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Proverbs 6Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Financial Entanglements

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor[a]
or entered into an agreement with[b] a stranger,[c]
you have been trapped by the words of your lips[d]
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
Do this, then, my son, and free yourself,
for you have put yourself in your neighbor’s power:
Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor.
Don’t give sleep to your eyes
or slumber to your eyelids.
Escape like a gazelle from a hunter,[e]
like a bird from a fowler’s trap.[f]


Go to the ant, you slacker!
Observe its ways and become wise.
Without leader, administrator, or ruler,
it prepares its provisions in summer;
it gathers its food during harvest.
How long will you stay in bed, you slacker?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the arms to rest,
11 and your poverty will come like a robber,
your need, like a bandit.

The Malicious Man

12 A worthless person, a wicked man
goes around speaking dishonestly,
13 winking his eyes, signaling with his feet,
and gesturing with his fingers.
14 He always plots evil with perversity in his heart—
he stirs up trouble.
15 Therefore calamity will strike him suddenly;
he will be shattered instantly—beyond recovery.

What the Lord Hates

16 The Lord hates six things;
in fact, seven are detestable to Him:
17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that plots wicked schemes,
feet eager to run to evil,
19 a lying witness who gives false testimony,
and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.

Warning against Adultery

20 My son, keep your father’s command,
and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.
21 Always bind them to your heart;
tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk here and there, they will guide you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
when you wake up, they will talk to you.
23 For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light,
and corrective discipline is the way to life.
24 They will protect you from an evil woman,[g]
from the flattering[h] tongue of a stranger.
25 Don’t lust in your heart for her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyelashes.
26 For a prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread,[i]
but an adulteress[j] goes after a precious life.
27 Can a man embrace fire[k]
and his clothes not be burned?
28 Can a man walk on burning coals
without scorching his feet?
29 So it is with the one who sleeps with
another man’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 People don’t despise the thief if he steals
to satisfy himself when he is hungry.
31 Still, if caught, he must pay seven times as much;
he must give up all the wealth in his house.
32 The one who commits adultery[l] lacks sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
33 He will get a beating[m] and dishonor,
and his disgrace will never be removed.
34 For jealousy enrages a husband,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will not be appeased by anything
or be persuaded by lavish gifts.


  1. Proverbs 6:1 Or friend
  2. Proverbs 6:1 Lit or shaken hands for or with
  3. Proverbs 6:1 The Hb word for stranger can refer to a foreigner, an Israelite outside one’s family, or simply to another person.
  4. Proverbs 6:2 Lit mouth
  5. Proverbs 6:5 Lit hand
  6. Proverbs 6:5 Lit hand
  7. Proverbs 6:24 LXX reads from a married woman
  8. Proverbs 6:24 Lit smooth
  9. Proverbs 6:26 Or On account of a prostitute, [one is left with] only a loaf of bread
  10. Proverbs 6:26 Lit but a wife of a man
  11. Proverbs 6:27 Lit man take fire to his bosom
  12. Proverbs 6:32 Lit commits adultery with a woman
  13. Proverbs 6:33 Or plague

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