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Proverbs 10:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 He who heeds discipline is on the path to life,
but he who rejects reproof goes astray.
He who heeds discipline is on the path to life: Here, the Hebrew word (shomer) rendered heeds means to pay attention, listen, or observe, keep, that is, obey discipline (correction). The Hebrew word (מוּסָר musar) rendered discipline has the sense of a message, or instruction, describing how something is to be done. It is corrective in nature. It is a very minor punishment for the purpose of teaching and may also include a rebuke, that is, an expression of sharp disapproval or criticism to someone because of their behavior or actions.
On the path of life can be taken in two different ways and both interpretations are possible. First, the person who pays attention, listens to, or observes discipline is on the path to a good, long, happy life. Second, some interpretive translations offer us alternative interpretations. “Whoever heeds discipline shows [others] the way to life.” (NIV)
but he who rejects reproof goes astray: The Hebrew word (עָזַב azab) rendered rejects means to forsake, to leave behind, to abandon. Reproof (תּוֹכַחַת tokachath) means giving or receiving correction for wrong thinking or actions. Again, two different interpretations. First, the one rejecting reproof will wander off the path to life. Second, “whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” (NIV)
Considering both interpretations, how we respond to the discipline (corrective teachings) within God’s Word will determine whether we remain on the path to life and impact those who see how we observe discipline. However, suppose we reject reproof (corrective counsel), disapproval, or criticism because of our behavior or actions. In that case, we will eventually wander off the path of life, and we may very well lead others astray as well. The influence or impact on good or evil goes beyond us. Regardless of which interpretation one prefers, the point still remains the same; it is vital that we hold fast to discipline (corrective teachings) within God’s Word.