My son, if you have put up security for your neighbour, if you have struck hands in pledge for another,
My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, Have given a pledge for a stranger,
My child, if you co–sign a loan for a friend or guarantee the debt of someone you hardly know––
Dear friend, if you've gone into hock with your neighbor or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
My son, if you have made yourself responsible for your neighbour, or given your word for another,
My child, if you have given your pledge to your neighbor, if you have bound yourself to another,
My son, if you become surety for your friend, If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 sn The chapter advises release from foolish indebtedness (1-5), admonishes avoiding laziness (6-11), warns of the danger of poverty (9-11) and deviousness (12-15), lists conduct that the
2 tn Heb “my son” (likewise in vv. 3, 20).
3 sn It was fairly common for people to put up some kind of financial security for someone else, that is, to underwrite another’s debts. But the pledge in view here was foolish because the debtor was a neighbor who was not well known (זָר, zar), perhaps a misfit in the community. The one who pledged security for this one was simply gullible.
4 tn The conjunction “and” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness.
5 tn Heb “struck your hands”; NIV “have struck hands in pledge”; NASB “have given a pledge.” The guarantee of a pledge was signaled by a handshake (e.g., 11:15; 17:18; 22:26).
6 tn Heb “stranger.” The term זוּר (zur, “stranger”) probably refers to a neighbor who was not well-known. Alternatively, it could describe a person who is living outside the norms of convention, a moral misfit in the community. In any case, this “stranger” is a high risk in any financial arrangement.