Understanding the Meaning of Hanok in the Parenting Discourse of Proverbs 22:6

Understanding the Meaning of Hanok in the Parenting Discourse of Proverbs 22:6

Author by Dr. Theodore Uchechkwu Dickson

Journal/Publisher: Ibadan: African Journal For Biblical Studies, University If Ibadan

Volume/Edition: 29

Language: English

Pages: 61 - 79


Scholars differ in their attempt to properly interpret the meaning of Hánök in Proverbs 22:6. While some opine that Hánök in Proverbs 22:6 is best rendered to ‘initiate’ or’ inaugurate’, since it is the process of ‘initiating’ a na'ar who, to them,  is not a ‘child’ but rather a ‘squire’ or ‘cadet,’ into royal service. Others argues that emphasis on Hánök ‘train’ in relation tor[;n: is concerned with the teen who is already at the crises age. Yet, another group of scholars agree that Hánök means to ‘train,’ they note that the problem of Proverbs 22:6 is not with Hánök and na'ar but rather in understanding the real meaning of al-pi darko “in the way he should go.” Using the grammatical-historical method, which examines the socio-cultural and grammatical structure of a text, the study examines the meaning of Hánök in Proverbs 22:6 and its interpretation in the proverbial parenting discourse. The study revealed that Hánök in Proverbs 22:6 is problematic since of its five verbal occurrences in the OT, it is the only occurrence with animate objects. Its meaning, especially in a parental discourse is not ‘dedication’ or ‘to initiate’ but rather ‘to train,’ ‘nurture,’ and ‘instruct.’ Second, the idea of training when referring to animate objects is evident in the hapax legomena Hanikav which refers to Abraham’s trained men (Gen 14:14). Third, the Arabian etymology HnK which pictures a parent engaged in the nurturing of an infant sheds significant light in understanding the necessity, meaning and relevance of wholistic training which begins at infancy.  ?

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