Proverbs 6:3
Do this now, my son, and deliver yourself, when you are come into the hand of your friend; go, humble yourself, and make sure your friend.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) When thou art come . . .—Rather, for thou hast come under the power of thy friend; thou hast made thy freedom and property dependent on him for whom thou hast become surety.

Humble thyself.—Literally, let thyself be trampled on, humbly sue.

Make sure.—Rather, assail impetuously, importune.

Proverbs 6:3-5. Do this now, my son — Immediately follow the counsel which I now give thee, and deliver thyself — Use thy utmost endeavours to be discharged; when, or since, thou art come into the hand — That is, into the power; of thy friend — Of the debtor, for whom, as being thy friend, thou didst become surety, whereby thou art in his power, by his neglect or unfaithfulness, to expose thee to the payment of the debt. Go, humble thyself — Hebrew, התרפס, throw thyself down at his feet, or offer thyself to be trodden upon. As thou hast put thyself in his power, and made thyself his servant, bear the fruits of thy own folly, and humbly and earnestly implore him as readily to grant thy request as thou wast forward to comply with his, and forthwith to satisfy the debt, or give thee security against the creditor. Make sure of thy friend — Cease not to urge and importune him by thyself, and by thy friends, till thou hast prevailed with him. The Seventy translate this verse,” Do, my son, the things which I command thee, and deliver thyself: for thou art come into the hands of evil men upon thy friend’s account: go, therefore, be not careless or remiss, but earnest and importunate with thy friend to get thyself discharged.” Give not sleep to thine eyes, &c. — Namely, until thou hast taken care for the discharge of this obligation. Be not secure, nor negligent, nor dilatory in this matter. Deliver thyself as a roe, &c. — With all possible expedition, as a roe runs swiftly away.6:1-5 If we live as directed by the word of God, we shall find it profitable even in this present world. We are stewards of our worldly substance, and have to answer to the Lord for our disposal of it; to waste it in rash schemes, or such plans as may entangle us in difficulties and temptations, is wrong. A man ought never to be surety for more than he is able and willing to pay, and can afford to pay, without wronging his family; he ought to look upon every sum he is engaged for, as his own debt. If we must take all this care to get our debts to men forgiven, much more to obtain forgiveness with God. Humble thyself to him, make sure of Christ as thy Friend, to plead for thee; pray earnestly that thy sins may be pardoned, and that thou mayest be kept from going down to the pit.Better, "Do this now, O my son, and free thyself when thou hast come into thy friend's house; go, how thyself down (perhaps "stamp with thy foot," or "hasten"), press hotly upon thy friend. By persuasion, and if need be, by threats, get back the bond which thou hast been entrapped into signing:" The "friend" is, as before, the companion, not the creditor. 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.

Into the hand; into the power.

Of thy friend; either,

1. Of the creditor, who possibly may be also thy friend; yet take the following course with him, and much more if he be a stranger. Or,

2. Of the debtor, for whom, as being thy friend, thou didst become surety; whereby thou art not only in the creditor’s power to exact payment, but also in the debtor’s power, by his neglect or unfaithfulness, to expose thee to the payment of the debt. And this may seem best to agree both with Proverbs 6:1, where friend is taken in that sense, and is distinguished from the creditor, who is called a stranger, and with the words here following; for this humbling of himself was not likely to have much power with a stranger and a griping usurer; but it might probably prevail with his friend, either to take effectual care to pay the debt, or at least to discharge him from the obligation, or to secure him against it some other way.

Humble thyself, Heb. offer thyself to be trodden upon, or throw thyself down at his feet. As thou hast made thyself his servant, bear the fruits of thine own folly, and humbly and earnestly implore his patience and clemency.

And make sure thy friend; or, and prevail with thy friend; strive to win him by thine incessant and earnest solicitations. Or, honour or magnify thy friend, which is fitly and properly opposed to, and indeed is in some good measure done by, the humbling a man’s self before him. Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself,.... Take the following advice, as the best that can be given in such circumstances, in order to be freed from such an obligation, or to be safe and easy under it;

when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; or,

"because or seeing thou art fallen into the hand of thy friend,''

as the Targum; or

"though thou art,'' &c.

as Aben Ezra; which may be understood either of the creditor to whom a man is bound, or of the debtor for whom he is bound, or of both; for a surety is in the hands or power of both: he is in the hands of the creditor, who may demand payment of the debt of him; and he is in the hands of the debtor, who, if a careless or crafty and deceitful man, may leave him to the payment of it. The Septuagint and Arabic versions are,

"for thou art come into the hands of evil men for thy friend;''

and the Syriac version,

"seeing for thy friend thou art fallen into the hands of thine enemy;''

and therefore must make the best of it thou canst, and in the following way:

go, humble thyself; that is, to the creditor, prostrate thyself before him; lie down upon the ground to be trodden on, as the word (d) signifies; fall down on thine knees, and entreat him to discharge thee from the bond, or give longer time for payment, if up; for thou art in his hands, and there is no carrying it with a high hand or a haughty spirit to him; humility, and not haughtiness, is most likely to be serviceable in such a case;

and make sure thy friend; for whom thou art become a surety, as the Syriac and Arabic versions add; solicit him, as the former of these versions render it; stimulate him, as the Septuagint; stir him up, urge him to pay off the debt quickly, and discharge the bond, or give thee security and indemnity from it. Or, "magnify thy friend" (e); that is, to the creditor; speak of him as a very able and responsible man, and as an honest and faithful one, that will pay in due time. Some render it "magnify", and speak well of the debtor to thy friend, which may please and appease him: or, "multiply thy friends" (f); get as many as thou canst to intercede for thee, and get thee discharged from the obligation by some means or another; to this purpose Jarchi.

