Proverbs 11:15

15 There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt; it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.

Proverbs 11:15 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 11:15

He that is surety for a stranger shall smart [for it]
Or in "breaking shall be broken" F17, ruined and undone; he engaging or becoming a bondsman for one whose circumstances he knew not; and these being bad bring a load upon him, such an heavy debt as crushes him to pieces. Mr. Henry observes that our Lord Jesus Christ became a surety for us when we were strangers, and he smarted for it, he was bruised and wounded for our sins; but then he knew our circumstances, and what the consequence would be, and became a surety on purpose to pay the whole debt and set us free; which he was capable of doing: without being broken or becoming a bankrupt himself; for he was not broken, nor did he fail, ( Isaiah 42:4 ) . Jarchi's note is,

``the wicked shall be broken, to whose heart idolatry is sweet;''
and he that hateth suretyship is sure;
or those "that strike" F18, that is, with the hand, used in suretyship; see ( Proverbs 6:1 ) ; such an one is safe from coming into trouble by such means. The Targum is,
``and hates those that place their hope in God.''

FOOTNOTES:

F17 (ewry er) "frangendo frangetur", Michaelis; so Pagninus and others.
F18 (Myeqwt) "complodentes", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "defigentes", Mercerus.

Proverbs 11:15 In-Context

13 A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.
15 There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt; it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.
16 A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17 Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.