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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Proverbs 6

Verses 1-2

WARNINGS FOR THE UNWISE

Verses 1 and 2 warn against becoming surety for debts of another because such may be a snare with stern consequences, Proverbs 11:15; Proverbs 20:16; Proverbs 22:26-27; Nehemiah 5:3-5. Friend in Proverbs 6:1 is parallel with stranger and can mean anyone.

Verses 3-5

Verses 3-5 urge immediate effort to obtain a release if foolishly ensnared in suretyship. Promptness is important where debt is involved, Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21. The instruction is to act at once, do not delay. Humble thyself and ask for a release. Seek such as earnestly as an animal or bird would seek release if caught in a trap.

Verses 6-11

Verses 6-8 counsel the lazy to learn from the harvester ant common in Palestine not to waste time, but work diligently in the season of opportunity, Proverbs 30:25.

Verses 9-11 warn that laziness squanders precious time, talents and opportunities, and robs the sluggard of worthwhile accomplishments as surely as the plundering thief in the night or armed robber would deprive of material property or life itself, Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 13:4; Proverbs 19:15; Proverbs 20:4.

Verse 12

Verse 12 introduces another enemy of the unwary, the naughty person (literally a man of Belial) a term which implies wickedness and worthlessness, Deuteronomy 13:13; 1 Samuel 2:12; 1 Kings 21:10; Nahum 1:11; 2 Corinthians 6:15.

Verses 13-14

Verses 13-14 show the wickedness of this enemy as total and complete by listing five body components devoted to evil plus two of the evils for which they are used:

1) Mouth, Vs. 12 2) Eyes, Vs. 13a 3) Feet, Vs. 13b 4) Fingers or hands, Vs. 13c 5) Heart, Vs. 14a

6) Mischief devised continually, Vs. 14b 7) Soweth discord, Vs. 14c

Verse 15

Vs. 15 uses the word "suddenly" twice to emphasize the certainty and unexpected nature of the punishment deceivers shall receive, Jeremiah 19:11; 2 Chronicles 36:16.

Verses 16-19

Verses 16-19 express God’s view of seven evil traits or practices closely related to those described in verses 12-14. These things doth the LORD hate; yea are an abomination to Him:

1) A PROUD LOOK, margin, haughty eyes, Vs. 17a; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 16:18; Psalms 101:5; Isaiah 2:11; Isaiah 2:17; Isaiah 13:11; Isaiah 16:6.

2) A LYING TONGUE, Vs. 17b; Psalms 5:6; Psalms 120:3-4; Hosea 4:1-3; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 21:27.

3) HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD, Vs. 17c. The life of man is sacred. Only God can give life and He forbids man to take it from the innocent, Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13.

4 HEARTS THAT DEVISE WICKED IMAGINA­TIONS, Vs. 18a. The carnal nature of man will prompt evil thoughts. The evil in view here is that of deliberate entertaining, planning and executing evil. Jezebel’s evil plan to destroy Naboth and confiscate his vineyard is an example, 1 Kings 21:7-16; Genesis 6:5-7; Micah 2:1.

5) FEET SWIFT IN RUNNING TO MISCHIEF, Vs. 18b. This refers to those who delay not and delight in spreading gossip, suspicion, and rumors that mar the fellowship and hinder the influence of God’s people, Isaiah 59:7; Romans 3:15.

6) A FALSE WITNESS WHO SPEAKS LIES, Vs. 19a. This refers to one who not only lies (17b) but also uses his lies to protect the guilty. See Psalms 27:12.

7) HE THAT SOWETH DISCORD AMONG BRETHREN, Vs. 19b. This refers to one who peddles lies and rumors from one party to another to promote hard feelings between them. Proverbs says much to condemn this, Proverbs 15:18; Proverbs 16:28; Proverbs 18:19; Proverbs 26:21; Proverbs 29:22.

Verses 20-23

FURTHER WARNINGS AGAINST

THE EVIL WOMAN

(Proverbs 6:20 to Proverbs 7:27)

Vs. 20-21 repeat the counsel of Proverbs 1:8-9; Proverbs 3:21-22 that the son faithfully obey the teaching of father and mother; that he keep these teachings always in his heart for meditation and guidance. Display of physical tokens is not intended, Exodus 13:5-9.

Vs. 22-23 emphasize the adequacy of these instructions to meet all needs, Psalms 119:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Verses 24-35

Beware of the Evil Woman (Proverbs 6:24-35)

Vs. 24 repeats the intent of Proverbs 2:16 to keep the son from being ensnared by the flattery of the strange: woman (later revealed as an adulteress).

Vs. 25 introduces the first line of defense against such a woman. Lust not after her. Be aware that lust in the heart is also a grievous sin (Matthew 5:28). Depart, do not tarry to be enticed by her beauty or come hither eyes, 1 Corinthians 6:18; Hebrews 13:4.

Vs. 26 further warns that yielding to the seductress endangers well being and life, Proverbs 29:3; Genesis 39:11-14; Genesis 39:19-20.

Vs. 27-29 emphasize inescapable punishment. The adulterer can no more avoid punishment than he could embrace fire or walk upon hot coals without being burned. Verse 29 affirms that he that goeth in to his neighbor’s wife shall not be innocent (unpunished is the meaning).

Vs. 30-35 emphasize the enormity of the Adulterer’s sin and the severity of his punishment by a comparison. A thief who steals to satisfy hunger is required to restore seven-fold even though it takes all that he has, but he is not despised, Vs. 30, 31. The man who commits adultery with the wife of another brings upon himself consequences much more severe:

1) It is an offense for which he cannot make restitution, nor will the offended husband regard any gifts as mitigating compensation, Vs. 35.

2) He subjects himself to the jealous rage and vengeance of the offended husband, Vs. 34; Genesis 39:19-20.

3) He brings upon himself disgrace that cannot be wiped away, Vs. 33.

4) He is guilty before God of an offense destructive to himself and worthy of death, Vs. 32; Job 31:11; Deuteronomy 22:22.

5) He may obtain forgiveness from God if he truly repents, Matthew 26:28; Psalms 51:1-3; Psalms 32:3-5, but so long as he lives the memory of irretrievable wrong inflicted upon the innocent will not be wiped away, Vs. 33.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Proverbs 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/proverbs-6.html. 1985.