BibliaTodo Commentaries


Benson Joseph
Proverbs 6

1. My son, if you become surety for your friend, you shall deliver your hand to an enemy.

2. For a man's own lips become a strong snare to him, and he is caught with the lips of his own mouth.

3. My son, do what I command you, and deliver yourself; for on your friend's account you have come into the power of evil men: faint not, but stir up even your friend for whom you have become surety.

4. Give not sleep to your eyes, nor slumber with your eyelids;

5. that you may deliver yourself as a doe out of the toils, and as a bird out of a snare.

6. Go to the ant, O sluggard; and see, and emulate his ways, and become wiser than he.

7. For whereas he has no leader, nor anyone to compel him, and is under no master,

8. he prepares food for himself in the summer, and lays up abundant supplies in harvest. (6:8A) Or go to the bee, and learn how diligent she is, and how earnestly she is engaged in her work; (6:8B) whose labors kings and private men use for health, and she is desired and respected by all: (6:8C) though weak in body, she is advanced by honoring wisdom.

9. How long will you lie, O sluggard? And when will you awake out of sleep?

10. You sleep a little, and you rest a little, and you slumber a short time, and you fold your arms over your breast a little.

11. Then poverty comes upon you as an evil traveler, and your need as a swift courier. (6:11A) But if you be diligent, your harvest shall arrive as a fountain, and poverty shall flee away as a bad courier.

12. A foolish man and a transgressor goes in ways that are not good.

13. And the same winks with the eye, and makes a sign with his foot, and teaches with the beckonings of his fingers.

14. His perverse heart devises evils: at all times such a one causes troubles to a city.

15. Therefore his destruction shall come suddenly, overthrow and irretrievable ruin.

16. For he rejoices in all things which God hates, and he is ruined by reason of impurity of soul.

17. The eye of the haughty, an unjust tongue, hands shedding innocent blood,

18. a heart devising evil thoughts, and feet hastening to do evil, are hateful to God.

19. An unjust witness kindles falsehoods, and brings on quarrels between brothers.

20. My son, keep the laws of your father, and do not reject the ordinances of your mother:

21. but bind them upon your soul continually, and hang them as a chain about your neck.

22. Whenever you walk, lead this along and let it be with you, that it may talk with you when you wake.

23. For the commandment of the law is a lamp and a light; a way of life; reproof also and correction:

24. to keep you continually from a married woman, and from the flattery of a strange tongue.

25. Let not the desire of beauty overcome you, neither be caught by her eyes, or captivated with her eyelids.

26. For the value of a harlot is as much as of one loaf of bread, and a woman hunts for the precious souls of men.

27. Shall anyone bind fire in his bosom, and not burn his garments?

28. Or will anyone walk on coals of fire, and not burn his feet?

29. So is he that goes in to a married woman; he shall not be held guiltless, neither anyone that touches her.

30. It is not to be wondered at if one should be caught stealing, for he steals that when hungry, he may satisfy his soul:

31. but if he should be caught, he shall repay sevenfold, and shall deliver himself by giving all his goods.

32. But the adulterer through lack of understanding procures destruction to his soul.

33. He endures both pain and disgrace, and his reproach shall never be wiped off.

34. For the soul of her husband is full of jealousy: he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

35. He will not forego his enmity for any ransom: neither will he be reconciled by many gifts.

Proverbs 6

Pro 6:1-2. My son, if thou be surety for, or to, thy friend — Namely, rashly and unadvisedly, without considering for whom, or how the thou dost oblige thyself, or how thou shalt discharge the debt if occasion require it: otherwise suretiship, in some cases, may be not only lawful, but an act of justice and charity; if thou hast stricken thy hand — Obliged thyself by giving thy hand, or joining thy hand with another man’s, as the custom then was in such cases; (of which, see Job 17:3, chap. 17:18, and 22:26;) with a stranger — With the creditor, whom he calls a stranger, because the usurers in Israel, who lent money to others, upon condition of paying use for it, were either heathen, or were reputed as bad as heathen, because this practice was forbidden by God’s law, Deu 23:19. Or, to, or for, a stranger, for here is the same preposition which is rendered for in the former clause. And so the words may imply, that whether a man be surety to, or for, a friend, or to, or for, a stranger, the course to be taken is much of the same kind. Thou art snared, &c. — Thy freedom is lost, and thou art now in bondage to another.

