal punishment for disobedient children—not administered in anger or revenge but in concern for developing character, and not applied in such a way as to cause real injury, yet stern enough to discourage future wrongdoing. Note Psalm 23:4—“thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
23:14 deliver his soul. “Hell” is the Hebrew sheol, the prison of departed spirits in the heart of the earth. The “rod” can be merely a “switch.” Children must learn faith and obedience to godly parents before they will ever learn to have obedient faith in God.