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Proverbs 6:1-19 . A section totally dissimilar from the rest of this division of Pr. It consists of four short subsections
Proverbs 6:1-5 against suretyship, Proverbs 6:6-11 against sloth, Proverbs 6:12-15 against talebearing, Proverbs 6:16-19 against seven sins. Then the subject of sexual vice is continued from Proverbs 5. Proverbs 6:1-19 obviously breaks the connexion, and was probably inserted after the compilation of Proverbs 6:1-9.
Proverbs 6:1-5 . The Dangers of Suretyship.— Early Semitic legislation does not deal directly with suretyship, although directions relating to pledges and release from debt are given. In Nehemiah 5 we have a case of mortgage and its hardship. The practice of giving personal security probably grew up in post-exilic times. See also Proverbs 11:15, Proverbs 17:18, Proverbs 20:16, Proverbs 22:26 f., Proverbs 27:13; Sir_8:13 ; Sir_29:14-20 .
Proverbs 6:1 . stricken hands: cf. Job 17:3, Ezekiel 17:18, Ezra 10:19.
Proverbs 6:3 . The context favours RVm.— importune: the Heb. means “ to rage against,” “ be arrogant” ( cf. Rahab in Isaiah 30:7). The endangered surety should take strong measures to force his friend either to meet his liabilities or to set him free from his bond.
Proverbs 6:6-11 . The Dangers of Sloth.— Cf. Proverbs 30:24 and Proverbs 24:30-34. The latter is evidently derived from the same source as this passage, and requires Proverbs 6:9 to make the connexion clear between Proverbs 6:32 and Proverbs 6:33. The ant figures in most of the ancient proverbial lore as the type of provident thrift and industry. The LXX adds, probably incorrectly, some clauses concerning the bee.
Proverbs 6:11 . robber: lit. “ rover,” almost equivalent to “ tramp.”— armed man: lit. “ man with a shield.”
Proverbs 6:12-15 . Description and Retribution of the Talebearer.— The earliest codes reflect the prevalence of this social crime ( cf. Exodus 23:1, Leviticus 19:16).
Proverbs 6:12 . worthless person: lit. “ man of Belial,” more commonly in Heb. “ son of Belial” ( Deuteronomy 13:13 *). The usually accepted derivation (see BDB) regards “ Belial” as a compound signifying “ without worth.” But all the uses of the word do not agree with this derivation ( cf. Psalms 18:4), and especially its use as a proper name ( 2 Corinthians 6:15, Asc. Isaiah 3:23). It may be the name of some Bab. deity ( cf. EBi).
Proverbs 6:13 . Malan cites the apposite parallel from the Institutes of Manu: “ Beware of having nimble hands and moveable feet, a winking eye, of being crooked in thy ways, of having a voluble tongue, and of being clever at doing mischief to others.”
Proverbs 6:15 b. A verbal parallel occurs in Proverbs 29:1.
Proverbs 6:16-19 . Seven Things Hateful to God.— Possibly the insertion of this short passage here was suggested by the recurrence in it ( Proverbs 6:19 b) of the unusual phrase in Proverbs 6:14 b, “ scattereth strifes.” It reflects throughout a literary acquaintance with OT, and is therefore probably late. All the characteristics mentioned occur in other parts of OT ( cf. Isaiah 2:11, Psalms 31:18, Isaiah 59:3; Isaiah 59:7, Genesis 6:5, etc.).
Proverbs 6:20-35 . Warning against the Adulteress.— Here the subject of ch. 5 is resumed, exhortation to sexual purity (see Proverbs 5:7-14 *).
Proverbs 6:22 f. The change to the sing. (“ it” ) in Proverbs 6:22 points to some disarrangement, and the close connexion between Proverbs 6:20 and Proverbs 6:23 suggests that Proverbs 6:23 should follow Proverbs 6:21, and that before Proverbs 6:22 a clause introducing wisdom as the subject has been lost.
Proverbs 6:25 . Cf. Job 31:1, Matthew 5:28.
Proverbs 6:26 . The text is obscure and probably corrupt ( cf. ICC), AV and RV incorrect. The main problem is whether the harlot is synonymous or contrasted with the adulteress. The latter is more probable; the harlot only hunts for a piece of bread— i.e. for a livelihood— the adulteress seeks to ruin her victim. The man is throughout the foolish victim, and the adulteress is the temptress.
Proverbs 6:30-35 . A contrast between the fate of a thief and that of the adulterer. The point is not clear. MT means that a thief who steals to satisfy his desire does not lose social prestige, nevertheless he must pay the penalty in a fine. Many regard this as unsatisfactory, and Proverbs 6:30 a may be a question (so some MSS.), “ do they not despise, etc.?”— i.e. the thief only loses the respect of his fellows, but escapes further punishment by payment of a fine, while the adulterer loses caste and cannot escape the penalty of the law by private arrangement with the jealous husband. But can a thief, who steals to satisfy his hunger, pay sevenfold for his offence?
Proverbs 6:31 . sevenfold: for the law of restitution in cases of theft and fraud cf. Exodus 22:1, five-or fourfold; Proverbs 22:4; Proverbs 22:7, double; Leviticus 6:5, restoration of the principal plus one-fifth. Luke 19:8 and 2 Samuel 12:6 show that the fourfold measure was apparently the prevalent one. Sevenfold is probably rhetorical rather than legal.
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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Proverbs 6". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/
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