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THE sluggard is pelted with a dirty stone, and all men will speak of his disgrace.

Ver. 1.  Sluggard.  Who neglects his own and others' welfare.  C.


--- Disgrace.  He is still despised here, and punished eternally.  Matt. xxv. 30.  W.

2 The sluggard is pelted with the dung of oxen: and every one that toucheth him will shake his hands.

Ver. 2.  Pelted.  Gr. "compared to a lump of dung."  H.

3 A son ill taught is the confusion of the father: and a foolish daughter shall be to his loss.

Ver. 3.  Loss.  "I wish," said Augustus, "I had never married, or that I had died without children."  Suet.

4 A wise daughter shall bring an inheritance to her husband: but she that confoundeth, becometh a disgrace to her father.

Ver. 4.  Inheritance.  Her wisdom and economy.  Prov. xxxi. 29.  Women had no inheritance among the Jews, when they had brothers.

5 She that is bold shameth both her father and husband, and will not be inferior to the ungodly: and shall be disgraced by them both.

Ver. 5.  Bold.  In speaking and acting without restraint.  C.

6 A tale out of time is like music in mourning: but the stripes and instruction of wisdom are never out of time.

Ver. 6.  Mourning.  S. Jer. (ep. ad Julian) quoting this sentence, calls it "divine Scripture."  Prov. xxv. 20.


--- Of time.  Or "stripes and instruction well-timed, are wisdom."  H.


--- Only the wise know how to correct with advantage.

7 He that teacheth a fool, is like one that glueth a potsherd together.

Ver. 7.  Fool.  Who is incapable of understanding.  Those who have sense may be corrected, though they may have taken evil courses.

8 He that telleth a word to him that heareth not, is like one that waketh a man out of a deep sleep. 9 He speaketh with one that is asleep, who uttereth wisdom to a fool: and in the end of the discourse he saith: Who is this?

Ver. 9.  This?  The Athenian philosophers and Festus derided S. Paul.  Acts xvii. 32.

10 Weep for the dead, for his light hath failed: and weep for the fool, for his understanding faileth.

Ver. 10.  For the fool.  In the language of the Holy Ghost, he is styled a fool that turns away from God to follow vanity and sin.  And what is said by the wise man against fools is meant of such fools as these.  Ch.


--- Their wicked life is worse than death.  W.


11 Weep but a little for the dead, for he is at rest. 12 For the wicked life of a wicked fool is worse than death.
13 The mourning for the dead is seven days: but for a fool and an ungodly man all the days of their life.

Ver. 13.  Day.  There was a longer time assigned for great men.  Gen. l. 3.  Num. xx. 30. and Deut. xxxiv. 8.


--- Life.  This is understood of those who have lost all reason, or sense of religion.  S. Monica wept for her son, hoping that he would repent, as a certain bishop had comforted her.  S. Aug. Conf. iii. ult.


14 Talk not much with a fool, and go not with him that hath no sense. 15 Keep thyself from him, that thou mayst not have trouble, and thou shalt not be defiled with his sin. 16 Turn away from him, and thou shalt find rest, and shalt not be wearied out with his folly. 17 What is heavier than lead? and what other name hath he but fool?

Ver. 17.  Lead?  Gold alone is heavier.  But the fool is compared with lead, and is most insupportable.

18 Sand and salt, and a mass of iron is easier to bear, than a man without sense, that is both foolish and wicked.


19 A frame of wood bound together in the foundation of a building, shall not be loosed: so neither shall the heart that is established by advised counsel.

Ver. 19.  Wood.  Such were used in the walls of Jerusalem, (4 Mac. ii.) and of the temple and palace.  3 K. vi. 36. and vii. 12.

20 The thought of him that is wise at all times, shall not be depraved by fear. 21 As pales set in high places, and plasterings made without cost, will not stand against the face of the wind:

Ver. 21.  Cost.  Of lime.  C. --- Gr. omits this comparison, as well as the 23d verse.  H.

22 So also a fearful heart in the imagination of a fool shall not resist against the violence of fear. 23 As a fearful heart in the thought of a fool at all times will not fear, so neither shall he that continueth always in the commandments of God.

Ver. 23.  Not fear.  This seems contrary to what goes before.  But fools are sometimes intrepid even to harshness.  C.

24 He that pricketh the eye, bringeth out tears: and he that pricketh the heart, bringeth forth resentment.

Ver. 24.  Resentment.  Or "sense," (H.) by means of pungent reprimands.  C.

25 He that flingeth a stone at birds, shall drive them away: so he that upbraideth his friend, breaketh friendship.

Ver. 25.  Away, (Gr.) Lit. "will knock them down," dejiciet.  H.


--- Deliberate provocations (v. 27.) are pardoned with more difficulty than a sudden impulse of wrath.  v. 26.  On such occasions we may withdraw our confidence, but not our charity and patience.  Matt. v. 11.  C.


--- A true friend will not be lost for a temporal damage; but he must not be slighted.  W.

26 Although thou hast drawn a sword at a friend, despair not: for there may be a returning. To a friend, 27 If thou hast opened a sad mouth, fear not, for there may be a reconciliation: except upbraiding, and reproach, and pride, and disclosing of secrets, or a treacherous wound: for in all these cases a friend will flee away. 28 Keep fidelity with a friend in his poverty, that in his prosperity also thou mayst rejoice. 29 In the time of his trouble continue faithful to him, that thou mayst also be heir with him in his inheritance.

Ver. 29.  Inheritance.  Gr. adds, "for poverty is not always contemptible, nor is the senseless rich worthy of admiration."  H.

30 As the vapour of a chimney, and the smoke of the fire goeth up before the fire: so also injurious words, and reproaches, and threats, before blood. 31 I will not be ashamed to salute a friend, neither will I hide myself from his face: and if any evil happen to me by him, I will bear it. 32 But every one that shall hear it, will beware of him.

Ver. 32.  Of him.  Yet I will not follow their example.  C.


--- If my friend has behaved ill to me, he will be the greatest sufferer.  H.

33 Who will set a guard before my mouth, and a sure seal upon my lips, that I fall not by them, and that my tongue destroy me not?

Ver. 33.  Not.  Ps. cxl. 3.  Who can sufficiently guard his tongue?  C.



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