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The Folly of Guaranteeing Loans

My son, if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor,
if you have agreed to a deal[a] with a stranger,
trapped by your own words,
    and caught by your own words,
then do this, my son, and deliver yourself,
    because you have come under your neighbor’s control.[b]
Go, humble yourself!
    Plead passionately with your neighbor!
Don’t allow yourself to sleep
    or even to close your eyes.
Deliver yourself like a gazelle from a hunter’s hand,[c]
    or like a bird from a fowler’s hand.

The Folly of Laziness

Go to the ant, you lazy man!
    Observe its ways and become wise.
It has no commander,
    officer, or ruler,
but prepares its provisions in the summer
    and gathers its food in the harvest.
How long will you lie down, lazy man?
    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 your poverty will come on you like a bandit
    and your desperation like an armed man.

The Folly of Causing Strife

12 A worthless man, a wicked man,
    goes around with devious speech,
13 winking with his eyes, making signs[d] with[e] his feet,
    pointing with his fingers,
14 planning evil with a perverse mind,[f]
    continually stirring up discord.
15 Therefore, disaster will overtake him suddenly.
    He will be broken in an instant,
        and he will never recover.

What God Hates

16 Here are six things that the Lord hates—
    seven, in fact,[g] are detestable to him:[h]
17 Arrogant eyes,
    a lying tongue,
        and hands shedding innocent blood;
18 a heart crafting evil plans,
    feet running swiftly to wickedness,
19 a false witness snorting lies,
    and someone sowing quarrels between brothers.

Parental Counsel about Immorality

20 Keep your father’s commands, my son,
    and never forsake your mother’s rules,[i]
21 by binding them to your heart continuously,
    fastening them around your neck.
22 During your travels wisdom[j] will lead you;
    she will watch over you while you rest;
and when you are startled from your sleep,
    she will commune with you.
23 Because the command is a lamp
    and the Law a light,
        rebukes that discipline are a way of life—
24 to protect you from the evil[k] woman,
    from the words of the seductive woman.

25 Do not focus on her beauty in your mind,
    nor allow her to take you prisoner with her flirting eyes,
26 because the price of a whore is a loaf of bread,
    and an adulterous woman stalks a man’s precious life.

27 Can a man scoop fire into his bosom
    without burning his clothes?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
    without scorching his feet?
29 So also is it with someone who has sex with his neighbor’s wife;
    anyone touching her will not remain unpunished.

30 A thief isn’t despised
    if he steals to meet his needs[l] when he is hungry,
31 but when he is discovered,
    he must restore seven-fold,
        forfeiting the entire value of his house.

32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman is out of his mind;
    by doing so he corrupts his own soul.
33 He will receive a beating and dishonor,
    and his shame won’t disappear,
34 because jealousy incites[m] a strong man’s rage,
    and he will show no mercy when it’s time for revenge.
35 He will not consider any payment,
    nor will he be willing to accept it,[n]
        no matter how large the bribe.


  1. Proverbs 6:1 Lit. have clapped your hands; i.e. have shaken hands
  2. Proverbs 6:3 Lit. into the hands of your neighbor
  3. Proverbs 6:5 So MT; LXX Syr Targ read from the hunter; or a noose
  4. Proverbs 6:13 Lit. scraping
  5. Proverbs 6:13 The Heb. lacks with
  6. Proverbs 6:14 Or heart
  7. Proverbs 6:16 The Heb. lacks in fact
  8. Proverbs 6:16 Lit. to his soul
  9. Proverbs 6:20 Or laws
  10. Proverbs 6:22 Lit. wisdom; i.e. wisdom personified as a woman
  11. Proverbs 6:24 So MT; LXX reads married
  12. Proverbs 6:30 Lit. to refresh his soul
  13. Proverbs 6:34 The Heb. lacks incites
  14. Proverbs 6:35 The Heb. lacks to accept it