Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself
Take the following advice, as the best that can be given in such circumstances, in order to be freed from such an obligation, or to be safe and easy under it; when thou art come into the hand of thy friend;
``because or seeing thou art fallen into the hand of thy friend,''
as the Targum; or
``though thou art,'' &c.
as Aben Ezra; which may be understood either of the creditor to whom a man is bound, or of the debtor for whom he is bound, or of both; for a surety is in the hands or power of both: he is in the hands of the creditor, who may demand payment of the debt of him; and he is in the hands of the debtor, who, if a careless or crafty and deceitful man, may leave him to the payment of it. The Septuagint and Arabic versions are,
``for thou art come into the hands of evil men for thy friend;''
and the Syriac version,
``seeing for thy friend thou art fallen into the hands of thine enemy;''
and therefore must make the best of it thou canst, and in the following way: go, humble thyself
that is, to the creditor, prostrate thyself before him; lie down upon the ground to be trodden on, as the word F4
signifies; fall down on thine knees, and entreat him to discharge thee from the bond, or give longer time for payment, if up; for thou art in his hands, and there is no carrying it with a high hand or a haughty spirit to him; humility, and not haughtiness, is most likely to be serviceable in such a case; and make sure thy friend
for whom thou art become a surety, as the Syriac and Arabic versions add; solicit him, as the former of these versions render it; stimulate him, as the Septuagint; stir him up, urge him to pay off the debt quickly, and discharge the bond, or give thee security and indemnity from it. Or, "magnify thy friend" F5
; that is, to the creditor; speak of him as a very able and responsible man, and as an honest and faithful one, that will pay in due time. Some render it "magnify", and speak well of the debtor to thy friend, which may please and appease him: or, "multiply thy friends" F6
; get as many as thou canst to intercede for thee, and get thee discharged from the obligation by some means or another; to this purpose Jarchi.
F4 (oprth) "praebe conculcandum te", Montanus, Vatablus, Michaelis.
F5 (Kyer bhr) "evehe proximum tuum", Tigurine version; "magnifica", so some in Vatablus.
F6 "Multiplica amicos tuos", so some in Bayne.