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A wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish will pull down with her hands that also which is built.

Ver. 1.  House.  Giving her children a proper education, and taking care of her house.  C. xii. 4. and Tit. ii. 5.  C.


2 He that walketh in the right way, and feareth God, is despised by him that goeth by an infamous way.

Ver. 2.  And, is not in Heb.

 

--- Is.  Heb. "but the perverse in his ways despiseth him;" (H.) shewing by his conduct that he cares not for the Lord.  C.

 

--- Sept. "he shall be dishonoured, that," &c.



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3 In the mouth of a fool is the rod of pride: but the lips of the wise preserve them.

Ver. 3.  Pride.  He chastiseth with haughtiness, and is ever quarrelling.


4 Where there are no oxen, the crib is empty: but where there is much corn, there the strength of the ox is manifest.

Ver. 4.  Empty.  As the land has not bee cultivated.  H.

 

--- Strength, or number of oxen.  C.

 

--- "The virtue of the preachers is manifested where there are many converted to produce fruit."  S. Greg. vii. ep. viii.


5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a deceitful witness uttereth a lie. 6 A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: the learning of the wise is easy.

Ver. 6.  Not.  Because they seek it ill, like the pagan sages.  Sept. "thou shalt seek wisdom among the wicked, and shalt not find it," &c.


7 Go against a foolish man, and he knoweth not the lips of prudence.

Ver. 7.  Prudence.  Thou wilt presently perceive his weakness.  Heb. "abandon a," &c.  He is not capable of hearing reason: keep at a distance.


8 The wisdom of a. discreet man is to understand his way: and the imprudence of fools erreth.

Ver. 8.  Way.  This science of the saints is the only true wisdom.

 

--- Erreth.  They are inconstant.  Heb. "is deceit."  They are bent on it.


9 A fool will laugh at sin, but among the just grace shall abide.

Ver. 9.  Sin.  C. x. 23.  Heb. "excuse sin," (C.) or "mock at sin," (H.) committed by others.  M.

 

--- Grace, or good-will.  They are agreeable to all.  C.


10 The heart that knoweth the bitterness of his own soul, in his joy the stranger shall not intermeddle.

Ver. 10.  Stranger.  Such cannot well comfort the afflicted.  A man is alone acquainted with the affections of his own heart.  Sept. "he mixeth not insult" (Sym.) "with strangers."


11 The house of the wicked shall be destroyed: but the tabernacles of the just shall flourish. 12 There is a way which seemeth just to a man: but the ends thereof lead to death.

Ver. 12.  Death.  How many, under the garb of piety, follow their passions!  How many are misled by their singularity, or by unskilful directors!  C.

 

--- We must suspect our own judgment.  M.

 

--- If any Turks, Jews, or heretics, lead a moral good life, it seemeth both to themselves and to other ignorant people that they are in the right way to salvation; but their error in faith leadeth them to eternal damnation.  W.

 

--- The persecutors thought they did God a service by putting the apostles to death.  Will they be excused?  H.


13 Laughter shall be mingled with sorrow, and mourning taketh hold of the end of joy.

Ver. 13.  Laughter.  Sept. "with his counsels," enjoying the content of a good conscience, and a heavenly reward; while the wicked, with all his self-approbation, shall be punished.


14 A fool shall be filled with his own ways, and the good man shall be above him.

Ver. 14.  Above him, Sept. "with content sorrow is not mixed."  H.

 

--- Joy.  Such is the condition of earthly things.  Pind. Pyth. viii.


15 The innocent believeth every word: the discreet man considereth his steps. No good shall come to the deceitful son: but the wise servant shall prosper in his dealings, and his way shall be made straight.

Ver. 15.  Innocent.  Good and unsuspecting; (Jos. ix. 14. and 1 Cor. xiii. 7.) or rather credulous.  1 Jo. iv. 1.  C.

 

--- Sept. "the man who is not bad."

 

--- Steps.  Sept. "repenteth."  H.

 

--- No, &c.  This occurs (C. xiii. 13.) in several copies: but here it is omitted in Heb. &c.


16 A wise man feareth and declineth from evil: the fool leapeth over and is confident. 17 The impatient man shall work folly: and the crafty man is hateful.

Ver. 17.  Folly.  Wrath betrays us into great extravagances.

