beat him with the rod

Proverbs 23:14

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.”

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