Proverbs 22:26

ESV Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts.
NIV Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts;
NASB Do not be among those who shake hands, Among those who become guarantors for debts.
CSB Don’t be one of those who enter agreements, who put up security for loans.
NLT Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for someone else.
KJV Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.
NKJV Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, One of those who is surety for debts;

What does Proverbs 22:26 mean?

This verse begins another command, followed by its explanation (Proverbs 22:27). A wise person avoids being caught up in other people's money troubles. This is often presented in the imagery of cosigning for a loan or agreeing to pay for debts (Proverbs 6:1–5; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16). Terms such as "pledges," "surety," or "security" are like what modern banking would call "collateral:" something of worth to forfeit if a debt is not paid. In Genesis 43:9 Judah offered himself to his father Jacob as surety for his brother Benjamin. When circumstances called for it, Judah offered himself as collateral for Benjamin (44:14–34).

As with other such warnings, the point is not that God's people ought to never lend money, at all. Rather, the danger is in making foolish choices about such things. Putting oneself at financial risk, for the sake of others, should only be done with careful consideration.

Hebrews 7:22 identifies Jesus as the guarantor of a better covenant. He served as the "security" or "surety" for sin debt. He took upon Himself responsibility to do all that the covenant demanded for the salvation of those who would receive its provisions.
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