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Re: Spare the rod and spoil the child

Posted by ESC on July 07, 2006

In Reply to: Re: Spare the rod and spoil the child posted by Lewis on July 07, 2006

: : what does the proverbial saying spare the rod and spare the child really mean . Does this anything to do with spanking or does it have another meaning from a biblical stand point. what does the rod represents really . Does it mean beating children with rods ,belts ,sticks .What about its histrical content as it relates to slavery . Please give me some backgroung

: 'the rod' has long been used as a symbol of authority - ancient Egypt being one place. it also represents a stick for administering corporal punishment - and there was a rule that a stick up to the diameter of a thumb could be used to beat.
: the saying means that failing to exert authority over a child is bad for the child's development. some people take it literally, that parents must use physical chastisement, whereas others take it more figuratively.

: L

SPARE THE ROD AND SPOIL THE CHILD -- ".'Piers Plowman' by William Langland warned, 'Who-so spareth the sprynge (switch), spilleth his children.' The exact wording of the modern version was quoted two centuries later in John Clarke's 'Paroemiologia Anglo-Latina' ." From "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).

The biblical book of Proverbs, in its original Hebrew, contains five passages which refer to disciplining children with a "shebet." The word is usually translated in English as "rod." At first glance, these passages seem to instruct parents to discipline their children using violent means -- by physically hitting them with a rod, paddle, belt, or other implement.

Some feel that the real meaning of these passages in Proverbs is the opposite to their apparent literal interpretation. The verses actually call on parents to abandon methods of child discipline which involve the inflicting of pain.

Others feel that the author(s) of Proverbs did recommend that parents beat their children into submission with a rod. They argue that these passages are merely a reflection of a very violent society which practiced human slavery, stoned non-virgin brides to death, tortured prisoners, committed genocide, and acted in other ways which are considered profoundly immoral by today's religious and secular standards. All of the latter practices have long since been abandoned. Thus we should reject the infliction of pain as a child-rearing tool as well.