Proverbs 6:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 6:5, NIV: Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Proverbs 6:5, ESV: save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Proverbs 6:5, KJV: Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Proverbs 6:5, NASB: Save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand, And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Proverbs 6:5, NLT: Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net.

Proverbs 6:5, CSB: Escape like a gazelle from a hunter, like a bird from a hunter's trap.

What does Proverbs 6:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The general context of this passage is that of being trapped in a bad loan, by cosigning or offering collateral for another person (Proverbs 6:1–4). Scripture doesn't forbid all forms of borrowing or lending, but it does speak against unfair interest (Deuteronomy 23:19–20) and other unreasonable approaches. Solomon tells his son in this verse to free himself from the trap he fell into by "[putting] up security" for an unreliable person.

In Bible times, a person in default of payment might become the creditor's slave and lose everything he had. Even his family members might be taken as slaves by the creditor. There are risks associated with cosigning loans today, but in most modern cultures, those pale in comparison to what happened to debtors in the past.

Solomon uses two similes to emphasize the speed with which a cosigner should act. Gazelles are the smallest antelope in Palestine, noted for beauty and speed (1 Chronicles 12:8). When a gazelle was aware of danger, it would dart away from the danger as quickly as possible. Similarly, when hunted, birds try to fly away as quickly as possible. A cosigner may not realize the danger involved in cosigning for a high-interest loan, but his lack of awareness does not reduce the risk.