Proverbs 4:3

ESV When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
NIV For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother.
NASB When I was a son to my father, Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
CSB When I was a son with my father, tender and precious to my mother,
NLT For I, too, was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.
KJV For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
NKJV When I was my father’s son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,

What does Proverbs 4:3 mean?

This suggests Solomon was once an only child. Or, at least, that he benefitted from one-on-one time with his parents. He was David's son, and Bathsheba was his mother. Later, he had three brothers. First Chronicles 3:1–9 lists David's sons. Verse 5 gives the names of the sons who were born to him and Bathsheba. They were Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon. Scripture does not always list children in their birth order, and often omits names entirely. The fact that Solomon is listed last as a child of David and Bathsheba might simply be for emphasis, not necessarily that he was the last one born, especially given what we read in 2 Samuel 12. Either way, it seems Solomon enjoyed a special place in his parents' love that afforded him exposure to the kind of teaching that would make him wise.

Parents should not become so busy that they have little or no time to devote to the spiritual training of their children. Those who teach their children well will be remembered fondly by their children when their children are adults. Joseph and Mary likely spent quality time with the boy Jesus, because Luke 2:52 tells us "Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man."
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