Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool.
Once again King Solomon contrasts the learning styles of the wise and the foolish. Those who are willing to learn from words of rebuke can avoid the pain of punishment. But someone who is foolish enough to resist words may resist the punishment and not learn from it either.
Instead of repenting after punishment, a fool may become more adamant and rebellious. Even being hit 100 times wouldn’t change that.
The clear lesson is to learn and change with a hint rather than a hit; a word rather than a whip; a rebuke rather than a rod.
For more about learning to be wise, see our article “How to Be Wise.”
For more about learning and changing spiritually, see the articles in our section on “Christian Conversion.”