Proverbs 11:15

15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.

Proverbs 11:15 in Other Translations

KJV
15 He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.
ESV
15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.
NLT
15 There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt; it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.
MSG
15 Whoever makes deals with strangers is sure to get burned; if you keep a cool head, you'll avoid rash bargains.
CSB
15 If someone puts up security for a stranger, he will suffer for it, but the one who hates such agreements is protected.

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 betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.
16 A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17 Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Proverbs 6:1
  • 2. Proverbs 17:18; Proverbs 22:26-27