Pro 6:3-5. Do this now, my son — Immediately follow the counsel which I now give thee, and deliver thyself — Use thy utmost endeavours to be discharged; when, or since, thou art come into the hand — That is, into the power; of thy friend — Of the debtor, for whom, as being thy friend, thou didst become surety, whereby thou art in his power, by his neglect or unfaithfulness, to expose thee to the payment of the debt. Go, humble thyself — Hebrew, התרפס, throw thyself down at his feet, or offer thyself to be trodden upon. As thou hast put thyself in his power, and made thyself his servant, bear the fruits of thy own folly, and humbly and earnestly implore him as readily to grant thy request as thou wast forward to comply with his, and forthwith to satisfy the debt, or give thee security against the creditor. Make sure of thy friend — Cease not to urge and importune him by thyself, and by thy friends, till thou hast prevailed with him. The Seventy translate this verse,” Do, my son, the things which I command thee, and deliver thyself: for thou art come into the hands of evil men upon thy friend’s account: go, therefore, be not careless or remiss, but earnest and importunate with thy friend to get thyself discharged.” Give not sleep to thine eyes, &c. — Namely, until thou hast taken care for the discharge of this obligation. Be not secure, nor negligent, nor dilatory in this matter. Deliver thyself as a roe, &c. — With all possible expedition, as a roe runs swiftly away.

Pro 6:6-8. Go to the ant, &c. — “Nor are industry and diligence requisite in this alone, but in all thy affairs; to which, therefore, if thou art slothful, I must excite thee by the example of the ants; whose orderly and unanimous diligence, in collecting and preserving food for themselves, if thou wilt observe, thou mayest be ashamed” to be indolent, “and learn hereafter to imitate their provident care.” Which having no guide, &c. — “Which is the more remarkable, because they have none to lead and direct them as mankind have; no overseer to exact their labours; no supreme governor to call them to an account for any negligence. And yet they never omit the opportunity they have in harvest to make provision against the winter; but toil perpetually, in gathering and carrying food into the cells they have digged for it in the earth; where they lay it up, and secure it with admirable art; that it may neither be injured by the weather, nor stolen from them by other creatures.” — Bishop Patrick.

Pro 6:9-11. How long, &c. — O the strange idleness of mankind! who have so many monitors and governors, that call upon them again and again, to excite them to diligence, but in vain! Wilt thou sleep, O sluggard — When the ants are so watchful, and labour not only in the day-time, but even by night, when the moon shines. Yet a little sleep, &c. — This he speaks in the person of the sluggard, refusing to arise and requiring more sleep, that so he might express the disposition and common practice of such persons. So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth — Swiftly and unexpectedly; and thy wants as an armed man — Irresistibly.

Pro 6:12-15. A naughty person — Hebrew, a man of Belial, a wicked man, whose continual practice it is, in one way or other, to work wickedness; walketh with a froward mouth — Makes it his business, by lies; or flatteries, or slanders, or perjuries, to maintain himself in his idle courses. And if the slothful are to be condemned that do nothing, much more those that act wickedly, and contrive to do all the ill they can. He winketh with his eyes, &c. — He vents his wickedness, as by his speech, so also by his gestures, by which he secretly intimates what he is ashamed or afraid to express openly to his accomplices, his intentions or desires of doing some evil to some one; he teacheth with his fingers — Having declared his designs by the motion of his eyes, or feet, he points out the particular person by his fingers. Frowardness is in his heart — Perverse or wicked thoughts and desires. He soweth discord — Either out of malice against others, or out of a base design of improving it to his own advantage. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly — And prove his utter ruin; suddenly shall he be broken — When he fancies he has conducted his matters so craftily that nobody discerns his villany, he shall, on a sudden, be looked upon as the pest of mankind, and, like a vessel broken in small pieces, shall be incurably undone.

Pro 6:16-19. These six things — Generally found in those men of Belial, described in the foregoing verses; doth the Lord hate — Namely, above many other sins, which have a worse name in the world; a proud look — Pride of heart, which commonly discovers itself by a man’s looks and gestures; a lying tongue — Lying and deceit in his common conversation. A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations — Whose practice it is to design and contrive wickedness. Feet that be swift in running to mischief — Such as greedily and readily execute their wicked designs, without any restraint or delay. A false witness that speaketh lies — Namely, in judgment: whereby this differs from the former lying, Pro 6:17; and him that soweth discord among brethren — That is, dear relations or friends.

