Proverbs 6 Commentary

Rashness, laziness and troublemaking (6:1-19)

A person can easily get into serious difficulties by agreeing to be a financial guarantor for a friend (or a stranger), as the friend may get so far into debt that the guarantor is ruined. If the guarantor realizes that he made a rash promise, he should act quickly. He should not rest till he has gone back to his friend, told him of his true position, and withdrawn his guarantee. Only in this way will he save himself from possible disaster (6:1-5).

Though believers should not be anxious about the future, neither should they be thoughtless or lazy. They should learn a lesson from the ant. It works diligently to provide for its future security (6-8). People have only themselves to blame if they are too lazy to get up and work and as a result fall into poverty (9- 11).

Another kind of person heading for disaster is the troublemaker. People of this kind are skilled at making subtle suggestions by their movements and words, and soon create conflict (12-15). All forms of deceit and plotting are as hateful to God as the more obvious sins of haughtiness and violence. Eyes, tongue, mind, hands and feet can all lead a person into sin (16-19).

More about sexual misbehaviour (6:20-7:27)

Sometimes teaching can be so well known that people no longer take any notice of it. Therefore, they must remind themselves to be obedient to familiar truths (20-22). One matter concerning which the writer repeats his earlier warnings is sexual immorality. Offenders are merely destroying themselves (23-29).

People may not despise a desperately hungry person who steals food; nevertheless, the person must be dealt with and made to repay (with interest) what was stolen. But people will certainly despise a man who takes another’s wife; and there is no repayment he can make that will calm the anger of the offended husband (30-35).

Chapter 7 gives a colourful picture of how an immoral woman can trap a weak, easily led young man.

The section opens with a renewed emphasis on the importance of a young man’s getting wisdom and holding on to it firmly. Then he will know best how to resist the temptations he meets (7:1-5).

The writer imagines himself looking out the window and seeing a silly young man wandering around the streets at night (6-9). The young man is met by a prostitute who sees him as a likely customer (10-12). She assures him that there is nothing wrong with going to bed with her. After all, she is a very religious person who has just been to the temple, and she had the feeling that she would meet this particular man (13-17). Furthermore, her husband is away for a few weeks on business. Clearly, all the circumstances indicate that the young man is meant to go with her (18-20).

After some indecision the man gives in, and in exchange for a night’s pleasure his whole life is spoiled (21-23). All young men should take note and resist the temptations offered by such women (24- 27).

Privacy Policy