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EVERY friend will say: I also am his friend: but there is a friend, that is only a friend in name. Is not this a grief even to death?

Ver. 1.  Death.  Gr. explains this: (C.) I mean (2.) "a companion and friend turned?" &c.  H.

 

--- True friendship is most necessary, and false most dangerous.  W.


2 But a companion and a friend shall be turned to an enemy. 3 O wicked presumption, whence camest thou to cover the earth with thy malice, and deceitfulness? 4 There is a companion who rejoiceth with his friend in his joys, but in the time of trouble, he will be against him. 5 There is a companion who condoleth with his friend for his belly's sake, and he will take up a shield against enemy.

Ver. 5.  Will.  Grotius suspects that not is wanting.  Yet, if a false friend take up arms, it will only be (C.) for his own belly.  M.

 

--- Not is ill-omitted in the Comp. edit. in the last part of the following verse.


6 Forget not thy friend in thy mind, and be not unmindful of him in thy riches. 7 Consult not with him that layeth a snare for thee, and hide thy counsel from them that envy thee.

Ver. 7.  Snare.  Greek Rom. and Alex. has at the end (C.) of v. 11, "with him that suspecteth thee."  H.


8 Every counsellor giveth out counsel, but there is one that is a counsellor for himself. 9 Beware of a counsellor. And know before what need he hath: for he will devise to his own mind: 10 Lest he thrust a stake into the ground, and say to thee:

Ver. 10.  Stake, or stumbling-block.  C.


11 Thy way is good; and then stand on the other side to see what shall befall thee. 12 Treat not with a man without religion concerning holiness, nor with an unjust man concerning justice, nor with a woman touching her of whom she is jealous, nor with a coward concerning war, nor with a merchant about traffic, nor with a buyer of selling, nor with an envious man of giving thanks,

Ver. 12.  Treat not.  The negation is omitted in the Vulg. (H.) which speaks ironically in the three following verses.  Gr. "consult not with him who suspecteth thee, and hide thy counsel from those who are jealous of thee.  With a woman," &c.  Consult not, is always understood.  Among the Jews, polygamy occasioned much jealousy.

 

--- Envious miser.  C.


13 Nor with the ungodly of piety, nor with the dishonest of honesty, nor with the held labourer of every work

Ver. 13.  Nor.  Gr. "with the merciless concerning kindness, with the sluggard concerning any work.  With one hired for the year, concerning coming to an end:" sunteleiaV.  H.

 

--- He will never finish his work, or think he has sufficient wages.


14 Nor with him that worketh by the year of the finishing of the year, nor with an idle servant of much business: give no heed to these in any matter of counsel. 15 But be continually with a holy man, whomsoever thou shalt know to observe the fear of God,

Ver. 15.  God, and is enlightened, as well as a good friend, v. 16.  C.


16 Whose soul is according to thy own soul: and who, when thou shalt stumble in the dark, will be sorry for thee. 17 And establish within thyself a heart of good counsel: for there is no other thing of more worth to thee than it.

Ver. 17.  It.  Gr. "more faithful than it," the well regulated heart.  H.

 

--- It will give the best counsel, if we be not guided by passion.


18 The soul of a holy man discovereth sometimes true things, more than seven watchmen that sit in a high piece to watch.

Ver. 18.  Holy is not in Gr. but must be understood.  C.

 

--- The soul or heart, which is attentive to God, (v. 17.) will be the best guide.  H.

 

--- All good advice proceeds from the Lord.  S. Aug. Doct. prol. 7.

 

--- We must always have recourse to him, though we must use our best endeavours.  W.


19 But above all these things pray to the most High, that he may direct thy way in truth. 20 In all thy works let the true word go before thee, and steady counsel before every action.

Ver. 20.  In.  Gr. "Reason is chief of every work, and counsel must go before every action."  H.

 

--- We must distrust our own lights.


21 A wicked word shall change the beast: out of which four manner of things arise, good and evil, life and death: and the tongue is continually the ruler of them. There is a man that is subtle and a teacher of many, and yet is unprofitable to his own soul.

Ver. 21.  Them.  The heart gives birth to good or evil, which the tongue utters.  Matt. xii. 34. and xv. 18.

 

--- Soul.  What will science, without charity, profit him, if he should even gain the world?  Matt. xvi. 26. and 1 Cor. xiii. 1.


22 A skilful man hath taught many, and is sweet to his own soul. 23 He that speaketh sophistically, is hateful: he shall be destitute of every thing.

Ver. 23.  Hateful.  His sophisms are soon discovered.  Gr. "there is one wise, hateful in his discourses: he shall be devoid of all wisdom."


24 Grace is not given him from the Lord: for he is deprived of all wisdom.
25 There is a wise man that is wise to his own soul: and the fruit of his understanding is commendable.

Ver. 25.  Soul.  Being replenished with wisdom, he communicates it to others, and obtains an eternal reward.  C.


26 A wise man instructeth his own people, and the fruits of his understanding are faithful. 27 A wise man shall be filled with blessings, and they that see shall praise him. 28 The life of a man is in the number of his days: but the days of Israel are innumerable.

Ver. 28.  But.  Gr. "And."  The wisest must soon die: Even the race of Israel shall end: But the virtuous shall be for ever remembered.  v. 29.  H.

 

--- The blessed in heaven live for ever.  W.


29 A wise man shall inherit honour among his people, and his name shall live for ever. 30 My son, prove thy soul in thy life: and if it be wicked, give it no power:

Ver. 30.  Life.  Attempt nothing above thy strength: or Gr. try what agrees with thy health or soul, (C.) and see thou give it not what is hurtful to it."  H.

 

--- S. Paul (1 Cor. xi.) exhorts every one to prove or try himself and his own conscience.  W.


31 For all things are not expedient for all, and every kind pleaseth not every soul.

Ver. 31.  Soul.  "We must not dispute about tastes."  H.

 

--- They are as various as men's faces.  All conditions do not suit every person.


32 Be not greedy in any feasting, and pour not out thyself upon any meat: 33 For in many meats there will be sickness, and greediness will turn to choler.

Ver. 33.  Choler, or indigestion.  "Gluttony has slain more than the sword."  C.


34 By surfeiting many have perished: but he that is temperate, shall prolong life.
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