Proverbs 17:10

ESV A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
NIV A rebuke impresses a discerning person more than a hundred lashes a fool.
NASB A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool.
CSB A rebuke cuts into a perceptive person more than a hundred lashes into a fool.
NLT A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool.
KJV A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.

What does Proverbs 17:10 mean?

An important facet of spiritual maturity is being "teachable." A humble person, one eager for truth (Proverbs 4:1), is open to correction. That's even true when it comes in the form of a "rebuke:" a strongly worded or scolding form of criticism. That verbal reprimand will bring about change in a "man of understanding," who prioritizes truth and God's will (Proverbs 1:2, 7). Merely being "harsh" is different from offering a godly rebuke (Proverbs 15:1), and rebukes are not appropriate in all situations (1 Timothy 5:1). But when they come from love (Proverbs 9:8; 27:5; Hebrews 12:6) and go to someone open to correction (Proverbs 9:9; 15:12), they can be effective.

In contrast, the foolish person (Proverbs 1:22) refuses to be corrected, even when they suffer direct physical consequences. Under the law of Moses, no more than forty lashes were to be administered to a guilty man (Deuteronomy 25:3). The reference to a hundred blows here is hyperbole: a deliberate exaggeration used to stress how foolish a person is to reject correction.

Rebuke is never pleasant. Yet a wise person accepts it and benefits from making a change (Proverbs 1:23). The fool ignores rebukes, and often responds with abuse and hate for the person making the correction (Proverbs 9:7; Matthew 7:6).
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