Proverbs 6 – My son, if thou be surety

Meaning of Proverbs 6

Proverbs 6 is a chapter in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. It contains a collection of sayings that provide wisdom and guidance on various topics, including financial responsibility, avoiding foolishness, and the consequences of adultery.

Proverbs 6:1-5: Warning against becoming surety or guarantor for someone else’s debts.6-11: Encouragement to work hard and avoid laziness, with the example of an ant as a model of industriousness.

12-15: Description of a wicked person who is deceitful and untrustworthy.

16-19: A list of seven things that the Lord hates: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

20-35: A warning against adultery and its consequences, including shame, loss of honor, and destruction.

The chapter urges the reader to avoid the seductive words and ways of an adulterous person and to value faithfulness and commitment in marriage.

Proverbs 6 KJV

My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.

13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.

15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.

27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

29 So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;

31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

33 A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

34 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

35 He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

Lessons From Proverbs

Proverbs 6 contains several practical lessons on how to live a wise and successful life. Here are six lessons that can be gleaned from Proverbs 6:

  1. Avoid financial entanglements: Proverbs 6:1-5 warns against being surety for another person’s debts, or co-signing for loans. This is because such actions could lead to financial ruin if the borrower fails to repay the loan. The lesson here is to be careful about who you lend money to, and to avoid becoming financially entangled with others.
  2. Work hard and plan for the future: Proverbs 6:6-11 tells us to observe the behavior of ants, which work hard in the summer to gather food for the winter. The lesson here is to work hard and plan ahead, so that we can be prepared for difficult times in the future.
  3. Avoid laziness and procrastination: Proverbs 6:9-11 warns against laziness and procrastination, and advises us to take action and be productive. The lesson here is that we should not waste time or put off important tasks, but instead be diligent and make the most of our time.
  4. Avoid strife and contentious behavior: Proverbs 6:12-15 warns against people who are contentious and cause strife. Such people are described as being “crooked” and “perverse,” and their behavior can lead to trouble and conflict. The lesson here is to avoid contentious behavior and to seek peace and harmony with others.
  5. Avoid adultery and sexual sin: Proverbs 6:20-35 warns against the dangers of adultery and sexual sin. The chapter describes the consequences of such behavior, including shame, guilt, and even physical harm. The lesson here is to avoid sexual sin and to honor our commitments and relationships.
  6. Honor and obey your parents: Proverbs 6:20-23 advises us to honor and obey our parents, and to keep their teachings and instructions close to our hearts. The lesson here is to respect our parents and to value the wisdom and guidance they can offer us.

Prayer Points From Proverbs 6

  1. Lord, help me to avoid the trap of debt and to manage my finances wisely according to the principles of Proverbs 6:1-5.
  2. Father, guide me to stay away from people who would lead me down a destructive path, and help me to choose my friends wisely (Proverbs 6:12-19).
  3. Lord, teach me to prioritize my work and to be diligent in all that I do, knowing that laziness leads to poverty (Proverbs 6:6-11).
  4. Father, help me to guard my heart against deceit and to always speak the truth in love (Proverbs 6:20-24).
  5. Lord, give me the wisdom to resist temptation and to flee from sexual immorality, knowing that it destroys the soul (Proverbs 6:25-35).
  6. Father, help me to fear You and to seek Your wisdom above all else, knowing that it is the beginning of knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 6:20-23).

Other Translations

Amplified Bible (AMP)

English Standard Version (ESV)

Good News Translation (GNT)

New International Version (NIV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

New Living Translation (NLT)

The Message Bible (MSG)

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