Proverbs 6

Listen to Proverbs 6

Practical Warnings

1 My son, if you have put up 1security for your neighbor, have 2given your pledge for a stranger,
2 if you are 3snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth,
3 then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten,[a] and 4plead urgently with your neighbor.
4 5Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber;
5 save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,[b] 6like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 7Go to 8the ant, O 9sluggard; consider her ways, and 10be wise.
7 11Without having any chief, 12officer, or ruler,
8 she prepares her bread 13in summer and 14gathers her food in harvest.
9 15How long will you lie there, 16O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
10 17A little sleep, a little slumber, 18a little 19folding of the hands to rest,
11 20and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
12 21A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with 22crooked speech,
13 23winks with his eyes, signals[c] with his feet, points with his finger,
14 with 24perverted heart 25devises evil, continually 26sowing discord;
15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; 27in a moment he will be broken 28beyond healing.
16 There are 29six things that the LORD hates, 30seven that are an abomination to him:
17 31haughty eyes, 32a lying tongue, and 33hands that shed innocent blood,
18 34a heart that devises wicked plans, 35feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 36a false witness who 37breathes out lies, and one who 38sows discord among brothers.

Warnings Against Adultery

20 39My son, keep your father's commandment, 40and forsake not your mother's teaching.
21 41Bind them on your heart always; 42tie them around your neck.
22 43When you walk, they[d] will lead you; 44when you lie down, they will 45watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is 46a lamp and the teaching a light, and the 47reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24 to preserve you from the evil woman,[e] from the smooth tongue of 48the adulteress.[f]
25 49Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her 50eyelashes;
26 for 51the price of a prostitute is only 52a loaf of bread,[g] but a married woman[h]53hunts down a precious life.
27 Can a man carry 54fire next to his 55chest and his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can one 56walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; none who touches her 57will go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals to 58satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
31 but 59if he is caught, he will pay 60sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house.
32 He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.
33 He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34 For 61jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when 62he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.

Proverbs 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

Cautions against rash suretiship. (1-5) A rebuke to slothfulness. (6-11) Seven things hateful to God. (12-19) Exhortations to walk according to God's commandments. (20-35)

Verses 1-5 If we live as directed by the word of God, we shall find it profitable even in this present world. We are stewards of our worldly substance, and have to answer to the Lord for our disposal of it; to waste it in rash schemes, or such plans as may entangle us in difficulties and temptations, is wrong. A man ought never to be surety for more than he is able and willing to pay, and can afford to pay, without wronging his family; he ought to look upon every sum he is engaged for, as his own debt. If we must take all this care to get our debts to men forgiven, much more to obtain forgiveness with God. Humble thyself to him, make sure of Christ as thy Friend, to plead for thee; pray earnestly that thy sins may be pardoned, and that thou mayest be kept from going down to the pit.

Verses 6-11 Diligence in business is every man's wisdom and duty; not so much that he may attain worldly wealth, as that he may not be a burden to others, or a scandal to the church. The ants are more diligent than slothful men. We may learn wisdom from the meanest insects, and be shamed by them. Habits of indolence and indulgence grow upon people. Thus life runs to waste; and poverty, though at first at a distance, gradually draws near, like a traveller; and when it arrives, is like an armed man, too strong to be resisted. All this may be applied to the concerns of our souls. How many love their sleep of sin, and their dreams of worldly happiness! Shall we not seek to awaken such? Shall we not give diligence to secure our own salvation?

Verses 12-19 If the slothful are to be condemned, who do nothing, much more those that do all the ill they can. Observe how such a man is described. He says and does every thing artfully, and with design. His ruin shall come without warning, and without relief. Here is a list of things hateful to God. Those sins are in a special manner provoking to God, which are hurtful to the comfort of human life. These things which God hates, we must hate in ourselves; it is nothing to hate them in others. Let us shun all such practices, and watch and pray against them; and avoid, with marked disapproval, all who are guilty of them, whatever may be their rank.

Verses 20-35 The word of God has something to say to us upon all occasions. Let not faithful reproofs ever make us uneasy. When we consider how much this sin abounds, how heinous adultery is in its own nature, of what evil consequence it is, and how certainly it destroys the spiritual life in the soul, we shall not wonder that the cautions against it are so often repeated. Let us notice the subjects of this chapter. Let us remember Him who willingly became our Surety, when we were strangers and enemies. And shall Christians, who have such prospects, motives, and examples, be slothful and careless? Shall we neglect what is pleasing to God, and what he will graciously reward? May we closely watch every sense by which poison can enter our minds or affections.

Cross References 62

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Or humble yourself
  • [b]. Hebrew lacks of the hunter
  • [c]. Hebrew scrapes
  • [d]. Hebrew it; three times in this verse
  • [e]. Revocalization (compare Septuagint) yields from the wife of a neighbor
  • [f]. Hebrew the foreign woman
  • [g]. Or (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate) for a prostitute leaves a man with nothing but a loaf of bread
  • [h]. Hebrew a man's wife

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the wise man dissuades from rash suretyship; exposes the sin of idleness; describes a wicked man; makes mention of seven things hateful to God; exhorts to attend to parental instructions and precepts, and cautions against adultery. Suretyship is described, Pr 6:1; and represented as a snare and a net, in which men are taken, Pr 6:2; and advice is given what to do in such a case, for safety in it, and deliverance from it, Pr 6:3-5; The sin of slothfulness is exposed, by observing the industry of the ant, Pr 6:6-8; by expostulating with the sluggard for his continuance in sloth, and by mimicking him, Pr 6:9,10; and by the poverty it brings upon him, Pr 6:11. Then a naughty wicked man is described, by his mouth, eyes, feet, fingers, and heart, whose ruin is sudden and inevitable, Pr 6:11-15. The seven things hateful to God are particularly named, Pr 6:16-19. And next the exhortation in some preceding chapters is reassumed, to attend to the instructions of parents; which will be found ornamental, pleasant, and useful, Pr 6:20-23. Especially to preserve from the lewd woman cautioned against, Pr 6:24,25; whose company is dissuaded from; on account of the extreme poverty and distress she brings persons to, and even danger of life, Pr 6:26; from the unavoidable ruin such come into, Pr 6:27-29; from the sin of uncleanness being greater than that of theft, Pr 6:30,31; from the folly the adulterer betrays; from the destruction of his soul, and the disgrace he brings on himself, Pr 6:32,33; and from the rage and irreconcilable offence of the husband of the adulteress, Pr 6:34,35.

Proverbs 6 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.