Proverbs Chapter 6
Proverbs 6:1 “My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, [if] thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,”
Surety for thy friend means to put up security for someone else’s loan.
This is just saying you are responsible for the note this other person has made. The foolishness here is making one’s self responsible for another’s debt and pledging to pay if the other defaults.
While there is a precedent for such a practice, it is far better to give to those in need or lend without interest.
Young people, many times, do not realize that they could have to pay the whole debt for something they did not receive by just signing an innocent looking piece of paper. When this chapter of Proverbs was written, a hand shake was just as binding as notarized notes are today. Our society has gone debt crazy. We buy things on time that we should not have bought at all, because we do not have the money to pay for it. The #1 cause of divorce in America is debt.
Proverbs 6:2 “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.”
Anyone who becomes responsible for another person’s debt is trapped and controlled because he has yielded control of what God has given him as a stewardship.
Proverbs 6:3 “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.”
This is very good advice about to be given in verses 3 through 5; get off the note.
The situation is so serious that it is imperative to take control of one’s own God given resources and get out of such an intolerable arrangement immediately “deliver yourself”, before coming to poverty or slavery.
Proverbs 6:4-5 “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.”
This is just saying, don’t even wait until tomorrow, go today and beg your friend to let you off of this note. Just as a deer escapes from the hunter or a bird from a net, you will be free and not responsible for someone else’s note.
We are seeing in these parables just good rules for living successful business lives. These parables are to help us prosper in all that we do.
Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:”
A warning against laziness is appropriate after the discussion on the folly of guaranteeing someone else’s debt, since it is often lazy people who want sureties.
The ant is an example of industry, diligence and planning and serves as a rebuke to a sluggard (a lazy person who lacks self control). Folly sends a lazy man to learn from an ant.
Proverbs 6:7-8 “Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,” “Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.”
God does not like for us to be lazy (sluggard). The ant throughout history has shown great industry. It is wise to follow someone or something that teaches us good habits. The ant works without another ant over him and, yet, gets his work done and done well. The ant prepares ahead and is never short of food. We can learn a lesson from the ant. We should not have to be driven to work, but should do our work, because it needs to be done. We should work hard and prepare ahead for the winter.
Proverbs 6:9-10 “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?” “[Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:”
This lazy person (sluggard), loves to sleep late rather than to work. This lazy person uses every kind of excuse to avoid work. He says,” I have to sleep a little, I do not have time to work right now”.
Proverbs 6:11 “So shall thy poverty come as one that travaileth, and thy want as an armed man.”
Poverty will come upon a person who does not want to work. Money is earned by the sweat of the brow and with busy hands. People, who do not like to work, receive no money. This is just a warning against being lazy and a sleepy head.
Just as a victim is overcome by a robber, so is the lazy man with his devotion to sleep rather than work, is led to poverty.
Proverbs 6:12 “A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.”
This naughty, wicked man is an example of what none of us want to be. This man would not be a truthful person, but would be someone who lies to get his way or for evil gain.
This “naughty” or worthless person is considered a scoundrel, literally a “man of Belial”, (meaning useless), a term which came to be used of the Devil himself (see 2 Cor. 6:15).
Proverbs 6:13 “He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;”
We see from this description and other descriptions of winking with the eye that it is used to trick people. This speaking with his feet shows that he is running to mischief. This talking with his fingers indicates evil gestures of the fingers. We have talked before about the mouth speaking from the issue of the heart. As the man thinketh in his heart, the mouth speaketh.
Apparently, this was common in the East. Fearing detection and to hide his intention, the deceiver spoke lies to the victim while giving signals with his eyes, hands and feet to someone else in on the deception to carry out the intrigue.
Proverbs 6:14 “Frowardness [is] in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.”
“Frowardness” refers to moral perversity. The sin of strife, dissent or creating conflict intentionally recurs in Proverbs.
Evil men, with evil hearts, speak evil words. This evil person is continually thinking up ways to do wickedness. This man is not a peace maker. He is continually causing fussing and fighting because he spreads strife.
Proverbs 6:15 “Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.”
