My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord
This seems to be introduced to prevent an objection that may be made to the above promise of plenty; seeing the children of God are often afflicted in this world; even the wise and pious, and those that fear the Lord, and honour him; which is accounted for, and the reason of it given, in ( Proverbs 3:12 ) . These words are cited in ( Hebrews 12:5 Hebrews 12:6 ) , and are represented as an exhortation, spoken unto children, the children of God; by which it appears, that not any single person is meant by "my son"; and, as not here, so neither elsewhere in this book, where the same phrase is used. It is not to be limited to any son of Solomon's according to the flesh; nor to any person or persons, that applied to him for instruction, and were taught by him; nor to all the people of God in his time: but it has respect to the Jews in the times of the apostles; and even to all the children of God in all ages, who more or less endure afflictions, here called "the chastening of the Lord", because they are from him; whatever concern men or devils, or second causes, may have in them, they are originally from the Lord, either sent or suffered by him; they are indeed by his appointment, and are ordered, limited, and restrained by him, and are overruled for his glory and his people's good: they are not chastisements in a way of vindictive wrath and justice, which would be contrary to the satisfaction of Christ, the justice of God, his everlasting and unchangeable love, and to his word and oath; but they are in love; they are the chastisements of a father, in which he deals with them as with children; and uses them for the good discipline and instruction of them, as the word F18 here signifies; and therefore not to be "despised", or loathed and abhorred, as disagreeable food or physic be; or as if they were unnecessary and unprofitable, or unworthy of notice and regard; or as little, slight, and trifling things, without considering from whence they come and for what they are sent; but, on the contrary, should be regarded as useful and serviceable; see ( Job 5:17 ) ; neither be weary of his correction;
"rebuke" or "reproof" F19; so in ( Hebrews 12:5 ) ; "when thou art rebuked of him", not in wrath and fury, but in love, as before. The same thing is meant by correction as chastening; and supposes a fault to be committed by him that is corrected, for God corrects none but for sin; and authority in the corrector, which he, as the Father of spirits, and as our covenant God and Father in Christ, has a right to do: he corrects by his Spirit, by his word, by his ministers, and by his providences, afflictive ones, which last is here meant; and it is always for good, at a proper time, and when necessary, in measure and with judgment: and of this the children should not be "weary", as grievous and intolerable; and especially should not be weary of their lives on account of it, in which sense the word is used in ( Genesis 27:46 ) which has been the case of Job and others; but should bear it quietly and peaceably, and with patience, without fretting and murmuring; or should not "faint", as it is rendered in ( Hebrews 12:5 ) ; or sink under the weight, but cheerfully support under it. The two extremes, which men are apt to run into, are here guarded against; on the one hand, to make little or nothing of an affliction; to outbrave it, not to be affected with it, nor humble under the mighty hand of God; nor consider the rod, and him that has appointed it: and, on the other hand, to aggravate an affliction, as if no sorrow was like theirs, and to be quite dejected and overwhelmed with it.
F18 (rowm) "disciplinam", V. L. Cocceius, Schultens; "eruditionem", Junius & Tremellius.
F19 (wtxkwtb) "ad increpationem ejus", Tigurine version, Mercerus, Gejerus; "redargutionem ejus", Cocceius; "sub redargutione ejus", Schultens.