6 My son, if you have become security for your neighbor, if you have given your pledge for a stranger or another,
2 You are snared with the words of your lips, you are caught by the speech of your mouth.
3 Do this now [at once and earnestly], my son, and deliver yourself when you have put yourself into the [a]power of your neighbor; go, bestir and humble yourself, and beg your neighbor [to pay his debt and thereby release you].
4 Give not [unnecessary] sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids;
5 Deliver yourself, as a roe or gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!—(A)
7 Which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler,
8 Provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest.
9 How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep?(B)
10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to lie down and sleep—
11 So will your poverty come like a robber or one who travels [with slowly but surely approaching steps] and your want like an armed man [making you helpless].(C)
12 A worthless person, a wicked man, is he who goes about with a perverse (contrary, wayward) mouth.
13 He winks with his eyes, he speaks by shuffling or tapping with his feet, he makes signs [to mislead and deceive] and teaches with his fingers.
14 Willful and contrary in his heart, he devises trouble, vexation, and evil continually; he lets loose discord and sows it.
15 Therefore upon him shall the crushing weight of calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken, and that without remedy.
16 These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,(D)
18 A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.
20 My son, keep your father’s [God-given] commandment and forsake not the law of [God] your mother [taught you].(E)
21 Bind them continually upon your heart and tie them about your neck.(F)
22 When you go, they [the words of your parents’ God] shall lead you; when you sleep, they shall keep you; and when you waken, they shall talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp, and the whole teaching [of the law] is light, and reproofs of discipline are the way of life,(G)
24 To keep you from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a loose woman.
25 Lust not after her beauty in your heart, neither let her capture you with her eyelids.
26 For on account of a harlot a man is brought to a piece of bread, and the adulteress stalks and snares [as with a hook] the precious life [of a man].
27 Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?
28 Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be burned?
29 So he who cohabits with his neighbor’s wife [will be tortured with evil consequences and just retribution]; he who touches her shall not be innocent or go unpunished.
30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry;
31 But if he is found out, he must restore seven times [what he stole]; he must give the whole substance of his house [if necessary—to meet his fine].
32 But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks heart and understanding (moral principle and prudence); he who does it is destroying his own life.
33 Wounds and disgrace will he get, and his reproach will not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy makes [the wronged] man furious; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance [upon the detected one].
35 He will not consider any ransom [offered to buy him off from demanding full punishment]; neither will he be satisfied, though you offer him many gifts and bribes.
- Proverbs 6:3 The Bible consistently teaches that one is not to forsake a friend, and this passage is not to be otherwise construed. But it is one thing to lend a friend money, and quite another thing to promise to pay his debts for him if he fails to do so himself. It might cost one, under the rigid customary laws governing debt, his money, his land, his bed, and his clothing—and if these were not sufficient, he and his wife and children could be sold as slaves, not to be released until the next Year of Jubilee—fifty years after the previous one. God’s Word is very plain on the subject of not underwriting another person’s debts (see Prov. 11:15; 17:18; 22:26).
- Proverbs 6:6 : Job 12:7.
- Proverbs 6:9 : Prov. 24:33, 34.
- Proverbs 6:11 : Prov. 10:4; 13:4; 20:4.
- Proverbs 6:17 : Ps. 120:2, 3.
- Proverbs 6:20 : Eph. 6:1-3.
- Proverbs 6:21 : Prov. 3:3; 7:3.
- Proverbs 6:23 : Ps. 19:8; 119:105.