Proverbs 22:27

ESV If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?
NIV if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.
NASB If you have nothing with which to repay, Why should he take your bed from under you?
CSB If you have nothing with which to pay, even your bed will be taken from under you.
NLT If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.
KJV If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?

What does Proverbs 22:27 mean?

Solomon explains some of the consequences for ignoring the advice given in the prior verse (Proverbs 22:26). The book of Proverbs warns against unwise risks associated with other people's finances (Proverbs 6:1–5; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16). The teaching is not that we should never lend, or never give; rather, we should be careful not to place our resources in jeopardy over another person's irresponsibility.

If the borrowing person cannot fulfil the terms of the loan, the creditor may demand the debtor's furniture as payment. A person who has put up "security" or "surety" for someone else's loan risks forfeiting their property. Even so, Old Testament law provided protections for those who were so destitute that their collateral involved basic needs. Under the Law of Moses, if a person's cloak was given as a pledge, the creditor had to return it before sundown. Otherwise, the debtor would not be able to sleep in it. Deuteronomy 24:12–13 commanded Israel: "And if [the man who pledges his cloak] is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge. You shall restore to him the pledge as the sun sets, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you. And it shall be righteousness for you before the LORD your God."

However, by the days of Ezekiel some people of Israel ignored this merciful law. Ezekiel 18:10–13 lists many evils that incur the death penalty. Verse 12 mentions the evil of not restoring the pledge. This echoes statements in the book of Proverbs which condemn abusive mistreatment of the poor (Proverbs 14:31; 19:17; 22:16, 22).
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