What does Proverbs 19:26 mean?
ESV: He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach.
NIV: Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother is a child who brings shame and disgrace.
NASB: He who assaults his father and drives his mother away Is a shameful and disgraceful son.
CSB: The one who plunders his father and evicts his mother is a disgraceful and shameful son.
NLT: Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.
KJV: He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.
NKJV: He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.
Verse Commentary:
This repeats the idea that unruly children—even as adults—bring shame to their parents. It is embarrassing that a son would not heed his father's instruction (Proverbs 10:17; 13:1), but reprehensible that a son would abuse his parents (Proverbs 18:3; 20:20; 28:24). In the ancient world, a woman's only reliable source of security in old age was her children. Throwing out one's mother, in that era, was to leave her defenseless and homeless.

Such maltreatment offends not only his parents and society but also God. God commanded the people of Israel to honor their fathers and mothers (Exodus 20:12). By disobeying this commandment and driving his mother away, a violent son leaves her poverty-stricken. However, he does not get off without punishment. He brings shame and disgrace to himself.

Unfortunately, elder abuse has never been rare. Wicked sons and daughters withhold care and comfort from their elderly parents, and by doing so bring God's judgment on themselves. Exodus 21:17 commands Israel: "Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death." That civil penalty, in the context of the ancient nation of Israel, reflects the serious sin of abusing one's parents.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 19:22–29 continues to dispense wisdom, with a focus on integrity, the fear of the Lord, laziness, the value of discipline, the shame of unruly children, the sin of lying, and the inevitable punishment that comes with foolishness.
Chapter Summary:
Several themes are associated with these statements. Among them are the idea that personal integrity is worth much more than earthly wealth or success. Solomon discusses the unfortunate habit of favoring the rich and dismissing the poor, while commending those who care for the unfortunate. Many references are made to the consequences of foolish behavior, including the shame and punishment such things can bring.
Chapter Context:
This series of proverbs is part of Solomon's writing on wisdom (Proverbs 10:1), a long chain continuing into chapter 22. As do other segments, this speaks on the harsh realities of poverty, the need for integrity, the dangers of laziness, the value of loving discipline, and the consequences of acting foolishly.
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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