The Book of Proverbs, chapter six, with BAC (Brit-Am Commentary).
Proverbs 6:1-15 Bad Company is to be Avoided.
[Proverbs 6:1] My son, if you become surety for your friend,
If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
According to the simple meaning Solomon is speaking of someone who has pledged himself for somebody else or has simply placed himself in danger of bondage for a debt.
[Proverbs 6:2] You are snared by the words of your mouth;
You are taken by the words of your mouth.
[Proverbs 6:3] So do this, my son, and deliver yourself;
For you have come into the hand of your friend:
Go and humble yourself;
Plead with your friend.
YOUR FRIEND: Hebrew "ray-echa" meaning "fellow".
The Commentators says that at the simple level this passage is an exhortation to someone who is in such a situation to realize they are in a trap.
They should do their utmost to get out of it at once. Do not be proud, be humble. Do what it takes. Placate your creditors, work, borrow from your friends
if you can. Get rid of the debt. This is your priority.
[Proverbs 6:4] Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids.
[Proverbs 6:5] Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Consider yourself like a wild animal in danger from a hunter.
Get out of the mess as quickly and with as much alacrity as you can muster.
"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour", Henry David Thoreau.
The Sages also saw the above passage as an allegory.
The Children of Israel obligated themselves to keep the commandments.
They should therefore do their utmost to placate "their fellow" who holds them in surety.
Their fellow is the Almighty. Do His will, and fulfill the obligation.
The Torah is a blessing and means of elevation but it is also a liability.
God set before the Children of Israel both a blessing and a curse:
[Deuteronomy 11:26] BEHOLD, I SET BEFORE YOU THIS DAY A BLESSING AND A CURSE;
[Deuteronomy 11:27] A BLESSING, IF YE OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD YOUR GOD, WHICH COMMAND YOU THIS DAY:
[Deuteronomy 11:28] AND A CURSE, IF YE WILL NOT OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD YOUR GOD, BUT TURN ASIDE OUT OF THE WAY WHICH I COMMAND YOU THIS DAY, TO GO AFTER OTHER GODS, WHICH YE HAVE NOT KNOWN.
[Proverbs 6:6] Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
[Proverbs 6:7] Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
[Proverbs 6:8] Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
Look to the ways of nature. We may learn much from the animal world. See how the Creator has arranged HIS creation.
[Proverbs 6:9] How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
[Proverbs 6:10] A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep?
Every one of us feels themself to be special. We all as individuals tend to consider ourselves to be somehow chosen. In a way, so we are. We are special. We are chosen. We are the choice of them all and in our hearts we all know it. Nevertheless, the simple truth is that everything needs working for. We all have to prove ourselves in some way. We need to realize our potential or at least prove the potential is there.
[Proverbs 6:11] So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
If a person does not look after themself they are likened to the victim of an ambush where the perpetrator sneaks up and attacks unexpectedly.
If you do not provide for the future you may be left wanting in your time of need. We should all take heed of this.
[Proverbs 6:12] A worthless person, a wicked man,
Walks with a perverse mouth;
a wicked man: Hebrew "belial" interpreted to mean someone who does not acknowledge the yoke of heaven.
[Proverbs 6:13] He winks with his eyes,
He shuffles his feet,
He points with his fingers;
This is explained to mean that the wicked person makes all kinds of signs and exaggerated gestures in order to mislead others. It could also be understood to indicate body language.
Open your eyes. Do not be vulnerable. Very often they who wish to cheat or harm us let us know in some way or other beforehand. Watch for the warning signs.
[Proverbs 6:14] Perversity is in his heart,
He devises evil continually,
He sows discord.
There are some bad people who have gotten into a pattern of behavior whereby they almost cannot help but harm others.
Watch out for them. Also do not let such people cause arguments or needlessly disrupt your relationships with others.
[Proverbs 6:15] Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly;
Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.
According to its simple meaning the above verses are speaking against a person who deceives others, causes harm to his fellow-man and dissension.
Rashi (ca. 1100 CE, Champagne, North France) explains the verses to be primary directed against someone who seeks create a barrier between God and man by causing one to sin or deviate from belief.
Proverbs 6: 16-35 Adultery, Death, and Biblical Life.
[Proverbs 6:16] These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
The seventh (discord) in some ways is more despicable than all the others put together (Rashi).
[Proverbs 6:17] A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A PROUD LOOK: Also translatable as meaning "uplifted eyes". It is one thing to be proud but another to project it at the expense of others.
A LYING TONGUE: One should endeavor to tell the truth. If someone begins to lie then it becomes a habit and takes overs a person's whole attitude and perception against their will.
HANDS THAT SHED INNOCENT BLOOD: This includes irresponsible behavior like careless driving as well as crimes of violence and condoning of abortion.
We should also be careful in general as to how we relate to others and avoid needless offence.
[Proverbs 6:18] A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A heart that devises wicked plans: This could include, thinking how to cheat other people, suspecting others of things that are not so, or even taking offence when it is not necessary when no offence was meant or when you can easily afford to overlook it.
[Proverbs 6:19] A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
A false witness who speaks lies: From the Hebrew this could also be translated as,"A spreader of falsehood is a false witness" or both "A spreader of falsehood" and "A false witness" .
And one who sows discord among brethren: One should be careful not to even inadvertently cause people to quarrel with each other or to become antagonistic one to another.
