Posted by Victoria S Dennis on July 08, 2006
In Reply to: Let's restore slavery posted by Bob on July 08, 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
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: : : '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.
: : http://www.religioustolerance.org/spankin13.htm
: Slavery is clearly biblical, and despite the soft-headed abolitionists who have temporarily disrupted God's plan .... oops. Sorry. It's very hard to keep track of which parts to ignore of The Only Book You Need, like those uncomfortable parts of Leviticus where we are obliged to stone people for eating owls, or whatever. I'm not just picking on fundamentalists like Dr. Dobson: Two Somali boys were murdered the other day for watching the World Cup. Apparently the Koran says something very negative about television.
Here are the passages from Proverbs, in the King James and the New English Bible translations. I don't see how anybody could possibly argue honestly that they are anything other than an endorsement of severe corporal punishment.
(KJV) He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
(NEB) A father who spares the rod hates his son, but one who loves him keeps him in order.
(KJV) Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
(NEB) Chastise your son while there is hope for him, but be careful not to flog him to death.
(KJV) Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
(NEB) Folly is deep-rooted in the heart of a boy; a good beating will drive it right out of him.
(KJ V) Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
(NEB) Do not withhold discipline from a boy; take the stick to him, and save him from death. If you take the stick to him yourself, you will preserve him from the jaws of death.
(KJV) The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
(NEB) Rod and reprimand impart wisdom, but a boy who runs wild brings shame on his mother.