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Practical Admonitions


My child, if you have given your pledge to your neighbor,

if you have bound yourself to another,


you are snared by the utterance of your lips,

caught by the words of your mouth.


So do this, my child, and save yourself,

for you have come into your neighbor’s power:

go, hurry, and plead with your neighbor.


Give your eyes no sleep

and your eyelids no slumber;


save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter,

like a bird from the hand of the fowler.



Go to the ant, you lazybones;

consider its ways, and be wise.


Without having any chief

or officer or ruler,


it prepares its food in summer,

and gathers its sustenance in harvest.


How long will you lie there, O lazybones?

When will you rise from your sleep?


A little sleep, a little slumber,

a little folding of the hands to rest,


and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and want, like an armed warrior.



A scoundrel and a villain

goes around with crooked speech,


winking the eyes, shuffling the feet,

pointing the fingers,


with perverted mind devising evil,

continually sowing discord;


on such a one calamity will descend suddenly;

in a moment, damage beyond repair.



There are six things that the Lord hates,

seven that are an abomination to him:


haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

and hands that shed innocent blood,


a heart that devises wicked plans,

feet that hurry to run to evil,


a lying witness who testifies falsely,

and one who sows discord in a family.



My child, keep your father’s commandment,

and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.


Bind them upon your heart always;

tie them around your neck.


When you walk, they will lead you;

when you lie down, they will watch over you;

and when you awake, they will talk with you.


For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,

and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,


to preserve you from the wife of another,

from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.


Do not desire her beauty in your heart,

and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;


for a prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread,

but the wife of another stalks a man’s very life.


Can fire be carried in the bosom

without burning one’s clothes?


Or can one walk on hot coals

without scorching the feet?


So is he who sleeps with his neighbor’s wife;

no one who touches her will go unpunished.


Thieves are not despised who steal only

to satisfy their appetite when they are hungry.


Yet if they are caught, they will pay sevenfold;

they will forfeit all the goods of their house.


But he who commits adultery has no sense;

he who does it destroys himself.


He will get wounds and dishonor,

and his disgrace will not be wiped away.


For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,

and he shows no restraint when he takes revenge.


He will accept no compensation,

and refuses a bribe no matter how great.


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Pr 6:1-35. After admonitions against suretyship and sloth (compare Pr 6:6-8), the character and fate of the wicked generally are set forth, and the writer (Pr 6:20-35) resumes the warnings against incontinence, pointing out its certain and terrible results. This train of thought seems to intimate the kindred of these vices.

1, 2. if—The condition extends through both verses.

be surety—art pledged.

stricken … hand—bargained (compare Job 17:3).

with a stranger—that is, for a friend (compare Pr 11:15; 17:18).

3. come … friend—in his power.

humble … sure thy friend—urge as a suppliant; that is, induce the friend to provide otherwise for his debt, or secure the surety.

4, 5. The danger requires promptness.

6-8. The improvident sluggards usually want sureties. Hence, such are advised to industry by the ant's example.

9, 10. Their conduct graphically described;

11. and the fruits of their self-indulgence and indolence presented.

as … travelleth—literally, "one who walks backwards and forwards," that is, a highwayman.

armed man—that is, one prepared to destroy.

12. A naughty person—literally, "A man of Belial," or of worthlessness, that is, for good, and so depraved, or wicked (compare 1Sa 25:25; 30:22, &c.). Idleness and vice are allied. Though indolent in acts, he actively and habitually (walketh) is ill-natured in speech (Pr 4:24).

13, 14. If, for fear of detection, he does not speak, he uses signs to carry on his intrigues. These signs are still so used in the East.

14. Frowardness—as in Pr 2:14.

deviseth—literally, "constructs, as an artisan."

mischief—evil to others.

discord—especially litigation. Cunning is the talent of the weak and lazy.

15. Suddenness aggravates evil (compare Pr 6:11; 29:1).

calamity—literally, "a crushing weight."

broken—shivered as a potter's vessel; utterly destroyed (Ps 2:9).

16-19. six … seven—a mode of speaking to arrest attention (Pr 30:15, 18; Job 5:19).

17. proud look—literally, "eyes of loftiness" (Ps 131:1). Eyes, tongue, &c., for persons.

19. speaketh—literally, "breathes out," habitually speaks (Ps 27:12; Ac 9:1).

20-23. (Compare Pr 1:8; 3:3, &c.).

22. it—(compare Pr 6:23); denotes the instruction of parents (Pr 6:20), to which all the qualities of a safe guide and guard and ready teacher are ascribed. It prevents the ingress of evil by supplying good thoughts, even in dreams (Pr 3:21-23; Ps 19:9; 2Pe 1:19).

23. reproofs—(Pr 1:23) the convictions of error produced by instruction.

24. A specimen of its benefit. By appreciating truth, men are not affected by lying flattery.

25. One of the cautions of this instruction, avoid alluring beauty.

take—or, "ensnare."

eyelids—By painting the lashes, women enhanced beauty.

26. The supplied words give a better sense than the old version: "The price of a whore is a piece of bread."

adulteress—(Compare Margin), which the parallel and context (Pr 6:29-35) sustain. Of similar results of this sin, compare Pr 5:9-12.

will hunt—alluding to the snares spread by harlots (compare Pr 7:6-8).

precious life—more valuable than all else.

27-29. The guilt and danger most obvious.

30, 31. Such a thief is pitied, though heavily punished.

31. sevenfold—(compare Ex 22:1-4), for many, ample (compare Ge 4:24; Mt 18:21), even if all his wealth is taken.

32. lacketh understanding—or, "heart"; destitute of moral principle and prudence.

33. dishonour—or, "shame," as well as hurt of body (Pr 3:35).

reproach … away—No restitution will suffice;

34, 35. nor any terms of reconciliation be admitted.

regard—or, "accept" any ransom.