Proverbs 6

1 My son, if thou hast promised for thy friend, thou hast fastened thine hand at a stranger. (My son, if thou hast pledged yourself, or made a guarantee, for thy friend, then thou hast fastened thy hand to a stranger.)
2 Thou art bound by the words of thy mouth; and thou art taken with thine own words (and thou art caught by thy own words, or thy promises).
3 Therefore, my son, do thou that that I say, and deliver thyself; for thou hast fallen into the hand of thy neighbour. Run thou about, haste thou, raise thy friend; (And so my son, do thou what I say, and save thyself; for thou hast fallen into the hand of thy neighbour. Run thou about, haste thou, implore thy friend;)
4 give thou not sleep to thine eyes, neither (let) thine eyelids nap.
5 Be thou ravished, as a doe from the hand; and as a bird from [the] ambushings of the fowler. (Be thou released, like a doe from the hand of the hunter; and like a bird from the ambush of the fowler.)
6 O! thou slow man (O! thou lazy one), go to the ant; and behold thou his ways, and learn thou wisdom.
7 Which when he hath no duke, neither commander, nor prince (nor leader);
8 maketh ready in summer meat to himself, and gathereth together in harvest that, that he shall eat. (prepareth food for himself in the summer, and gathereth together at harvest time what he shall eat.)
9 How long shalt thou, slow man, sleep? (How long shalt thou, O lazy one, sleep?) when shalt thou rise from thy sleep?
10 A little thou shalt sleep, a little thou shalt nap; (and) a little thou shalt join together thine hands that thou sleep (again).
11 And then neediness, as a waygoer, shall come to thee; and poverty, as an armed man. Forsooth if thou art not slow (But if thou art not lazy), thy ripe corn shall come as a well; and neediness shall flee far from thee.
12 A man apostate, a man unprofitable, (is) he (who) goeth with a wayward mouth;
13 he beckoneth with (the) eyes, he trampeth with the foot, he speaketh with the finger,
14 by shrewd heart he imagineth evil, and in all time he soweth dissensions. (with a depraved heart he imagineth all kinds of evil, and at all times he soweth discord.)
15 His perdition shall come to him anon, and he shall be broken suddenly; and he shall no more have medicine. (His perdition shall come upon him at once, and suddenly he shall be broken; and then he shall be without any remedy.)
16 Six things there be, which the Lord hateth; and his soul curseth the seventh thing.
17 High eyes, a tongue liar, that is, accustomable to deadly leasing (a lying tongue, that is, one accustomed to deadly lies), hands shedding out innocent blood,
18 an heart imagining full wicked thoughts, feet swift to run into evil (feet quick to run to evil),
19 a man bringing forth leasing, a false witness; and him that soweth discord among brethren. (a liar, that is, a false witness; and he who soweth discord among brothers, or among friends.)
20 My son, keep the commandments of thy father; and forsake [thou] not the law of thy mother. (My son, obey thy father's commands; and do not thou abandon thy mother's instructions.)
21 Bind thou those continually in thine heart; and encompass to thy throat. (Bind thou them continually to thy heart; and tie them about thy neck.)
22 When thou goest, go they with thee; when thou sleepest, keep they thee (safe); and thou waking, speak with them.
23 For the commandment of God is a lantern, and the law is light, and the blaming of teaching is the way of life; (For the commandment of God is a lantern, and the Law is a light, and the rebukes of discipline pointeth to the way of life;)
24 (so) that they keep thee from an evil woman, and from a flattering tongue of a strange woman.
25 Thine heart covet not the fairness of her; neither be thou taken (in) by the beckonings of her. (Do not let thy heart desire her beauty; nor be thou taken in by her beckonings.)
26 For the price of a whore is scarcely a gobbet of bread; but (such) a woman taketh (away) the precious soul of a man.
27 Whether a man may hide fire in his bosom, that his clothes burn not; (Can a man hide fire in his bosom, and his clothes not burn?)
28 either go on coals, and his feet be not burnt? (or go upon coals, and his feet not be burned?)
29 So he that entereth to the wife of his neighbour; (he) shall not be clean, when he hath touched her.
30 It is no great sin, when a man stealeth; for he stealeth to fill an hungry soul.
31 And he taken shall yield the seventhfold (And if he is caught, he shall give back sevenfold); and he shall give all the chattel of his house, and (so he) shall deliver himself.
32 But he that is an adulterer, shall lose his soul, for the poverty of heart, that is, (for the) wanting of reason.
33 He gathereth filth, and scandal to himself; and his shame shall not be done away.
34 For the fervent love and strong vengeance of the man shall not spare in the day of vengeance, (For the husband's fervent love, and desire for revenge, shall not spare him on the day of vengeance,)
35 neither shall (the husband) assent to the prayers of any; neither he shall take many gifts for ransom (nor shall he take any number of gifts for recompense).

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.

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

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.