My son, hear the instruction of thy father
This is not to be understood of God the Father of mankind, and of that law which he has given them, as Jarchi and Gersom interpret it, but of Solomon and his son in a literal sense; and of anyone that came to him for instruction, any pupil, hearer, or reader of his; and it is a direction to all children to hearken to the instruction of their parents, and obey their commands; so, next to the fear and worship of God, he exhorts to obedience to parents, and proceeds just in the same order and method in which the decalogue or ten commands were written; the first table respects God and his worship, and the second follows, which begins with "honour thy father and thy mother" ( Exodus 20:12 ) , which, the apostle says, is "the first commandment with promise", ( Ephesians 6:1 Ephesians 6:2 ) ;
and forsake not the law of thy mother;
meaning not the congregation of Israel, the old synagogue, or Jewish church, as Jarchi; and so in the Talmud F16 it is interpreted of the congregation of Israel, as is "thy father" in the former clause of the divine Being; nor the operative faculty of the human understanding, as Gersom; but the mother of Solomon's son; and any and every mother of a child, who having an equal or greater tenderness for her offspring, and a true and hearty regard for their welfare, will instruct them in the best manner she can, give the best rules, and prescribe the best laws she can for their good; and which ought to be as carefully attended to and obeyed as those of a father; and she is particularly mentioned, because the law of God equally enjoins reverence and obedience to both parents, which human laws among the Gentiles did not; and because children are too apt to slight the directions and instructions of a mother; whereas they carry equal authority, and have in them the nature of a law, as those of a father.
F16 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 102. 1.