Proverbs is the Fifth Commandment

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).

“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land'” (Ephesians 6:1-3).

Proverbs is an application of and exhortation to diligent obedience to the Fifth Commandment.

Take the command as two halves

Honor your father and mother

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching… (Proverbs 4.1).

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching…. (Proverbs 6.20).

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother… (Proverbs 10.1b).

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother… (Proverbs 16.20).

He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach… (Proverbs 19.26)

If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness… (Proverbs 20.20).

Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old… (Proverbs 23.22).

Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice… (Proverbs 23.25).

Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, “That is no transgression,” is a companion to a man who destroys… (Proverbs 28.24).

There is a generation who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers… (Proverbs 30.11).

The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures… (Proverbs 30.17).

A few verses mention ” a father’s instructions” without the mother. But this also happens once for a mother (Proverbs 31).

that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you… (Proverbs 3.1).

So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man… (Proverbs 3.2b)

Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor… (Proverbs 3.16).

Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many… (Proverbs 4.1)

Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life… (Proverbs 4.13)

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life… (Proverbs 6.23).

For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life… (Proverbs 9.11)

The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life (Proverbs 16.17).

The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm… (Proverbs 19.23).

The law of God receives a great deal of attention in Proverbs, but that too fits into the Fifth Commandment.

Consider that, after he repeated the Fifth Commandment in Deuteronomy 5, Moses says at the beginning of Deuteronomy 6:

Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.

Moses closes his sermon the same way (chapter 32):

Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.

While there are probably many applications of the Fifth Commandment, some of which are even for unbelieving parents, the core of the Fifth Commandment is a transmission method for the word of God. Children are to honor their parents because their parents are communicating to them the way of the Lord.

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