Proverbs 6:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, Have given a pledge for a stranger,

King James Bible
My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

Darby Bible Translation
My son, if thou hast become surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand for a stranger,

World English Bible
My son, if you have become collateral for your neighbor, if you have struck your hands in pledge for a stranger;

Young's Literal Translation
My son! if thou hast been surety for thy friend, Hast stricken for a stranger thy hand,

Proverbs 6:1 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Surety - The "pledge," or security for payment, which, for example, David was to bring back from his brothers 1 Samuel 17:18. So the word was used in the primitive trade transactions of the early Israelites.

In the warnings against this suretyship, in the Book of Proverbs, we may trace the influence of contact with the Phoenicians. The merchants of Tyre and Zidon seem to have discovered the value of credit as an element of wealth. A man might obtain goods, or escape the pressure of a creditor at an inconvenient season, or obtain a loan on more favorable terms, by finding security. To give such security might be one of the kindest offices which one friend could render to another. Side by side, however, with a legitimate system of credit there sprang up, as in later times, a fraudulent counterfeit. Phoenician or Jewish money-lenders (the "stranger") were ready to make their loans to the spendthrift. He was equally ready to find a companion (the "friend") who would become his surety. It was merely a form, just writing a few words, just "a clasping of the hands" (see the marginal reference) in token that the obligation was accepted, and that was all. It would be unfriendly to refuse. And yet, as the teacher warns his hearers, there might be, in that moment of careless weakness, the first link of a long chain of ignominy, galling, fretting, wearing, depriving life of all its peace. The Jewish law of debt, hard and stern like that of most ancient nations, aright be enforced against him in all its rigour. Money and land might go, the very bed under him might be seized, and his garment torn from his back Proverbs 20:16; Proverbs 22:27, the older and more lenient law Exodus 22:25-27 having apparently fallen into disuse. he might be brought into a life-long bondage, subject only to the possible relief of the year of jubilee, when the people were religious enough to remember and observe it. His wives, his sons, his daughters might be sharers in that slavery Nehemiah 5:3-5. It was doubtful whether he could claim the privilege which under Exodus 21:2 belonged to an Israelite slave that had been bought. Against such an evil, no warnings could be too frequent or to urgent.

Stricken thy hand - The natural symbol of the promise to keep a contract; in this case, to pay another man's debts. Compare Proverbs 17:18; Proverbs 22:26; Job 17:3; Ezekiel 17:18.

Proverbs 6:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Talking Book
In order that we may be persuaded so to do, Solomon gives us three telling reasons. He says that God's law, by which I understand the whole run of Scripture, and, especially the gospel of Jesus Christ, will be a guide to us:--"When thou goest, it shall lead thee." It will be a guardian to us: "When thou sleepest"--when thou art defenceless and off thy guard--"it shall keep thee." And it shall also be a dear companion to us: "When thou awakest, it shall talk with thee." Any one of these three arguments
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

How Subjects and Prelates are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 5.) Differently to be admonished are subjects and prelates: the former that subjection crush them not, the latter that superior place elate them not: the former that they fail not to fulfil what is commanded them, the latter that they command not more to be fulfilled than is just: the former that they submit humbly, the latter that they preside temperately. For this, which may be understood also figuratively, is said to the former, Children, obey your parents in the Lord: but to
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Cross References
Proverbs 6:2
If you have been snared with the words of your mouth, Have been caught with the words of your mouth,

Proverbs 11:15
He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it, But he who hates being a guarantor is secure.

Proverbs 17:18
A man lacking in sense pledges And becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor.

Proverbs 20:16
Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger; And for foreigners, hold him in pledge.

Proverbs 22:26
Do not be among those who give pledges, Among those who become guarantors for debts.

Proverbs 27:13
Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger; And for an adulterous woman hold him in pledge.

Isaiah 2:6
For You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners.

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