12 The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
13 Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.
14 If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning,
it will be taken as a curse.
The prudent react to what they see, so when danger arrives they are prepared for it. Have you ever been caught off guard? Chances are there was something you overlooked or underestimated, and hindsight has made you more prudent. The simple don’t react to danger until they have to, and by that time it is often too late. Is something in your life, like a relationship, finances, or a habit, headed in the wrong direction? Do something about it now, before it gets any worse.
“Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.” There are numerous warnings in Proverbs about risky deals, the one who puts up security for a stranger “has no sense” and “will surely suffer.” If you must deal with such a person it is prudent to protect yourself with a deposit, which in those times was often a garment. If you do get stuck in a bad deal, Solomon’s advice (Chapter 6) is to waste no time in resolving it, as such things only get worse over time.
“If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.” It is important to not only consider what you say, but how it will be taken. This also is an issue of prudence. There are plenty of wrong ways to be right, all of which are irritating to others. Obnoxious blessings are like unwanted kisses, there is never a good time for either.