objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read
layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses
for meditation. To focus each verse we have also added a subheading
summary as a description of what is happening)
Proverbs 6: Pitfalls of agreements & illicit relationships
Comments: There is a certain measure of repetition in
these early chapters – the call to heed the teaching of the parents
[v.20-23] and the warnings about consorting with an adulterous
woman [v.24-35]. The ‘new' moral or ethical material is in the
first 19 verses where the instructions are about making unwise
transactions [v.1-5] and avoiding corrupt troublemakers [in business?
v.12-15]. These are interlaced with challenges about getting into
trouble through laziness [v.6-11] and warnings about things that
God hates [v.16-19] They are, if you like, about avoiding some
of the pitfalls of life.]
1: v.1-19: Warning against Unwise Transactions & Laziness
The folly of unwise financial commitments
son, if you have put up security for your neighbour,
if you have shaken hands in pledge for
have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
A need to get out of such transactions
do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbour's
go – to the point of exhaustion –
and give your neighbour no rest!
no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
Learn from the ant
to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
Idleness brings poverty
long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest –
poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
Also beware corrupt troublemakers (in business?)
troublemaker and a villain,
who goes about with a corrupt mouth,
winks maliciously with his eye,
signals with his feet
and motions with his fingers,
plots evil with deceit in his heart –
he always stirs up conflict.
disaster will overtake him in an instant;
he will suddenly be destroyed – without
The things God hates
are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed
heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are
quick to rush into evil,
false witness who pours out lies
and a person who
stirs up conflict in the community.
2: v.20-23: A call to heed their teaching
Another call to heed the teaching of his parents
son, keep your father's command
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
them always on your heart;
fasten them round your neck.
you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
this command is a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
are the way to life,
3: v.24-35: Warning against adultery
They want to save him (them) from illicit sex
you from your neighbour's wife,
from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.
not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes.
a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
but another man's wife preys on your very
You can't play with fire without getting burnt
a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?
is he who sleeps with another man's wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
A thief may be desperate but he is still guilty
do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.
if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
though it costs him all the wealth of
An adulterer invites self-destruction
a man who commits adultery has no sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
and disgrace are his lot,
and his shame will never be wiped away.
The threat of a jealous husband is serious
jealousy arouses a husband's fury,
and he will show no mercy when he takes
will not accept any compensation;
he will refuse a bribe, however great
to Proverbs 7