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THE wise men will seek out the wisdom of all the ancients, and will be occupied in the prophets.

Ver. 1.  Ancients.  The Essenes (Jos. Bel. i. 7.) and Therapeuts (Philo. Comtemp.) were most famous of all for doing so.  In general the Jews despise the learning of foreign nations: but some have applied themselves to it, particularly Philo, Josephus, &c.  1 Mac. i. 11. and 2 Mac. vi. 11.

 

--- Prophets.  These required the utmost study, before the coming of Christ.  1 Pet. i. 11.  Dan. ix 9.  C.

 

--- The virtuous must follow both an active and contemplative life.  W.


2 He will keep the sayings of renowned men, and will enter withal into the subtilties of parables.

Ver. 2.  Sayings, or history of Abraham, &c.

 

--- Parables.  This was most in vogue.  3 K. x.

 

--- But mechanics abstained from this study.  C. xxxviii. 38.  C.

 

--- To meditate well, 1. knowledge; 2. virtue; 3. humility; and 4. hope, are requisite.  W.


3 He will search out the hidden meanings of proverbs, and will be conversant in the secrets of parables. 4 He shall serve among great men, and: appear before the governor.

Ver. 4.  Governor or the province or army.  The most enlightened were chosen, like Joseph.  Daniel i. 4. &c.


5 He shall pass into strange countries: for he shall try good and evil among men.

Ver. 5.  Men.  Travelling was very requisite, (C. xxxiv. 11.) and history records the actions of the bad as well as the good, for the instruction of the public.


6 He will give his heart to resort early to the Lord that made him, and he will pray in the sight of the most High.

Ver. 6.  Pray.  Diligence and prayer are the means to acquire wisdom.  C. iv. 13.


7 He will open his mouth in prayer, and will make supplication for his sins. 8 For if it shall please the great Lord, he will fill him with the spirit of understanding: 9 And he will pour forth the words of his wisdom as showers, and in his prayer he will confess to the Lord.

Ver. 9.  Lord, being in a sort of rapture, and enlightened by Him.


10 And he shall direct his counsel, and his knowledge, and in his secrets shall he meditate. 11 He shall shew forth the discipline he hath learned, and shall glory in the law of the covenant of the Lord. 12 Many shall praise his wisdom, and it shall never be forgotten.
13 The memory of him shall not depart away, and his name shall be in request from generation to generation.

Ver. 13.  Generation.  With what care de we not preserve the Scripture? &c.


14 Nations shall declare his wisdom, and the church shall shew forth his praise. 15 If he continue, he shall leave a name above a thousand: and if he rest, it shall be to his advantage.

Ver. 15.  Thousand.  Children or other men.

 

--- Rest, in death.  C.


16 I will yet meditate that I may declare: for I am filled as with a holy transport.

Ver. 16.  With.  Gr. "as the moon in the first quarter," dicomhnia. H.

 

---  The Vulg. has read Diomhnia, "divine transport."  The author declares that he was inspired.  C.


17 By a voice he saith: Hear me, ye divine offspring, and bud forth as the rose planted by the brooks of waters.

Ver. 17.  By.  Gr. "Hear me, ye holy children."

 

--- Offspring.  Lit. "fruits."  H.

 

--- He speaks to the children of Israel, the people of God: whom he exhorts to bud forth and flourish with virtue.  Ch.


18 Give ye a sweet odour as frankincense. 19 Send forth flowers, as the lily, and yield a smell, and bring forth leaves in grace, and praise with canticles, and bless the Lord in his works.

Ver. 19.  Bring.  Gr. "praise a canticle."


20 Magnify his name, and give glory to him with the voice of your lips, and with the canticles of your mouths, and with harps, and in praising him, you shall say in this manner:

Ver. 20.  Voice.  Gr. "songs of your lips, (H.) and with ancient lyres," &c.  C.


21 All the works of the Lord are exceeding good.

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22 At his word the waters stood as a heap: and at the words of his mouth the receptacles of waters:

Ver. 22.  Waters.  At the world's creation, or at the passage of the Israelites.  C.



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23 For at his commandment favour is shewn, and there is no diminishing of his salvation.

Ver. 23.  Salvation.  None can prevent the salvation of God's elect.  H.


