For the 14th time in the first six chapters (see also :1), “my son” is addressed here in verse 20. Like the others, it’s a directive to pay attention to “your father’s command.” Honestly, who really appreciates hearing that all the time!
While scholars have noted the father-son relationship was a common literary devise of ancient wisdom literature, the reference to momma brings this one back home. Here, “mother’s teaching” is placed on equal footing with “father’s commands.”
While Proverbs is mostly guy-talk and sometimes might seem a bit sexist, it really isn’t. The main theme of Proverbs – Wisdom – is personified as a wonderful godly woman (9:1-6).
Admittedly immoral women are a major father-to-son talking point (like in this chapter – :24 to the end) and there are some pretty “interesting” references to wives (like 21:9). Yet, overall, women are held in appropriate esteem – especially mothers and wives.
In fact, while father talks all the way through the book, Proverbs actually ends with a whole chapter of advice from the mother of King Lemuel (31:1). Once again, momma gets the last word!