Proverbs 6:1-19

Warnings Against Folly

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
2 you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth.
3 So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go—to the point of exhaustion—[a]and give your neighbor no rest!
4 Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.
5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
12 A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
13 who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers,
14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up conflict.
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Proverbs 6:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
ESV
1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger,
NLT
1 My child, if you have put up security for a friend’s debt or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
MSG
1 Dear friend, if you've gone into hock with your neighbor or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
CSB
1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor or entered into an agreement with a stranger,

Proverbs 6:1-19 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO PROVERBS 6

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 6:1-19 In-Context

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
2 you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth.
3 So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go—to the point of exhaustion—and give your neighbor no rest!
4 Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.
5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
12 A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
13 who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers,
14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up conflict.
15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
20 My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,

Cross References 25

  • 1. S Proverbs 1:8
  • 2. Job 17:3
  • 3. Proverbs 17:18
  • 4. Proverbs 11:15; Proverbs 22:26-27
  • 5. Psalms 132:4
  • 6. S 2 Samuel 2:18
  • 7. Isaiah 13:14
  • 8. S Psalms 91:3
  • 9. ver 6-11; Proverbs 20:4
  • 10. Proverbs 30:24-25
  • 11. Proverbs 10:4
  • 12. Proverbs 24:30-34; Proverbs 26:13-16
  • 13. Proverbs 24:33; Ecclesiastes 4:5
  • 14. ver 10-11; Proverbs 20:13; Proverbs 24:30-34
  • 15. S Psalms 35:19; Proverbs 16:30
  • 16. Isaiah 58:9
  • 17. S Psalms 140:2; Micah 2:1
  • 18. ver 16-19
  • 19. S Psalms 55:15
  • 20. Job 5:3
  • 21. Proverbs 14:32; Proverbs 29:1; 2 Chronicles 36:16
  • 22. ver 16-19; Proverbs 3:32; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 15:8,9,26; Proverbs 16:5
  • 23. S Job 41:34; S Psalms 10:5
  • 24. S Deuteronomy 19:16; Psalms 27:12
  • 25. S Psalms 12:2

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "Go and humble yourself,"
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