Does King Solomon Endorse Spanking?

According to the King James Bible, Solomon was born to King David in Jerusalem, the son of his favorite wife, Bathsheba. Though the youngest of three sons, Solomon assumed the throne based on God’s instruction to David.  Meanwhile, his siblings were committing incest and murdering each other.

The wisest man to live, Solomon authored The Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. But he also supported worship of Molech and Chemosh, gods who commanded child sacrifice. Screaming children were thrown to burn in hopes the gods would grant good crops in the following year.

Despite his use of spankings to beat the hell out of his son, Solomon was a failure as a father. All he accomplished was to teach his son violence and his people violence. Rehoboam continued that cycle. “And the king [Rehoboam] answered the people roughly, and forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. Kings 12:13-14.”

Rehoboam’s actions are not those of a child raised by a wise father. He proves spanking is a poor method to teach by, showing us he learned violence and a need to inflict suffering, as his father inflicted suffering on him by hitting him. There is no empathy. There is no kindness.

If you were to follow Solomon’s words and do exactly as he bid, you would beat your child for infractions, thereby delivering him from the hell of his wrongs. “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs 23:13-14.

Deliverance is meant to be a sacred thing. Why then does it sound like deliverance is born through pain?

One can beat a child. He will not die but it goes against the better judgement of good parents. It goes against the morals of a morally upright person, and is child abuse. Solomon gave leave to abuse children, not spank them.

Parents who do spank do not even use the rod. A wide variety of instruments are employed but rarely a rod. If Solomon’s will were to be followed, only the rod and perhaps a whip would be used, and this world would overflow with bruised children.

Most parents will not take a rod or whip to their child. But they will take Solomon’s words and apply it to something else; another form of lesser violence he never endorsed.

Solomon was violent. He would scoff at the concept of spanking and encourage beating.  So, if you must use Solomon’s words to justify spanking, at least follow his words with precision instead of cherry-picking verses to justify your lesser actions.

I do not believe the rod mentioned in relation to “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24” is a literal one. The rod is a tool of guidance and it is never used to hit the sheep. Why then, should it be used to hit children?

Children do need correction; guidance to go in the right direction after doing a wrong. As the good Sheppard guides his sheep, so must parents guide their child. And, as with the Sheppard, one never hits the child.

It is not what you can do that makes you a good parent. It is what you choose to do.

Choose right.

21 thoughts on “Does King Solomon Endorse Spanking?

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  1. I think that violence generates more violence and other consequences and, in children, gravity is projected through time until becoming an adult. and reading further, neither violence at any age is gender justified. justice is only fair when it is educational and the formation of more just consciences. this specific passage does not apply under any circumstances. it justified it, if any, of being a tradition or culture of an era that does not find resonance at any time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your thoughts on the ways violence generates more violence. While culture and era also play a big role in the continuation, without an end, the cycle is slow in breaking . . .


  2. Solomon is the ONLY Biblical writer to teach spanking. He built child-eating idols such as Molech and Chemosh, so why do stupid preachers say he’s the best child REAR-ing expert? And Solomon also advocates the beating of fools. So why does a preacher who got caught in a whorehouse get only a mild rebuke and easy restoration to fellowship WITHOUT being beaten first? Those who have the power (adults) go easy on themselves but literally apply the worst of the Bible to helpless kids who can’t defend themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a very important topic that you’ve written, full of true wisdom. I think there are many outdated ideas from the Bible, that humans have outgrown, corporal punishment is physical abuse in my opinion. I agree with you that it sends the incorrect message that violence is the way to teach children. I was raised in a household that believed this and it has left emotional scars/trauma. I would never hit my child, it’s not necessary at all. Victims of domestic violence often grow up with deep insecurity and self-hatred and some continue the abuse cycle.


    1. I love how you have voiced this, and put together all the concise reasons and points why corporal punishment is not something you support and how it has affected you.

      I am sorry you were left with emotional scars and truly hope you are healing. 🙂


  4. I still remember when corporal punishment was allowed in school and my mom didn’t have a say about it. Some of us went home with bruises and marks made by our teachers. Most of the kids I knew who got the ruler were only acting up: wiggling in their seats, breaking erasers (that the school provided,) drawing on desks or talking and whispering. Corporal punishment in my school system was not completely banned until 1989, although most teachers had not been using it for some time. The law had to be repealed through the Supreme Courts.

    I thought this might interest you:

    “Like corporal punishment by parents, corporal punishment by teachers is rooted in the historical belief that caning, whipping, strapping and other forms of physical punishment or threats of such punishment are essential for teaching and maintaining discipline in schools.

    The 1968 Ontario Hall-Dennis Report on Education recommended ending legal approval of corporal punishment in schools. Since then, an increasing awareness of its potential for harm has led some provinces to amend their education acts to expressly prohibit this method of discipline. In 1973, B.C. was the first province to do so.

    The Jan 30/04 Supreme Court of Canada decision on the constitutional challenge to section 43 held that school teachers can no longer use the section as a defence to assault for correcting students. Section43, however, can still be used as a defence where teachers use reasonable force for restraint.”

    quoted from — Repeal 43 Committee: Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Me neither, as a matter of fact, until I read a letter in our local newspaper quoting him in favor of spanking. It was fascinating looking into that and finding all this!

      The comparison of Sheppard and parent is one of my favorite bits in this piece! So glad you enjoyed. 🙂


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