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O DEATH, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that hath peace in his possessions!

Ver. 1.  Death is terrible to all, but most to those who live comfortably.  C.

 

--- O vita misero longa, felici brevis.  Sen.


2 To a man that is at rest, and whose ways are prosperous in all things, and that is yet able to take meat! 3 O death, thy sentence is welcome to the man that is in need, and to him whose strength faileth:

Ver. 3.  Sentence, pronounced on Adam and all his posterity.  C.


4 Who is in a decrepit age, and that is in care about all things, and to the distrustful that loseth patience! 5 Fear not the sentence of death. Remember what things have been before thee, and what shall come after thee: this sentence is from the Lord upon all flesh.

Ver. 5.  Flesh.  "It is a great consolation to share the fate of all."  Sen.  Provid. v.


6 And what shall come upon thee by the good pleasure of the most High? whether ten, or a hundred, or a thousand years.

Ver. 6.  What.  Gr. "why wouldst thou refuse to submit to the?" &c.  H.


7 For among the dead there is no accusing of life.

Ver. 7.  Life.  Thou wilt not be asked how long, but how well thou hast lived.  No one will then envy thy long life.  C.

 

--- It will be in vain to plead that the length or shortness of life has occasioned thy sins; for God does all with justice and for the best, if men would use rightly his benefits.  W.

 

--- Thou wilt not repine at having lived too short a time.  M.

 

--- An evil life will be alone condemned.  Wisd. v.  D.


8 The children of sinners become children of abominations, and they that converse near the houses of the ungodly.

Ver. 8.  Ungodly.  They adopt the wicked manners of their parents (C.) and companions, and thus become still more criminal.  H.                       

Œtas parentum pejor avis tulit

Nos nequiores, mox daturos

Progeniem vitiosiorem.  Hor. ii. ode 6.

 

--- This was terribly verified in the three French assemblies, which overturned the Church and state.  A. 1793.  See Barruel.  H.


9 The inheritance of the children of sinners shall perish, and with their posterity shall be a perpetual reproach. 10 The children will complain of an ungodly father, because for his sake they are in reproach.

Ver. 10.  Father.  He is rather their executioner, (C.) and would have been less cruel, if he had murdered them while they were innocent.  Wisd. xii. 10.  H.


11 Woe to you, ungodly men, who have forsaken the law of the most high Lord. 12 And if you be born, you shall be born in malediction: and if you die, in malediction shall be your portion.

Ver. 12.  Portion.  It would have been better for them never to have existed.  Mat. xxvi. 24.  This the case of heresiarchs.  C.


13 All things that are of the earth, shall return into the earth: so the ungodly shall from malediction to destruction.

Ver. 13.  From.  Gr. "go to destruction."  H.

 

--- It is their destination (C. xl. 11.  C.) and choice.  H.



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14 The mourning of men is about their body, but the name of the ungodly shall be blotted out.

Ver. 14.  Body.  The death of the body is bewailed in the just, but that of the soul also of wicked people calls for our tears.  They will soon perish.  Ps. ix. 7.


15 Take care of a good name: for this shall continue with thee, more than a thousand treasures precious and great.

Ver. 15.  Great.  The concern which all have for a good name, is one of the strongest proofs of the souls' immortality.  Prov. xxii. 11.


16 A good life hath its number of days: but a good name shall continue for ever. 17 My children, keep discipline in peace: for wisdom that is hid, and a treasure that is not seen, what profit is there in them both?

Ver. 17.  Peace, with docility, (Mat. xi. 25.) or in the midst of prosperity, be on your guard.  C. xx. 32.  C.



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18 Better is the man that hideth his folly, than the man that hideth his wisdom. 19 Wherefore have a shame of these things I am now going to speak of.

Ver. 19.  Have a shame, &c.  That is to say, be ashamed of doing any of these things, which I am now going to mention: for though sometimes shamefacedness is not to be indulged, yet it is often good and necessary; as in the following cases.  Ch.

 

--- Disciples ought to esteem what their masters teach, though they do not perceive the reasonableness of what they assert.  W.


20 For it is not good to keep all shamefacedness: and all things do not please all men in opinion.

Ver. 20.  Opinion.  Grotius corrects the Gr.  "It is not laudable to be incredulous in all."


21 Be ashamed of fornication before father and mother: and of a lie before a governor and a man in power:

Ver. 21.  Mother.  Thy misconduct seems to redound to their dishonour, as if they had not given thee a proper education.


22 Of an offence before a prince, and a judge: of iniquity before a congregation and a people:

Ver. 22.  People.  They will stone thee.  Remember the fate of Roboam.  3 K. xii.  C.


23 Of injustice before a companion and friend: and in regard to the place where thou dwellest, 24 Of theft, and of the truth of God, and the covenant: of leaning with thy elbow over meat, and of deceit in giving and taking:

Ver. 24.  And of.  Lit. "out of respect for the," &c.  De veritate Dei & testamento.  H.

 

--- The same words occur C. xlii. 2.; whence Jansenius thinks they have been transferred hither.  Most refer them to what goes before.  Blush for lying, which is contrary to the truth of God; and for the other sins which injure his covenant.

 

--- Meat.  This posture betrays idleness or pride.


25 Of silence before them that salute thee: of looking upon a harlot: and of turning away thy face from thy kinsman.

Ver. 25.  Harlot.  The eyes must be chaste.  Jer. ix. 21.  Mat. v. 28.

 

--- Kinsman, when he is poor, and refusing to assist him.  C.


26 Turn not sway thy face from thy neighbour, and of taking away a portion and not restoring.

Ver. 26.  Turn.  Gr. "of taking away a portion and gift," made already to God or men; (27) "of considering attentively another's wife; of being too busy about his," &c.  H.


27 Gaze not upon another man's wife, and be not inquisitive after his handmaid, and approach not her bed.

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28 Be ashamed of upbraiding speeches before friends: and after thou hast given, upbraid not.
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