God will not always overlook this evil. There is a day of reckoning. When God decides that reckoning day is here, it comes suddenly as a thief in the night. When God says it is enough, there will be nowhere for him to turn to. When God judges, his punishment will fit his crime.
In (verses 16-19), we see the words six and seven. The sequence of these two numbers was used both to represent totality and as a means of arresting attention. These 7 detestable sins provide a profound glimpse into the sinfulness of man. These verses act as a summary of the previous warnings:
(1) Haughty eyes;
(2) Lying tongue;
(6) False witness;
Proverbs 6:16 “These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:”
We see here that there are some sins that God will just not tolerate. They are so terrible in His sight that He calls them an abomination. These 7 abominations to God just mean that they cover all the abominations.
Proverbs 6:17 “A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,”
Haughtiness (a proud look), or you might say conceit is unacceptable unto God. Whatever we are, we have no reason for bragging about it, because God made us what we are; we had nothing to do with it. Even a king is a king because God planned it. You see, that leaves us no room to brag.
The tongue is the evilest part of the body and to add lying to it really is terrible in God’s sight. Jesus is the truth. Everything of God is based on truth, so you can see how awful it is to lie. The hands should be used as tools of mercy, not as instruments of death to the innocent. You can easily see why these three top the list of sins that God hates.
Proverbs 6:18 “A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,”
The heart is either desperately wicked or pure. God will judge our hearts, not our deeds. These wicked imaginations here are speaking of people who imagine evil things which cause trouble for other people. “Feet” (as in verse 13); in the Scripture of the evil man, we learned that an evil person is eager to get into all kinds of mischief.
Proverbs 6:19 “A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
In court, a false witness is said to perjure himself. If the court finds that person has given a false witness, the court will prosecute him and he might even spend some time in jail. You see, giving a false testimony is a very serious crime. It can cause great pain and suffering to the individual the false witness is against.
In the Sermon on the Mount, we see blessed is the peacemaker. One who sows discord is the opposite of a peacemaker for he is a troublemaker.
Proverbs 6:20-21 “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” “Bind them continually upon thine heart, [and] tie them about thy neck.”
All of the things (the 7 abominations), are in direct contrast to keeping the commandments of father and mother. This we learned (in Proverbs 3).
Proverbs 3:1-4 “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:” “For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:” “So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”
In verse 21, here, we see that God is telling us to never lose sight of His laws (commandments). Our parents teach us the correct way to live. We should never grow too old to live up to the teachings of our parents.
“Thine heart” is better translated mind. The first thing to protect against the adulteress is not the body, but the mind.
Proverbs 6:22 “When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and [when] thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.”
We read that God, Himself, will write His laws upon the fleshly parts of our heart. God’s laws should be in our heart, not on a piece of paper. This hanging it on the neck just means to me that we are to ever keep His laws before our face.
His laws shall lead us into paths of righteousness. When we are asleep, even our subconscious mind is stayed upon Him.
This parallels the 3 circumstances of life (in Deut. 6:6-9 and 11:18), for which wisdom provides direction, protection, and meditation. The biblical instruction for parents prevents the entrance of evil by supplying good and true thoughts, even when sleeping.
Proverbs 6:23 “For the commandment [is] a lamp; and the law [is] light; and reproofs of instruction [are] the way of life:”
The law is light. Those who live for the Lord walk in the light as He is in the Light. Godly people love instructions in righteousness.
These all identify the Word of God which provides the wisdom leading to abundant and eternal life.
Proverbs 6:24 “To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.”
Parental instruction in wisdom is crucial to strengthen a person against the strong attraction of sexual sin. By loving truth and being elevated to wisdom, men are not seduced by lying flattery.
Proverbs 6:25 “Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.”
Sexual sin is rooted in lust (imagination of the sinful act), as implied (in Exodus 20:17), and addressed by Christ in Matthew.
Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
Fluttering eyelids have been used by sinful women for centuries to draw men to them. Prostitution is as old as the Bible, itself. It has been condemned from Genesis to Revelation. The whole book of Hosea is about a whorish woman. The woman in the instance in Hosea is speaking of Israel being unfaithful to God. Adultery (either spiritual or physical), has always been condemned of God. These few verses here are warning against falling into this type of sin.