(d) "praebe conculcandum te", Montanus, Vatablus, Michaelis. (e) "evehe proximum tuum", Tigurine version; "magnifica", so some in Vatablus. (f) "Multiplica amicos tuos", so some in Bayne.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. when] Rather, for, or, seeing that, R.V.

humble thyself] Lit. offer thyself to be trampled upon; prostrate thyself. Others render, stir thyself, R.V. marg.; ἴσθι μὴ ἐκλυόμενος, LXX., festina, Vulg.

make sure] Rather, be urgent upon, importune, R.V.; παρόξυνε, LXX.; suscita, Vulg.Verse 3. - In this verse advice is tendered as to what is to be done under the circumstances of this entanglement. The surety is to take immediate steps to be set free. The urgency of the advice is to be explained by the serious consequences which would follow in the event of the debtor not satisfying the creditor in due time. The surety became liable to the penalties inflicted by the Hebrew law of debt. His property could be distrained. His bed and his garment could be taken from him (Proverbs 22:27 and Proverbs 20:16), and he was liable as well as his family to be reduced to the condition of servitude. So we find the son of Sirach saying, "Suretyship hath undone many of good estate, and shaken them as a wave of the sea: mighty men hath it driven from their houses, so that they wandered among strange nations" (Ecclus. 29:18; cf. 2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:3-5; and Matthew 18:25). Compare the dictum of Thales, the Greek philosopher, Ἐγγύα πάρα δ ἄτα, "Give surety, and ruin is near;" and that of Chilo (Pliny, 'Nat. Hist.,' 6:32), "Sponsioni non deest jactura" - "Loss is not wanting to a surety." The same idea is conveyed in the modern German proverb, "Burgen soll man wurgen" - "Worry a surety" Do this now; or, therefore. The particle epho is intensive, and emphasizes the command, and in this sense is of frequent occurrence (Job 17:15; Genesis 27:32; Genesis 43:11; 2 Kings 10:10, etc.). It appears to be equivalent to the Latin quod dico. So the Vulgate, "Do therefore what I say;" similarly the LXX. renders, "Do, my son, what I bid thee (α{ ἐγὼ σοι ἐντέλλομαι)." It carries with it the sense of instant and prompt action. And deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; i.e. set thyself free when thou findest thou art actually at the mercy of thy friend for whom thou hast become surety. The ki (כִּי) is not hypothetical, but actual; it is not "if" you are, but "when" or because you actually are in his power. The Vulgate and LXX. render כִּי respectively by quia and γὰρ. Go, humble thyself; i.e. present thyself as a suppliant, prostrate thyself, offer thyself to be trodden upon (Michaelis), or humble thyself like to the threshold which is trampled and trode upon (Rashi). or humble thyself under the soles of his feet (Aben Ezra). The expression implies the spirit of entire submission, in which the surety is to approach his friend in order to be released from his responsibility. The Hebrew verb hith'rappes has, however, been rendered differently. Radically raphas signifies "to tread or trample with the feet," and this has been taken to express haste, or the bestirring of one's self. So the Vulgate reads festina, "hasten;" and the LXX. ἴσθι μὴ ἐκλυόμενος, i.e. "be not remiss." But the hithp, clearly determines in favour of the reflexive rendering; comp. Psalm 68:30, "Till every one submit himself with pieces of silver" - the only other passage where raphas occurs. And make sure thy friend (Hebrew, r'hav reeyka); rather, importune thy friend, be urgent with him, press upon him to fulfil his engagement. The verb rahav is properly "to be fierce," "to rage," and hence with the accusative, as here, "to assail with impetuosity." In Isaiah 3:5 it is used with בְּ (b), and signifies to act fiercely against any one. The meaning of the passage is that if abject submission or persuasion does not avail, then sterner measures are to be resorted to to gain the desired end. The answer to the Why? in this verse is: no reasonable cause - only beastly sensuality, only flagitious blindness can mislead thee. The ב of בזרה is, as 19b and Isaiah 28:7, that of the object through which one is betrayed into intoxication. חק (thus, according to the Masora, four times in the O.T. for חיק) properly means an incision or deepening, as Arab. hujr (from hjr, cohibere), the front of the body, the part between the arms or the female breasts, thus the bosom, Isaiah 40:11 (with the swelling part of the clothing, sinus vestis, which the Arabs call jayb), and the lap; חבּק (as Proverbs 4:8), to embrace, corresponds here more closely with the former of these meanings; also elsewhere the wife of any one is called אשת חיקו or השׁכבת בחיקו, as she who rests on his breast. The ancients, also J. H. Michaelis, interpret Proverbs 5:15-20 allegorically, but without thereby removing sensual traces from the elevated N.T. consciousness of pollution, striving against all that is fleshly; for the castum cum Sapientia conjugium would still be always represented under the figure of husband and wife dwelling together. Besides, though זרה might be, as the contrast of חכמה, the personified lust of the world and of the flesh, yet 19a is certainly not the חכמה, but a woman composed of flesh and blood. Thus the poet means the married life, not in a figurative sense, but in its reality - he designedly describes it thus attractively and purely, because it bears in itself the preservative against promiscuous fleshly lust.
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