Proverbs 9:8

8 Don't rebuke a mocker, or he will hate you;[a] rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

Proverbs 9:8 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 9:8

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee
For wicked men are apt to hate those that publicly rebuke them, ( Amos 5:10 ) . Hence minister's of the word are of all men most hated; though this also should be bore with, could it be thought, or there was any reason to believe, that the reproof would be of any service. The scorner here, and in the preceding verses, may not only design profane sinners, sensualists, and atheists, that despise all religion, and scoff at all that is good; but also proud scornful Pharisees, such who derided Christ himself, and trusted in themselves, and despised others, Christ and his apostles, and their ministrations, ( Luke 16:14 ) ( 18:9 ) ; and such, as Christ came not to call them himself, so he bid his disciples let them alone, ( Matthew 9:13 ) ( 15:14 ) ; rebuke a wise [man], and he will love thee;
as David did Nathan; and who was determined to take kindly the reproof of any righteous man, ( Psalms 141:5 ) . Such who are spiritually wise will be thankful for the reproof of Gospel ministers, and even of private Christians, and will love and esteem them for their faithfulness and uprightness, and for the good which they themselves receive hereby.

Proverbs 9:8 In-Context

6 Leave inexperience behind, and you will live; pursue the way of understanding.
7 The one who corrects a mocker will bring dishonor on himself; the one who rebukes a wicked man will get hurt.
8 Don't rebuke a mocker, or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will learn more.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Footnotes 1

Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.