What does Proverbs 6:2 mean?
ESV: if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth,
NIV: you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth.
NASB: If you have been ensnared by the words of your mouth, Or caught by the words of your mouth,
CSB: you have been snared by the words of your mouth-- trapped by the words from your mouth.
NLT: if you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said —
KJV: Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
NKJV: You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth.
Verse Commentary:
What should a person do if he has given his word that he will back up another person's loan, then realizes the situation is unreasonable? Solomon addresses this situation. The general context of Proverbs suggests the problem here is involvement in excessive interest rates, or in supporting a borrower who is unreliable. The text doesn't absolutely condemn all forms of cosigning.

Friends or parents may find themselves in similar situations today. For example, cosigning a loan for a car or tuition, only to find later that the one who borrowed cannot make the payments. Or a person may cosign a loan only to find later that the other person has defaulted on the loan. Stuck with a high-interest loan, the cosigner is charged with the responsibility to make the payments, and he regrets having pledged to back the loan. They are "caught" by the words they spoke in agreeing to the loan, even though the lack of payment is not their fault.

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be" is famous advice the character Polonius gave to his son in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Scripture, however, does not forbid lending or borrowing; it forbids only the evil practice of imposing exorbitant interest, as well as unwise borrowing.
Verse Context:
Proverbs 6:1–5 is the first of two teachings on good financial health in this chapter of Proverbs. This passage refers to using one's own property as collateral, especially for someone else's loan. The emphasis seems to be on a situation where one has cosigned on high-interest or risky borrowing, on behalf of another person. The book of Proverbs often discourages this kind of gamble (Proverbs 17:18; 22:26–27). Solomon's advice for those caught in such an arrangement is to immediately seek resolution: remove yourself from that situation without delay. Exodus 22:25–27 and Leviticus 25:35–37 are companion texts regarding lending money. The next passage considers another aspect of money management: avoiding laziness.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter provides teaching on two aspects of wealth management. The first is avoiding putting one's property in debt for the sake of some other person's risky investment. The other warns against laziness, indicating that it puts a person at risk for sudden ruin. Solomon then poetically explains attitudes and actions which God finds especially repulsive. Next, Solomon returns to the subject of adultery. He reiterates the inherent risks of sexual immorality, including the catastrophic consequences which it brings. That lesson continues into the following chapter.
Chapter Context:
This chapter of Proverbs continues the wise sayings Solomon addresses to his son. In chapter 5 he addresses adultery and marriage. In this chapter he addresses financial matters, work ethics, characteristics and conduct the Lord despises, and sexual immorality. A common theme of these lessons is to avoid the natural consequences of foolish choices. The next chapter describes the adulteress's ways and the pitfalls involved in committing adultery with her.
Book Summary:
Proverbs is best understood in context with the books of Ecclesiastes and Job. In Proverbs, “wisdom” is given in short, simple, general terms. Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. This often shows how the general principles of the book of Proverbs don’t apply in absolutely every circumstance. Job represents wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice. All three come to the conclusion that God does indeed know best, and the most sensible course of action is to follow His will.
Accessed 4/23/2024 6:40:08 PM
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