What does Proverbs 10:1 mean?
ESV: The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
NIV: The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
NASB: The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish son is a grief to his mother.
CSB: Solomon's proverbs: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son, heartache to his mother.
NLT: The proverbs of Solomon: A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.
KJV: The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
NKJV: The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.
Verse Commentary:
This begins a long series of brief, general-case statements of advice or observations, each of which is called a proverb. Since these statements make up the bulk of this book of Scripture, the work is referred to as "The Book of Proverbs."

Here, Solomon writes about two very different sons and how each son affects his parents. A wise son has taken to heart his parents' instructions (Proverbs 5:1–2). He values wisdom beyond silver, gold, and jewels (Proverbs 8:10–11). He walks in the way of righteousness and justice (Proverbs 8:20), and he fears the Lord (Proverbs 9:10). He causes his father to rejoice (Proverbs 10:1).

However, a foolish son ridicules wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). He is arrogant, unteachable, refuses to fear God, leads an evil lifestyle, and is lazy (Proverbs 1:25, 29; 4:17, 19; 6:9; 8:13). A foolish son causes his mother to grieve (Proverbs 10:1).

Of course, a wise son brings joy to his mother as well as to his father, and a foolish son grieves his father as well as his mother. The use of "father" in one line of the verse and "mother" in the next is simply a common construction in proverbial literature. Both parents experience either joy or sorrow depending on their son's behavior.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 10:1–5 describes two kinds of sons and how they affect their parents. It also discusses the Lord's blessings on those who are diligent as well as the result of being lazy.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter begins 375 "proverbs," which are general-case lessons or observations. These wise remarks continue the discussion of wisdom and wickedness begun in chapters 1—9. Most of the verses in chapter 10 contain a sharp contrast, with the conjunction "but" separating the lines. Often, the subject changes from verse to verse. The contrasting subjects include sons, treasure, work ethic, reputation, relationships, success, and speech.
Chapter Context:
In Proverbs 7—9 Solomon contrasts wisdom and wickedness in the symbolic persons of Lady Wisdom and Woman Folly. He calls upon his sons, or students, to choose wisdom, and he points out the benefits of choosing wisdom and the disastrous results of choosing wickedness. Chapter 10 presents vivid contrasts between wisdom and wickedness in many of life's settings. These comparisons continue into chapter 11.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
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