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Bible Commentaries
Proverbs 6

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-35

Proverbs 6:1 . If thou be surety for thy friend. If charity has gained an ascendancy over the judgment, prepare to perform thy covenant. To aid a friend in poverty is a generous deed, it is lending without hope: but to bind one’s self in cases of speculation may incur a serious loss, without real advantage to another.

Proverbs 6:3 . When thou art come into the hand of thy friend. The sense is intricate. The LXX read, When thou art come into the hands of rigorous men for thy friend; go, delay not, urge thy friend (to fidelity) for whom thou art surety. This sense agrees with the two verses that follow.

Proverbs 6:6 . Go to the ant, thou sluggard. Man, slothful man, is here admonished and reproved by the prudent and laborious ant, on which he tramples. At the eighth verse, the LXX have an adjection, copied in some of the Versions. Go to the bee, and see what an illustrious architectress she is; how exquisitely she forms her comb, and how both kings and the poor are nourished with her labours. Though feeble in body, she is loved and eulogized by all, as a lover of wisdom. In the time of Solomon, when the poor had lots of land, it was usual for families to lay in the winter store of corn, and wine, and oil. He who neglected this duty, stood reproved by the insects. How much more then, he who neglects his salvation! All the apologies for delay are numbered with the most ruinous of crimes.

Proverbs 6:11 . Thy want as an armed man; overwhelming and destructive. The LXX, Vulgate, and other Versions add here, “But if thou be diligent, thy harvest shall be plenteous, and poverty shall fly away from thee.”

Proverbs 6:12 . A naughty person. Hebrews a man of Belial, whose countenance is full of grimace, whose speeches are devoid of wisdom, whose conduct gives indications of a character lost to society. When we contemplate his countenance, he hides himself; we can find in him no traces of wisdom, intelligence, and virtue.

Proverbs 6:16 . These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination to him. This is a Hebraism, which, by distinguishing the seventh, confers greater emphasis on the whole: it is a mode of speech borrowed from the days of the week. Let youth therefore reflect and beware; when the prodigal came to himself, he made a contrast between his present misery, and the happiness of his father’s servants. If men were more thoughtful, they would be more wise.

Proverbs 6:24 . To keep thee from the evil woman; and from the adulteress, who will hunt for a man’s life, Proverbs 6:26. In addition to what is in the preseding chapter, we have only to say, fly, fly, fly! The victim’s reproach shall never be wiped away.

Proverbs 6:26 . The adulteress will hunt for the precious life. The victim does not long survive the victor. The convict appointed to die, offers his estate; offers to expatriate himself to reprieve his precious life. In the narrative of a great man, lying under sentence for forgery, we have a most pathetic letter to the chancellor, begging his life. After reciting the degradations he had sustained, and the loss of character, he adds; “under these circumstances, life cannot be desirable to me; yet I have ties which are still dear. I have a wife that never offended me; I would live, I would live.” Hear this, thou dissipated youth, who art so prodigal of life in taverns, and houses that cannot be named. Pause a moment, ere a slower execution take place in thy chamber.

Proverbs 6:34 . He [the husband] will not spare in the day of vengeance. See on Deuteronomy 22:22. Perhaps the king of Israel was impelled by fears that the valiant Uriah would kill him, and therefore he caused Uriah to be slain. Perhaps other injured husbands were in arms for their country, or gone on lawful business: perhaps the seducers were first admitted as guests to the families. Formerly, those affairs were settled by the sword; now they are settled by fines: how will God settle them!

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 6". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/proverbs-6.html. 1835.
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