Pro 6:20-23. Keep thy father’s commandment — So far as it is not contrary to God’s command. And forsake not the law of thy mother — Which children are too apt to despise. Bind them continually upon thy heart — Constantly remember and duly consider them; tie them about thy neck — See on Pro 1:9; Pro 3:3. When thou goest, it shall lead thee — Namely, the law of God, which thy parents have taught thee, and pressed upon thee, shall direct thee how to order all thy steps and actions. It shall talk with thee — It shall give thee counsel and comfort. For the commandment is a lamp — It enlightens the dark mind, and clearly discovers to a man the plain and right way. And reproofs of instruction — Wise and instructive reproofs or admonitions; are the way to life — Both to preserve and prolong this life, and to ensure eternal life to those that obey them.

Pro 6:24-29. To keep thee from the evil woman — Which is mentioned as a great commendation of God’s word, because neither worldly discretion, nor a good education, nor moral precepts, nor any other considerations, are sufficient preservatives against this lust, as is manifest from daily experience. Lust not after her beauty — Do not give way to, or delight thyself with, unchaste thoughts or affections: compare Mat 5:28. Neither let her take thee with her eyelids — With her wanton glances. For by means, &c., a man is brought to a piece of bread — To extreme poverty, so as to want, and be forced to beg his bread. And the adulteress will hunt for the precious life — To take away a man’s life; either by consuming his body and spirits, and so shortening his days; or more directly and strictly when she hath any great provocation to do it, or any prospect of considerable advantage thereby. Can a man take fire in his bosom and not be burned? — The question implies a denial; he cannot escape burning. No more can he who burns in lust avoid destruction. Whosoever toucheth her — In any immodest way; shall not be innocent — He is in imminent danger of adultery, as he that takes fire in his bosom, or goes upon hot coals, is in danger of being burned. The way of sin is down hill, and those that venture upon the temptation to it will hardly escape the sin itself; and certainly shall not escape punishment, but shall meet with it either from God or man.

Pro 6:30-35. Men do not despise a thief — That is, abhor or reproach him, but rather pity and pardon him, who is urged by mere necessity to these practices, but the adulterer is abhorred by all. If he — The thief; be found, he shall restore seven-fold — The law (Exo 22:1-4) did not oblige the thief to restore seven-fold, but only five oxen for one, or in another case double. Some persons think that the word seven-fold is only used as an indefinite number, meaning he shall restore the value of that which he hath taken, and much more. Others think that, as thefts were multiplied, so the punishment of them was increased in Solomon’s time; or, at least, that it was the practice of some nations to require this seven-fold restitution. Some again have thought (which seems most probable) that he speaks not of that restitution which the law required, but of that which either the wronged person might force the thief to make, or which the thief would willingly give rather than be exposed to public shame. But whoso committeth adultery lacketh understanding — Shows still greater folly; for, if he is found out, he is not punished in his estate only, but with loss of life; for if a theft, occasioned by hunger, is so punished, how much more severely shall the adulterer be punished, who robs a man of what is so much more valuable and dear to him than any part of his property, even of his wife, without any such necessity. He is indeed a brutish and silly man who madly rushes upon those filthy courses without any sense or consideration of the horrid shame and certain destruction which attend upon them. He that doeth it — That commits such a crime; destroyeth his own soul — Not only his life, but his soul: he is guilty, not only of self-murder, but of soul-murder. A wound and dishonour shall he get — Evil or corporeal punishment from the magistrate, or rather from the woman’s husband, as it follows. And his reproach shall not be wiped away — Although it should be forgiven by God, yet the reproach and scandal of it will remain. For jealousy is the rage of a man — It inflames a man with rage and fury against the adulterer. Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance — When he has an opportunity to avenge himself upon the delinquent. He will not regard any ransom — Though the adulterer may be willing to expiate his crime, and redeem his life at any rate, it will not be accepted: the largest gifts will be refused, and nothing will satisfy the injured husband but the death of the person who hath injured him so deeply.

The Complete Apostles' Bible

Translated by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton. Revised and Edited by Paul W. Esposito, and, The English Majority Text Version (EMTV) of the Holy Bible, New Testament. Copyright © 2002-2004 Paul W. Esposito.