We read in English:

“For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:12‬

The Hebrew for corrects/discipline:

disciplines יוֹכִ֑יחַ (yō·w·ḵî·aḥ) Verb - Hifil - Imperfect - third person masculine singular Strong's 3198: To be right, reciprocal, to argue, to decide, justify, convict


Q: Within the definition on Bible hub, can Proverbs 3:12 mean “convict”? Or is that less accurate?

1 Answer 1


The operative verb in Prov 3:12 is יָכַח (yakach) variously translated as: "discipline", "correct", "reprove", "chastise", etc, has a range of meaning as illustrated by the appendix below taken from BDB.

That this word can and does mean (see #1 below), "decide, judge" and (#4) "convince, convict" in some places, is not in dispute. The question is, what does it mean in Prov 3:12? According to BDB (see #6) it means, "correct, rebuke".

Such a meaning is more consistent with the message of grace and loving (1 John 4:8, 16) correction associated with God's character than simply a need for divine conviction and accusation. See Hos 11:14, Isa 54:8, 63:7, Jer 31:3, Deut 7:9, etc.

APPENDIX - BDB entry for יָכַח (yakach)

[יָכַח] verb Hiphil decide, adjudge, prove, (Late Hebrew Piel וִכַּח argue with (עם), compare Hithpael, Hiphil prove, correct; Aramaic Pa וַכַּח Aphel אוֺכַח, id.) — Hiphil Perfect הוֺכִיחַ Isaiah 2:4 5t.; הֹכִיחַ Genesis 24:44; הוֺכִחַ Genesis 21:25; 2masculine singular חֹכַחְתָּ Genesis 24:14; 1singular suffix הוֺכַחְתִּיו 2 Samuel 7:14; Imperfect יוֺכִיחַ Isaiah 11:3 5t.; יוֺכַח Hosea 4:4 4t.; יוֺכָ֑ח 1 Chronicles 12:17; suffix יוֺכִיחֵנִי Psalm 141:5 12t. Imperfect; Imperative הוֺכַח Proverbs 9:8; Infinitive absolute הוֺכֵחַ Leviticus 19:17 5t.; construct הוֺכִיחַ Habakkuk 1:12; הַלְהוֺכַח Job 6:26; Participle מוֺכִיחַ Ezekiel 3:26 8t.; plural מוֺכִיחִים Proverbs 24:25; —

  1. decide, judge, absolute Genesis 31:42 (E), 1 Chronicles 12:17; Isaiah 11:3; Psalm 94:10; with לְ decide for Isaiah 2:4 = Micah 4:3; Isaiah 11:4; with בּין, Genesis 31:37 (E), Job 9:33; לְגֶבֶר עִם אֱלוֺהַּ Job 16:21.

  2. adjudge, appoint, with לְ, Genesis 24:14,44 (J).

  3. shew to be right, prove, with accusative of thing and על person against Job 19:5; with אל person unto Job 13:15; so argue before Job 13:3, and (absolute) Job 15:3.

  4. convince, convict, with accusative of person Psalm 50:21 בּ person Proverbs 30:6; with לְ person Job 32:12.

  5. reprove, chide:

a. of God, with accusative of person Job 22:4; Psalm 50:8; Psalm 105:14 = 1 Chronicles 16:21; with בּ object 2 Kings 19:4 = Isaiah 37:4.

b. of man, absolute Hosea 4:4; Ezekiel 3:26; Job 6:25 (twice in verse); Proverbs 24:25; Proverbs 25:12; מוֺכִיחַ בַּשַּׁעַר Amos 5:10; Isaiah 29:21; with accusative of person Genesis 21:25 (E), Leviticus 19:17 (twice in verse) (H), Proverbs 9:8; Proverbs 28:23; Jeremiah 2:19; מוֺכִיחַ אֱלוהַּ Job 40:2; accusative of thing Job 6:26; with לְ, Proverbs 9:7,8; Proverbs 15:12; Proverbs 19:25.

  1. correct, rebuke, of God, absolute Habakkuk 1:12; with accusative of person Psalm 141:5; Job 13:10 (twice in verse); בְּשֵׁבֶט 2 Samuel 7:14; happy the man whom God corrects Job 5:17; for God loves him Proverbs 3:12; God is entreated not to correct in anger Psalm 6:2; Psalm 38:2.

Hoph`al Perfect וְהוּכַח בְּמַכְאוֺב he is chastened also with pain Job 33:19.

Niph`al Imperfect לְכוּנָֿא וְנִוָָּֽכְחָה Isaiah 1:18 come now and let us reason together; Participle שָׁם יָשָׁר נוֺכָח עִמּוֺ Job 23:7 there an upright man might reason with him; feminine (passive) וְנֹכָ֑חַת Genesis 20:16 (E), but Di SS read וְנֹכַחַתְּ2feminine singular Perfect and thou art set right, righted, justified.

Hithpa`el Imperfect עִםוִֿשְׂרָאֵל יִתְוַכָּח Micah 6:2 with Israel he will argue ("" עִם ׳רִיב לי).

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