Proverbs 6:26 “For by means of a whorish woman [a man is brought] to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.”
Here the smallest piece of bread demonstrates how the prostitute reduces the life of a man to insignificance, including the loss of his wealth, freedom, family, purity, dignity and even his soul.
Proverbs 6:27-29 “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” “Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?” “So he that goeth in to his neighbor’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.”
Powerful metaphors are given here to describe the obvious danger and destructive consequences of adultery, showing that punishment is a natural and expected consequence.
We already touched on the dangers of living in sex sin in a previous lesson, but we see here that a man who touches his neighbor’s wife is in serious trouble with God. We spoke on the body being the temple of the Holy Ghost.
Verse 29 refers to a touch intended to inflame sexual passion. Paul uses the same expression with the same meaning (in 1 Cor 7:1).
Proverbs 6:30-31 “[Men] do not despise a thief, if he steals to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;” “But [if] he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.”
In these verses, it is not saying that it is not a sin to steal. It is saying a person has sympathy for someone who is so hungry that he steals to feed himself. If he is caught, the person he stole from will be happy to not prosecute him, if he will pay back what he stole 7 times.
The stealing here is not nearly as serious as the sin of adultery that we read of in the next few verses. Adultery is compared to a starving thief, who, though it may cost all he has, can make restitution and put the crime behind him permanently.
Proverbs 6:32 “[But] whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he [that] doeth it destroyeth his own soul.”
But for the adulterer, there is no restitution as there was for the thief, as he destroys his soul.
Proverbs 6:33 “A wound and dishonor shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.”
Adultery is a cruel crime. Love for each other is the most precious gift a man and woman have on this earth except for the gifts of God. There is something very special about a man and his wife being one. To invade on this privacy of a man and his wife is without excuse.
Proverbs 6:34 “For jealousy [is] the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”
Jealousy is a very strong emotion, especially when it has to do with infidelity or rape. Song of Solomon has a scripture that might express this better.
SOS 8:6 “Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its frames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame.
Proverbs 6:35 “He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.”
A thief may satisfy his victim with an appropriate payment, but an offended husband cannot be bought off.
There is no money or gift that can repay this type of sinful act. The marriage of a man and his wife is likened unto the marriage of the Lord and His church. Just as anyone coming between the Lord and His church will not be permitted, neither is anyone to come between a man and his wife. It is unforgivable.
Proverbs Chapter 6 Questions
1. Being surety for a friend means you have gone on his ________.
2. A handshake in these Bible times was like what in our day?
3. Our society has gone _________ __________.
4. The #1 cause of divorce in America today is what?
5. What should you do if you have co-signed a note?
6. When should you do it?
7 What was getting off a note compared to? (Two things)
8. These Proverbs in chapter 6 are for what purpose?
9. What is a sluggard?
10. What is the sluggard told to study and imitate?
11. Who is the ant’s boss?
12. In verse 9, what question is asked the sluggard?
13. Sleep and folding of the hands brings to what?
14. How does money come to a person?
15. Who walks with a froward mouth?
16. Describe 3 other things he does.
17. What shall happen to him?
18. How will it come upon this evil one?
19. How many things does God especially hate?
20. Why does God call them abominations?
21. Name the first 3 evils that are abominations.
22. What is something else a proud look could be called?
23. Why do we have absolutely no room to brag?
24. What is the evilest part of the body?
25. Everything of God is based on ________.
26. What should the hands be used for?
27. How is an evil man’s heart described?
28. What is false testifying in court called?
29. What is the penalty for false teaching?
30. Who is the opposite of a peacemaker?
31. What does it mean to bind the commandments on our heart?
32. The law is __________.
33. Who love instructions in righteousness?
34. In verse 25, we are told not to lust after a beautiful woman and not to let her take thee with what?
35. A man who seeks whorish women will be brought to ___________.
36. What kind of a thief do men not despise?
37. If the thief is caught, how much shall he pay?
38. Whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh ____________.
39. What is the rage of a man?
40. Marriage of a man and woman is symbolic of what?