Proverbs 6:1 ¶ My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
Proverbs 6:2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
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.
Proverbs 6:4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
Proverbs 6:5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Solomon continues to counsel his son(s) with wisdom. This chapter opens with counsel against serving as one who guarantees the financial obligations of a friend (the Hebrew includes family or friend) or acquaintance. He describes it as falling into a trap of your own making. He urges that if you have made this mistake, you should diligently exert every means possible—to the point of begging—to free yourself of that obligation. Implied—Such obligation could ultimately lead to great lost for you. This is especially true if the person is one without a good work ethic or sense of integrity.
Clarke understands verse 3 to be talking about urging your friend to get the debt paid off, therefore, removing your obligation.
Proverbs 6:6 ¶ Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Proverbs 6:7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Proverbs 6:8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
Proverbs 6:10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
Proverbs 6:11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
In this section of verses, Solomon points out that one can learn wisdom from observing an ant, one of the tiniest of God’s creations. If you watch her, you will see that without having to be told what to do, she is very industrious in gathering a store of food in the summer to provide for her needs. In reflection, one with this type of discipline and industriousness will not find himself in need of someone else to secure his financial transactions.
Informative note from Clarke: “At the proper seasons they collect their food - not in the summer to lay up for the winter; for they sleep during the winter, and eat not; and therefore such hoards would be to them useless; but when the food necessary for them is most plentiful, then they collect it for their consumption in the proper seasons.”
“Sluggard” makes reference to one who is indolent, lazy and idle. The father urgently warns his sons about the dangers of laziness. One who takes no thought for the future and idles his time away will suddenly find himself in poverty.
Ironsides: “Carelessness is not faith; it is a gross presumption to be a sluggard and then to expect divine provision in the hour of need.”
Proverbs 6:12 ¶ A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.
Proverbs 6:13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
Proverbs 6:14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
Proverbs 6:15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
I think the NLT translation well states the message of the first three verses: “Here is a description of worthless and wicked people: They are constant liars, signaling their true intentions to their friends by making signs with their eyes and feet and fingers. Their perverted hearts plot evil. They stir up trouble constantly.”
In other words, wicked people cannot be trusted. Who are naughty and wicked people? Those that reject God and His word. Sadly, this trait is on great display by many politicians and most in the media in our country today. God’s word is sure. They will say anything—often claiming to be Christian—to accomplish their own evil purposes. Their judgment will one day come, surely and suddenly.
Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Proverbs 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Proverbs 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Proverbs 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
In these verses, Solomon identifies seven things that the LORD hates, detests, considers disgusting. Note that he identifies these sins by listing them in association with the body from head to toe, probably as a memory aid.
Numbers 35:9–12 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment.”
EBC Abridged: "If he hates these things, then conversely he must love and desire (1) humility, (2) truthful speech, (3) preservation of life, (4) pure thoughts, (5) the eagerness to do good things, (6) honest witnesses, and (7) peaceful harmony.”
There are other verses that identify things that God hates, all of which go hand-in-hand with the things identified here.
Psalm 11:5 “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”
Jeremiah 44:3–4 “Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers. Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.”
Isaiah 61:8 “For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering;”
Zechariah 8:17 “And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.”
Proverbs 6:20 ¶ My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Proverbs 6:21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
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.
Solomon urges his son to live according to what his father and mother have commanded. Note that father and mother are unified in what they are teaching; they present a united front before the child. He urges him to make their commands a part of himself, to memorize them. If he will live by them, he will be led to make good choices each day that should allow him to sleep in safety and security.
These verses bring to mind the following verses in Deuteronomy, verses that I believe Solomon knew well.
Deuteronomy 6:4–7 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
Proverbs 6:24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
Proverbs 6:25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
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.
Solomon describes the commandments from the parents (rooted in God’s commands) as a lamp that provides light. The wisdom embodied in these commands will illuminate the way you should take and the choices you should make. As is so often the case, this parallels the truth found in the psalms.
Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
The light of wisdom will keep you from yielding to the flattering tongue of the woman that would lure you into sexual sin. Again, he warns his son not to be seduced by her beauty or “come hither” looks. Following after a prostitute will bring a man to ruin.
Proverbs 6:27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
Proverbs 6:28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
Proverbs 6:29 So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
Solomon goes on to reason that you can’t take hold of fire without getting burnt; you can’t walk on hot coals without burning your feet. Just as sure as that truth, one who chooses to commit adultery with a neighbor’s wife will be accounted guilty and will suffer the consequences.
Proverbs 6:30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
Proverbs 6:31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
Again, I like the NLT for these verses: “Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving. But if he is caught, he will be fined seven times as much as he stole, even if it means selling everything in his house to pay it back.”
Guzik: “Though Solomon contrasted theft and adultery, there is an interesting link between them. Sexual immorality and adultery are like stealing. When we have sex with anyone other than our appointed partner in the covenant of marriage, we are stealing something from our spouse (present or future), from our illicit sexual partner, and from the present or future spouse of our illicit sexual partner.”