Wicked Children!

Be careful what you say about your parents!  God knows, and it matters to Him!

April 30, 2022

"There is a generation that curseth their father and doth not bless their mother."

Proverbs 30:11

In this part of Proverbs (30:11-14), we are given the descriptions of four kinds of “hateful” people.  One preacher identified them as –

1. “graceless children” (v. 11) [1] (JFB).

“Those who not only did not honor but who evil-treated, their parents” [2] (ACC).

2. “hypocrites” (v. 12) [3] (JFB).

“Those who were self-righteous, supposing themselves pure, and were not so” [4] (ACC).

3. “the proud” (v. 13) [5] (JFB).

“Those who were full of vanity, pride, and insolence” [6] (ACC).

4. “cruel oppressors” (v. 14) [7] (JFB).

“The greedy, cruel, and oppressive, and, especially, oppressive to the poor” [8] (ACC).

Today, we look specifically at the “graceless children” in verse 11.


“There is a generation that curseth their father.”
What?!  It is hard to comprehend how a child can be so arrogant as to curse their parents.  The very ones who brought them into this world, protected them, provided for them, raised them up, and loved them.  And yet they are so reckless and hateful to turn against them.  What is a child doing when they curse their parents?

“To ‘curse’ is literally to ‘declare inconsequential’ or to treat with contempt (Genesis 12:3; 1 Samuel 3:13; 2 Samuel 16:7)” [9] (CSB).

What might a child say or do that fits this category of “cursing parents?”

“Many are the forms in which this proud abomination shows itself: resistance to a parent’s authority, contempt of his reproof, shamelessly defiling his name, needlessly exposing his sin, coveting his substance, denying his obligation” [10] (Bridges).

To curse a parent is to break God’s Law.  God says to every child –

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12).

“In the Old Testament, a person who cursed his parents violated the fifth commandment (Exodus 20:12) and committed a capital offense.  Death was the penalty for cursing (and rebelling against) parents (Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9)” [11] (BKC).

The law said,

And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 21:17).

The writer of this proverb picked up on the teaching of the OT law.

“Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness” (Proverbs 20:20).

“To have one’s lamp … snuffed out was a picturesque way of referring to death…” [12] (BKC).

That cursing child will ultimately die and then face God in judgment.  Jesus agreed with the Old Testament law when He preached –

“For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death” (Matthew 15:4).

God is serious about how a child treats their parents.  How many of us might not have made it to adulthood if the OT law about cursing one’s parents were still in effect today?  But we must say, God has not changed His mind about the importance of “children obeying their parents.”


“And doth not bless their mother.”
Don’t forget about mom!  Yes, she matters too!  Why is it that their children so poorly treat their moms?  Please note that the words above refer to both parents.  One parent is not less important than the other.  They are partners in raising their children for God’s glory and use.  Think about it this way: mom and dad are tools in God’s hands to bring up that child from infancy to adulthood.  It is God who is behind this plan for children.  Cursing your mother or father is to ultimately curse God, for they are following His orders in your upbringing. [13]


Quote:  “The eye that mocketh at his father and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it” (Proverbs 30:17).




[1]  JFB, Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 1 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 402.
[2] ACC – Adam Clarke.  Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, the electronic version in eSword.
[3] JFB, ibid.
[4] ACC, ibid.
[5] JFB, ibid.
[6] ACC, ibid.
[7] JFB, ibid.
[8] ACC, ibid.
[9] CSB, David K. Stabnow, “Proverbs,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 985.
[10] Bridges’ quote is from EWC – David Guzik.  Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.
[11] BKC, Sid S. Buzzell, “Proverbs,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 949.
[12] BKC, ibid.
[13] Single parents, you are vital for your child’s upbringing.  Trying to balance a full-time job and raise your family is incredibly difficult!  You can get help from your local church.  Ask your pastor to help you get some folks who will come around you to help you.