 

--- Hateful.  Heb. also, "hateth" folly.  Sept. "the prudent beareth much."  Job v. 2.  C.


18 The childish shall possess folly, and the prudent, shall look for knowledge. 19 The evil shall fall down before the good: and the wicked before the gates of the just. 20 The poor man shall be hateful even to his own neighbour: but the friends of the rich are many.

Ver. 20.  Many.  "Riches make friends, poverty tries them."  Syrus.

 

--- False friends resemble swallows, which retire at the approach of winter.  Cic. ad Heren. iv.


21 He that despiseth his neighbour, sinneth: but he that sheweth mercy to the poor, shall be blessed. He that believeth in the Lord, loveth mercy.

Ver. 21.  He...mercy, is not found in Heb. Greek, or Lat. MSS.  C.


22 They err that work evil: but mercy and truth prepare good things.

Ver. 22.  Truth.  Those who are kind and faithful.  H.  C. iii. 3.

 

--- Sept. add, (C.) as a second version, (Grabe) "the workers of evils understand not mercy and truth: but kind and faithful actions are with those who do good."


23 In much work there shall be abundance: but where there are many words, there is oftentimes want. 24 The crown of the wise is their riches: the folly of fools, imprudence.

Ver. 24.  Imprudence.  This they always betray, while the wise use their riches to assist their fellow-creatures, and receive a crown of glory.  H.


25 A faithful witness delivereth souls: and the double dealer uttereth lies. 26 In the fear of the Lord is confidence of strength, and there shall be hope for his children. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to decline from the ruin of death. 28 In the multitude of people is the dignity of the king: and in the small number of people the dishonour of the prince.

Ver. 28.  King.  Who formerly was styled "a shepherd," to remind him of the care with which he ought to seek the welfare of his subjects.  C.


29 He that is patient, is governed with much wisdom: but he that is impatient, exalteth his folly. 30 Soundness of heart is the life of the flesh: but envy is the rottenness of the bones.

Ver. 30.  Bones.  As a sound heart preserves the rest of the body, so a good intention often excuses from mortal sin, when the error is not gross.  But envy corrupts the works which seem good, and which cannot bear a strict examination.  S. Greg.  Mor. v. 34.  W.

 

--- Envy ruins the health.  Menan. ap. Grot.

 

--- Sept. "a too sensible heart is the," &c.  This is beautiful; but not quite conformable to the Heb.


31 He that oppresseth the poor, upbraideth his Maker: but he that hath pity on the poor, honoureth him.

Ver. 31.  Him.  God takes the poor under his special protection, (Matt. xxv. 40.) and is the distributor of all riches.  What would the rich do without the poor?  C.



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32 The wicked man shall be driven out in his wickedness: but the just hath hope in his death. 33 In the heart of the prudent resteth wisdom, and it shall instruct all the ignorant.

Ver. 33.  And.  Prot. "but that which is in the midst of fools is made known."  H.

 

--- A vessel full of gold makes no noise, while that which contains only a few pieces sounds much.  Munster.  Corn. a Lap.

 

--- Thus the fool makes a parade of all that he knows.  C.

 

--- Sept. "but in the heart of fools, it is not known."  H.

 

--- Aquila and Theodotion have the negation, (C.) as well as the Syr. and Arab.  See c. v. 16.  Kennicott.


34 Justice exalteth a nation: but sin maketh nations miserable.

Ver. 34.  Miserable.  This sentence ought to be engraven in all public places.  Heb. "and mercy the sinful people," whom God spares on account of their alms-deeds, (Dan. iv. 24.) or "sin is the shame of peoples."  C.

 

--- Montanus renders chesed mercy, and Pagnin "ignominy."  The former is scarcely intelligible, et misericordia populorum peccatum, unless sin be here taken for a sin-offering, (H.) as it is by Vatab. Grot. &c.  C.


35 A wise servant is acceptable to the king: he that is good for nothing shall feel his anger.

Ver. 35.  Nothing.  Lit. "useless," which often means bad.  H.

 

--- A servant who does not discharge his duty is such.  Heb. "he that causeth to blush," and has no economy.  C.

 

--- Sept. "He removes shame by his good management.  Anger destroys the prudent; but a mild," &c.  H.


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