24 The works of all flesh are before him, and there is nothing hid from his eyes.
25 He seeth from eternity to eternity, and there is nothing wonderful before him.

Ver. 25.  Wonderful, or new.  C.

 

--- The greatest miracles cost him nothing.  H.


26 There is no saying: What is this, or what is that? for all things shall be sought in their time.

Ver. 26.  Time.  The veil shall be withdrawn, and Providence will appear.  Gr. "all things are made for their use."


27 His blessing hath overflowed like a river. 28 And as a flood hath watered the earth; so shall his wrath inherit the nations, that have not sought after him:

Ver. 28.  That.  Gr. "as he changed the waters into saltness," (H.) at Sodom, (C.) "his ways are plain for the saints: so to sinners they are stumbling-blocks."  v. 30.  The Red Sea gave a passage to Israel, and overwhelmed the Egyptians.  H.

 

--- Him. God does all with grandeur.  He poured his graces upon Israel, and overwhelmed the giants in the deluge.  C.



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29 Even as he turned the waters into a dry land, and the earth was made dry: and his ways were made plain for their journey: so to sinners they are stumblingblocks in his wrath.

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30 Good things were created for the good from the beginning, so for the wicked, good and evil things.

Ver. 30.  Good and, is omitted in Gr.  Before the fall, all was happiness.  Now, the wicked have still some mixture of good.  v. 32.  Bossuet.


31 The principal things necessary for the life of men, are water, fire, and iron, salt, milk, and bread of flour, and honey, and the cluster of the grape, and oil, and clothing.

Ver. 31.  Water and fire.  These are requisite to prepare bread.  The Romans refused them to the enemies of the state.

 

--- Cluster.  Gr. "blood," as Deut. xxxii. 14.  C.

 

--- God gives the necessaries of life, which the virtuous use well, for their reward; and the wicked ill, to their ruin.  W.



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32 All these things shall be for good to the holy, so to the sinners and the ungodly they shall be turned into evil.

Ver. 32.  Evil.  The good or bad use of them decides all.  Wisd. xiv. 11.  Rom. viii. 18.  Tit. i. 15.


33 There are spirits that are created for vengeance, and in their fury they lay on grievous torments.

Ver. 33.  Spirits.  Storms (Ps. x. 7. and cxlviii. 8.) good angels, (Gen. xix. 11.  Is. xxxvii. 36.) or rather devils: who, though created in holiness, fell, and became executioners of the wicked.  C.

 

--- They abused their free-will, and are eternally punished.  W.


34 In the time of destruction they shall pour out their force: and they shall appease the wrath of him that made them.

Ver. 34.  Destruction, and final ruin of the impious, or at the least day.  C.

 

--- Appease.  God is pleased with the execution of justice.  M.

 

--- Yet the devils cannot obtain a reconciliation; neither do they act to please God, having their wills obstinately bent against his, though they be forced to obey.  H.


35 Fire, hail, famine, and death, all these were created for vengeance.

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36 The teeth of beasts, and scorpions, and serpents, and the sword taking vengeance upon the ungodly unto destruction.

Ver. 36.  Beasts.  Wolves, &c. with which the country was infested.  Deut. vii. 22. and xxii. 24.

 

--- Sword.  War.


37 In his commandments they shall feast, and they shall be ready upon earth when need is, and when their time is come they shall not transgress his word.

Ver. 37.  Feast.  Gr. "rejoice," as at a feast.  Ezec. xxxix. 16.

 

--- Word.  They will be ready at the first sign.  C.

 

--- All creatures, but the rebel angels and man, obey God.  H.


38 Therefore from the beginning I was resolved, and I have meditated, and thought on these things and left them in writing.

Ver. 38.  Resolved.  Lit. "confirmed" in this opinion by a divine light.  v. 16. 21.


39 All the works of the Lord are good, and he will furnish every work in due time.

Ver. 39.  Time.  If we receive  not at first, we must have patience.



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40 It is not to be said: This is worse than that: for all shall be well approved in their time.

Ver. 40.  That.  Even sin contributes to manifest the justice and mercy of God; and we are not to judge of his works, but to praise  him; as every thing is created for wise purposes, and evil proceeds from our abuse of things.  C.

 


41 Now therefore with the whole heart and mouth praise ye him, and bless the name of the Lord.
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