1 My son, if you be surety for your neighbor,
If you have stricken your hand (idiom for making a contract. Cp. Job 17;3) with an apostate,
2 If you are snared with the sayings of your mouth,
If you are taken with the sayings of your mouth.
3 Do this now, my son, and rescue yourself,
When you are come into the hand of your neighbor;
Go, humble yourself, and make sure your neighbor.
4 Give not sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids.
5 Rescue yourself as a roe from the snare of the hunter,
And as a bird from the snare of the fowler."
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard (indolent, lazy);
Consider her ways (journey), and be wise: (Learn a little sense.)
7 Which having no guide,
Overseer, or ruler,
8 Provides her meat in the summer, (True of Eastern ants.)
And gathers her food in the harvest. (Only one time to do it when the time is right. God is telling the lazy person to gain wisdom from watching the ants. They have no leader yet it is their nature to work diligently in order to be prepared for what is to come. They are even a good example for preparation for war. Some colonies are found to have many chambers, like a 10 story building with granaries, nurseries, defensive holds, etc.)
9 How long will you sleep, O sluggard?
When will you arise out of your sleep?
10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep:
11 So shall your need come as one that travels, (As in labor pains.)
And your want (in want of necessities of life) as an armed man. (God hates a sluggard. Especially one that is spiritually lazy. The wisdom He is trying to teach has a much deeper meaning than just working for your retirement. He is speaking about the spiritual food that you store in your brain for the day when the chief of the locust army makes himself known (as described in Joel 2:2). When Antichrist's troops are sent forth it will be too late for you to start trying to stock up on spiritual truth. You must be well prepared to withstand all things, knowing most of all, that God drives the locusts as He will. Joel says they come as a well-organized army, but you should have no worry because as an ant you have stored up your food for hard times to come.)
12 A naughty person (Heb. a man of Belial = a worthless person), a wicked man,
Walks with a perverse mouth. (These folks choose to work against God.)
13 He winks with his eyes, he speaks with his feet,
We teaches with his fingers; (These men of Belial will use anything at their disposal to trick and deceive others. Many of them do it in the name of religion.)
14 Deceitfulness is in his heart, he devises mischief continually;
He casts forth [as seed] discord.
15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly;
Suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
16 These six things does the LORD hate: (Epitomizing vv.12-14)
Yes, seven are an abomination (see 3:32) to Him: (Yes, God hates. Don't listen to "powder puff" preachers that would tell you other wise. He hates the 6 things that follow, and when you add the 7th to any of the 6, it becomes an abomination to Father. What are the 6 things He hates?)
17 Eyes lifted up (put for pride, which is indicated by this act.), a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that devises wicked imaginations,
Feet that be swift in running to mischief, (Those with wicked imaginations are dreamers. They like to say, "God told me...". There is only one problem. God didn't tell them anything.)
19 A false witness that speaks lies,
And he that sows discord among brethren. (If you use any of the 6 things to sow discord, you can bet your blessings will be cut off. You will have become an abomination to God. What about those that attempt to sow discord among those that are doing God's work? Should you be concerned? See Psalms 27:1.)
20 My son, keep your father's commandment,
And forsake not the law of your mother:
21 Bind them (the "words" and the "sayings") continually upon your heart,
And tie them about your neck.
22 When you go, she shall lead you; (referring to the "commandments" or "law" of v.20)
When you lie down, she shall keep you;
And when you awake, she shall commune with you. (3 = Divine completeness.)
23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light;
And what is directed are the way to life: (I.e. eternal life. See Lev.18:5.)
24 To keep you from the evil woman,
From the flattery of the tongue of a foreign woman.
25 Lust not after her beauty in your heart;
Neither let her take you with her eyelids.
26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread:
And the adulteress will hunt for the precious soul.
27 Can a man shovel up fire in his bosom,
And his clothes not be burned?
28 Can one go upon hot coals,
And his feet not be burned?
29 So he that goes in to his neighbor's wife;
Whosoever touches her shall not be innocent.
30 Men will not think it a trifle [or a light matter] that he should steal,
[Even] to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
31 So if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold;
He shall give all the substance of his house.
32 How much more he who commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding:
He that does it destroys his own soul.
33 A wound and dishonor shall he get;
And his reproach shall not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy is the rage of a strong man: (Here a jealous husband.)
Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
35 He will not regard any ransom;
Neither will he rest content, though you give many gifts.