All of the above exhortations are very fine when they do not involve us personally. The trick is to remember them and act according to them even when our personal involvement and inter-personal passions pull us in the opposite direction.
[Proverbs 6:20] My son, keep your father's command,
And do not forsake the law of your mother.
Eliyahu of Vilna (EV) explains this to mean that we should guard [keep] ourselves to fulfill the commandments when they happen into our sphere. This is the aspect of fatherhood, of doing. We should also always be aware of the Torah. This is the "law of your mother" of maintaining a state of mind that is orientated positively.
[Proverbs 6:21] Bind them continually upon your heart;
Tie them around your neck.
We should think and speak of these matter [EV].
Biblical subjects are interesting. We should be interested in them.
Other people are often interested in hearing our views on these matters.
[Proverbs 6:22] When you roam, they will lead you;
When you sleep, they will keep you;
And when you awake, they will speak with you.
And when you awake: Hinting at the resurrection of the dead.
they will speak with you: The expression , "You can't take it with you" only applies to worldly possessions. The good things you have learnt and done will help you when you wake up from the last sleeping you will do in this life.
If you learn these things they will stay with you.
A person's life may lead them in all kinds of directions. Often it is only the bits and pieces of Biblical truth that have been picked up that keep us together.
[Proverbs 6:23] For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
EV distinguishes three aspects of existence in this exhortation.
COMMANDMENT right action.
THE LAW A LIGHT- Scriptural Doctrine.
REPROOFS OF INSTRUCTION- The refinement of personal qualities.
[Proverbs 6:24] To keep you from the evil woman,
From the flattering tongue of a seductress.
The emphasis here is on "strange".
What does not belong to you is strange and foreign to you and should be considered "not for you".
This may be easier said than done.
Someone who is not married may look at women in order to find a spouse.
[Proverbs 6:25] Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.
These are situations that once entered into are hard to get out of . If however one goes the right way and tries to do good and wishes to do so the Almighty will help.
[Proverbs 6:26] For by means of a harlot
A man is reduced to a crust of bread;
And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.
Sexual immorality often leads to financial ruination or at the least to weakened resilience.
A WHORISH WOMAN is bad for you and brings you down.
" THE ADULTRESS WILL HUNT": It may seem at the time that the person in question genuinely cares for you and maybe she does (which is unlikely) but even so the objective consequences are harmful and it is as if you are being hunted.
THE PRECIOUS LIFE: You life is worth something in the eyes of the Almighty so you also should value it.
[Proverbs 6:27] Can a man take fire to his bosom,
And his clothes not be burned?
[Proverbs 6:28] Can one walk on hot coals,
And his feet not be seared?
[Proverbs 6:29] So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife;
Whoever touches her shall not be innocent.
[Proverbs 6:30] People do not despise a thief
If he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving.
Someone who has nothing to eat and steals will be punished. Nevertheless his action is understandable and even forgiveable.
Taking the wife of another is not.
In principle all things may be forgiven but some are harder to put away than others.
[Proverbs 6:31] Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold;
He may have to give up all the substance of his house.
Depending on the circumstance a thief when caught should be able to make restitution and have the matter ended.
[Proverbs 6:32] Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;
He who does so destroys his own soul.
destroys his own soul. In Hebrew "Mashchit nafsho" which also connotes destroys his mind, ruins his psyche.
Whatever you do, you do to yourself, as well as to others.
Let us all hope that we never end up in situations like the one described here, not in any way.
[Proverbs 6:33] Wounds and dishonor he will get,
And his reproach will not be wiped away.
Some things are liable to catch up you when you least expect them and when you are most vulnerable to them.
Why put oneself in situation you do not really want to be in?
Why take something that you can do without?
Why hurt other people?
Even when everyone else seem to be doing the same thing and if it is not you then it will be someone else, why should you be the victim of your own stupidity?
Let the other do what they want, God want you to look after yourself.
Not only that but realize that the fate of your children and country may also be involved.
[Proverbs 6:34] For jealousy is a husband's fury;
Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
There is something here about a payment having to be made.
If the husband does not take vengeance the Almighty will.
Everyone is susceptible.
Even King David slipped up on this matter.
David also paid for his sin as described (2-Samuel chapters 15-18) in our ongoing Brit-Am studies of the Book of Samuel.
Â David took the wife of another man in secret. His punishment included the death of one son, the rebellion of another, his concubines being all defiled in public, the near ruination of his kingdom,Â and it still did not end.
If David slipped up so can all of us.
David however was a warrior. He paid the price and he came back to the Almighty.
If we are in that situation we too may return.
Nevertheless, most of us are not of the same substance as David was.
He fell into the pit yet managed to somehow clamber out of it getting severely wounded in the process.
If he could do it so may we BUT
Why put yourself in such a situation to start with?
And if you are there, why keep going?
The Bible is life and wants you to desire life.
[Proverbs 6:35] He will accept no recompense,
Nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.
The Almighty is the only refuge we have.
The above exhortations are against a man committing adultery with the wife of another man.
The same principles obviously apply to a woman not to depart from her husband.
These verses are referring to real-life situations.
They are also parables telling us to keep to the truth and belief in God and the Bible.
It is not for nothing that the Book of Proverbs begins by warning us against the sin of pride and then passes on to speak of the wickedness of adultery.
The two are connected.
Do not think you are better than others.
Do not put yourself in the place of the Almighty