Proverbs 6

Parental Counsel

1 My son, if you have become 1surety for your neighbor, Have given a pledge for a stranger,
2 If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, Have been caught with the words of your mouth,
3 Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself; Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.
4 Give no 2sleep to your eyes, Nor slumber to your eyelids;
5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter's hand And like a 3bird from the hand of the fowler.
6 Go to the 4ant, O 5sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having 6no chief, Officer or ruler,
8 Prepares her food 7in the summer And gathers her provision in the harvest.
9 How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
10 "8A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest "-
11 9Your poverty will come in like a vagabond And your need like an armed man.
12 A 10worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a 11perverse mouth,
13 Who 12winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, Who points with his fingers;
14 Who with 13perversity in his heart continually * 14devises evil, Who 15spreads strife.
15 Therefore * 16his calamity will come suddenly; 17Instantly he will be broken and there will be 18no healing.
16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
17 19Haughty eyes, a 20lying tongue, And hands that 21shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises 22wicked plans, 23Feet that run rapidly to evil,
19 A 24false witness who utters lies, And one who 25spreads strife among brothers.
20 26My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
21 27Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck.
22 When you 28walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.
23 For 29the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life
24 To 30keep you from the evil woman, From the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
25 31Do not desire her beauty in your heart, Nor let her capture you with her 32eyelids.
26 For 33on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress * 34hunts for the precious life.
27 Can a man take fire in his bosom And his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can a man walk on hot coals And his feet not be scorched?
29 So is the one who 35goes in to his neighbor's wife; Whoever touches her 36will not go unpunished.
30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals To 37satisfy himself when he is hungry;
31 But when he is found, he must 38repay sevenfold; He must give all the substance of his house.
32 The one who commits adultery with a woman is 39lacking sense; He who would 40destroy himself does it.
33 Wounds and disgrace he will find, And his reproach will not be blotted out.
34 For 41jealousy enrages a man, And he will not spare in the 42day of vengeance.
35 He will not accept * any ransom, Nor will he be satisfied though you give many 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 42

  • 1. Proverbs 11:15; Proverbs 17:18; Proverbs 20:16; Proverbs 22:26; Proverbs 27:13
  • 2. Psalms 132:4
  • 3. Psalms 91:3; Psalms 124:7
  • 4. Proverbs 30:24, 25
  • 5. Proverbs 6:9; Proverbs 10:26; Proverbs 13:4; Proverbs 20:4; Proverbs 26:16
  • 6. Proverbs 30:27
  • 7. Proverbs 10:5
  • 8. Proverbs 24:33
  • 9. Proverbs 24:34
  • 10. Proverbs 16:27
  • 11. Proverbs 4:24; Proverbs 10:32
  • 12. Job 15:12; Psalms 35:19; Proverbs 10:10
  • 13. Proverbs 17:20
  • 14. Proverbs 3:29; Micah 2:1
  • 15. Proverbs 6:19; Proverbs 16:28
  • 16. Proverbs 24:22
  • 17. Isaiah 30:13, 14; Jeremiah 19:11
  • 18. 2 Chronicles 36:16
  • 19. Psalms 18:27; Psalms 101:5; Proverbs 21:4; Proverbs 30:13
  • 20. Psalms 31:18; Psalms 120:2; Proverbs 12:22; Proverbs 17:7
  • 21. Deuteronomy 19:10; Proverbs 28:17; Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 59:7
  • 22. Genesis 6:5; Proverbs 24:2
  • 23. Proverbs 1:16; Isaiah 59:7; Romans 3:15
  • 24. Psalms 27:12; Proverbs 12:17; Proverbs 19:5, 9; Proverbs 21:28
  • 25. Proverbs 6:14
  • 26. Ephesians 6:1
  • 27. Proverbs 3:3
  • 28. Proverbs 3:23
  • 29. Psalms 19:8; Psalms 119:105
  • 30. Proverbs 5:3; Proverbs 7:5, 21
  • 31. Matthew 5:28
  • 32. 2 Kings 9:30; Jeremiah 4:30; Ezekiel 23:40
  • 33. Proverbs 5:9, 10; Proverbs 29:3
  • 34. Proverbs 7:23; Ezekiel 13:18
  • 35. Ezekiel 18:6; Ezekiel 33:26
  • 36. Proverbs 16:5
  • 37. Job 38:39
  • 38. Exodus 22:1-4
  • 39. Proverbs 7:7; Proverbs 9:4, 16; Proverbs 10:13, 21; Proverbs 11:12; Proverbs 12:11
  • 40. Proverbs 7:22, 23
  • 41. Proverbs 27:4; Song of Songs 8:6
  • 42. Proverbs 11:4

Footnotes 28

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

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