This yet another excellent example of good, earthy wisdom from the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, which offers a range of advice about a number of different topics. One of these areas is of course the whole area of parenting, which, from the number of proverbs that are in the Book of Proverbs concerning this topic, was clearly just as much of a big issue back in Biblical times as it is for us today as we all seek to work out how best to raise our children.
This proverb obviously concerns the issue of discipline. From the translation you have used, it is clear that the writer of this proverb believes in the value of physical discipline, using humour and common sense to convey the belief that corporal punishment is necessary and is beneficial for a child. The second part of the proverb demonstrates his belief that there is nothing wrong about using such methods; after all, a child will not die if he or she is punished in this way. Such negatives clearly outweigh the positives of having a serious method of punishment ready for children who break rules knowingly, it is inferred.