Proverbs 29:19

19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words; though they understand, they will not respond.

Read Proverbs 29:19 Using Other Translations

A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.
By mere words a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not respond.
Words alone will not discipline a servant; the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.

What does Proverbs 29:19 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Proverbs 29:19

A servant will not be corrected by words
Not by them only, especially one that is of a servile, surly, and untractable disposition; otherwise a good servant, and well disposed to his master, and willing to serve him, and promote his interest, a word is sufficient for such an one; when he is bid to go, he goes; or to come, he comes, ( Matthew 8:9 ) ; or if he has done wrong, and his fault is told him, he will amend another time; whereas a rough ill natured servant will not regard words, but must have blows to correct him; for though he understand;
what his master says, and what is his will, and knows he has done wrong, and ought to do otherwise, which is an aggravation of sin: he will not answer;
own his fault and promise to do better for the future; through the surliness of his nature, and contempt of his master, whom he does not think worthy of an answer: so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "he despises to answer"; thus Job was used by his servants, ( Job 19:16 ) ; There is an answering which is forbidden servants, ( Titus 2:9 ) ; but this what becomes them, and is expressive of their respect and reverence to their masters, and their ready, hearty, and cheerful obedience to them; and which especially should be in Christian servants to Christian masters, ( 1 Timothy 6:1 ) ( Ephesians 6:5-7 ) .

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