Proverbs 20:16

Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
– Proverbs 20:16

Pledges and sureties have to do with lending. The word for surety means to braid, or intermix. It connotes being mixed in a transaction. We can think of it as cosigning a loan, where one person contractually obligates himself to pay the loan of another if he defaults on it. The law did not forbid suretyship, but wisdom warned against it, particularly in the case of becoming surety for a stranger (Proverbs 6:1; 11:15). The word for pledge means to wind tightly, or to bind. The word refers to collateral that is given to secure a loan. Pledges were not required, but were permissible by the law and heavily regulated when it concerned lending to the poor (Exodus 22:25-27; Deuteronomy 24:6-17). The point of the proverb is that a man who would become surety for a stranger or mingle with strange women is not to be trusted, or considered reliable. If you lend to such, take a security from him, or otherwise you expose yourself to great risk.

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