Proverbs 6:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 6:3, NIV: So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go--to the point of exhaustion-- and give your neighbor no rest!

Proverbs 6:3, ESV: then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor.

Proverbs 6:3, KJV: Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

Proverbs 6:3, NASB: Then do this, my son, and save yourself: Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor, Go, humble yourself, and be urgent with your neighbor to free yourself.

Proverbs 6:3, NLT: follow my advice and save yourself, for you have placed yourself at your friend's mercy. Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name erased.

Proverbs 6:3, CSB: Do this, then, my son, and free yourself, for you have put yourself in your neighbor's power: Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor.

What does Proverbs 6:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Solomon is explaining the dangers of "[putting] up security" for someone else's borrowing. This is equivalent to the modern idea of cosigning: agreeing to pay on behalf of the other person if they fail to make good on the debt. Agreeing to that obligation when the borrower is a stranger, unreliable, or the loan has excessive interest is foolish.

If someone finds themselves caught in such a situation—by their own words of promise (Proverbs 6:2)—they should try to extricate themselves by humbly asking to be released from the obligation. Solomon puts a sense of urgency on this idea: recommending one act immediately to get out of the situation and beg urgently to be released from the obligation.

In this context, "your neighbor" refers to the first signer of the loan: the actual borrower. The word "neighbor" appears in verse 1 as the person for whom the cosigner agrees to attach his name to the loan. Instead of berating the neighbor for his failure to pay, it is best to withhold one's anger and humbly plead with him to pay his debt and free you from your part in it. If the cosigner insults the first signer, he may make him angry and unwilling to oblige. This action is hard to take, but it is much harder to fall prey to a money-hungry lender and forfeit one's property as payment of the loan.