One of the main topics of Proverbs is the foolish contrasted with the wise. While in English there is one word to describe a fool, in Proverbs, five separate Hebrew words are used, which describes a progression of foolishness from simple to depraved.
second: the proud fool
Strong’s H191 eviyl, a concrete noun meaning, “fool,” from an unused primitive root אול meaning, “to be perverse.” The ancient pictographs are aleph + vav + lamed.
aleph א = the ox head, thus strength, power, leader
vav ו = the tent peg, thus add, secure, hook
lamed ל = the shepherd’s staff, thus teach, yoke, to, bind
Many English words come from Hebrew roots, as Hebrew is the mother tongue from which all the tongues were divided at Babel. I believe our English word “evil” comes from this Hebrew word for fool.
The parable the pictographs are telling is of power or pride (aleph) yoked (vav) to control (lamed); i.e., one controlled by pride.
This fool most often expresses his folly by his mouth:
To prate is to talk long and idly, to no purpose, according to Webster’s. The speech of a prating fool is vain or void of wisdom.
His way is right in his own eyes, therefore he despises wisdom and does not receive correction well.
He meddles in everyone else’s affairs, and is not content to let others manage their own lives:
If you offend him, you will know it at once.
So how is this fool turned from his foolishness, so that he may live?
If he is still a child:
Foolishness (from the same root) is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Pro 22:15
Parents, please see what the Hebrew is saying! Spare the rod for simple childishness; correct mistakes made from innocent naivety with loving instruction. Corporal discipline is for folly stemming from pride or rebellion (which even two- year- olds can display), as the Hebrew in this verse shows! When we discipline innocence harshly, we run the risk of provoking our children’s hearts (Eph 6:4), an open door for a root of bitterness, an opportunity the enemy will exploit to destroy them if he can.
But if he is above the age of 12 or 13, corporal punishment is no longer effective:
Though you grind a fool H191 in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him. Pro 27:22
The key is in the root of his foolishness, which is pride.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Pro 16:18
Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility. Pro 18:12
When the proud heart is brought low, the public humiliation (stocks were a tool of public humiliation) brings correction. In other words, parents must let their teens suffer the consequences of their foolishness, as it is the only thing that will correct them so that they turn from folly and gain wisdom.
Suffering consequences will bring its own public humiliation. The only thing that parents accomplish by purposefully humiliating their children publicly, is establishing the root of rebellion even more firmly. It severs their heart from yours, something one would not wish on their worst enemy.
Parents who do not let their teen children, who are proud- talking fools, suffer the consequences of their foolishness, are not acting in love toward them!
He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. Pro 13:24