Proverbs 17:18

18 One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.

Proverbs 17:18 in Other Translations

KJV
18 A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.
ESV
18 One who lacks sense gives a pledge and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
NLT
18 It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for a friend.
MSG
18 It's stupid to try to get something for nothing, or run up huge bills you can never pay.
CSB
18 One without sense enters an agreement and puts up security for his friend.

Proverbs 17:18 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 17:18

A man void of understanding striketh hands
With his friend's creditor, and becomes surety for him; and thereby acts a very unwise part, and shows himself to want understanding, by taking such a step, which may prove the ruin of himself and family: for though a man may and should love his friend at all times; yet he is not obliged, under a notion of friendship, to injure himself and his family, or to run the risk of it; if he does, it is a plain case he wants wisdom and discretion, see ( Proverbs 6:1 ) ; [and] becometh surety in the presence of his friend;
not the creditor, but the debtor; and to pass his word for him, when he is present, shows that his own word will not be taken; and that he is either thought to be in bad circumstances, and incapable of payment at the proper time; or else that he is a bad man, of dishonest principles, and will not; and in either case it is not advisable to become surety for such a man: and besides, doing it in his presence may make him more careless and unconcerned about making good his payment or contract at the appointed time, when he knows his friend is engaged him.

Proverbs 17:18 In-Context

16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?
17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
18 One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.
19 Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.
20 One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper; one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Proverbs 6:1-5; S Proverbs 11:15; Proverbs 22:26-27