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BETTER is a dry morsel with joy, than a house full of victims with strife.

Ver. 1.  Victims.  Of which part was used for a feast.  C. vii. 14.  C.


--- Sept. add, "of many goods, and unjust victims."  H.

2 A wise servant shall rule over foolish sons, and shall divide the inheritance among the brethren.

Ver. 2.  Brethren.  Partaking with them, (Abenezra.  T.  M.) or rather acting as his master's executor; which evinces the advantages of wisdom, so as to raise a slave above those whom his station requires him to serve.  Such was Joseph, who was tried.


3 As silver is tried by fire, and gold in the furnace: so the Lord trieth the hearts. 4 The evil man obeyeth an unjust tongue: and the deceitful hearkeneth to lying lips.

Ver. 4.  Lips.  They mutually deceive one another, as well as others.

5 He that despiseth the poor, reproacheth his Maker; and he that rejoiceth at another man's ruin, shall not be unpunished.


6 Children's children are the crown of old men: and the glory of children are their fathers.

Ver. 6.  Fathers.  Whose virtues they are bound to imitate.

7 Eloquent words do not become a fool, nor lying lips a prince.

Ver. 7.  Eloquent.  Sept. "faithful."  They cannot be expected from them.

8 The expectation of him that expecteth, is a most acceptable jewel: whithersoever he turneth himself, he understandeth wisely.

Ver. 8.  Expecteth heavenly things.  Sept. "instruction is the reward of good deeds to those who use it."

9 He that concealeth a transgression. seeketh friendships: he that repeateth it again, separateth friends.

Ver. 9.  Friends.  Detractors cause dissensions, and even wars.

10 A reproof availeth more with a wise man, than a hundred stripes with a fool.

Ver. 10.  Fools.  "A word is enough for the wise."  Nobilis equus umbra virgæ regitur, ignavus ne calcari quidem.  Q. Curt.

11 An evil man always seeketh quarrels: but a cruel angel shall be sent against him.

Ver. 11.  Angel.  Messenger of death, (M.) which is sometimes inflicted by good, at others by bad, angels of death, or satan.  2 Cor. xii. 7.  Ps. lxxvii. 49.

12 It is better to meet a bear robbed of her whelps, than a fool trusting in his own folly.

Ver. 12.  Fool.  Heb. "fool in his folly."  The danger is not greater in meeting (C.) a female bear, though it be the most terrible.  Arist. Anim. ix. 1.

13 He that rendereth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.


14 The beginning of quarrels is as when one letteth out water: before he suffereth reproach he forsaketh judgment.

Ver. 14.  Water.  It is scarcely possible to prevent the bad effects of detraction.  Frequent quarrels have also risen on account of springs.  Gen. xxvi. 20.


--- Judgment.  And gives up the cause, as being much more prudent.  Mat. v. 25. 40.

15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, both are abominable before God.

Ver. 15.  God.  We ought to suspend our judgment, or incline to the more favourable side.  Matt. vii. 1.  Rom. ii. 1.


16 What doth it avail a fool to have riches, seeing he cannot buy wisdom? He that maketh his house high, seeketh a downfall: and he that refuseth to learn, shall fall into evils.

Ver. 16.  He, &c. is not here in Heb. though it be equivalently (v. 19.) where the Sept. are silent.  C.

17 He that is a friend loveth at all times: and a brother is proved in distress.

Ver. 17.  Distress.  Like the real friend.  C. xviii. 24.

18 A foolish man will clap hands, when he is surety for his friend.

Ver. 18.  Hands.  Through joy, or as a mark of his consent.

19 He that studieth discords, loveth quarrels: and he that exalteth his door, seeketh ruin.

Ver. 19.  Door.  Sixtus V. reads, "mouth:" as some explain the door to mean.  A large door supposes that the house is elevated, and thus exposed to danger from winds, &c.

20 He that is of a perverse heart, shall not find good: and he that perverteth his tongue, shall fall into evil. 21 A fool is born to his own disgrace: and even his father shall not rejoice in a fool. 22 A joyful mind maketh age flourishing: a sorrowful spirit drieth up the bones.


23 The wicked man taketh gifts out of the bosom, that he may pervert the paths of judgment. 24 Wisdom shineth in the face of the wise: the eyes of fools are in the ends of the earth.

Ver. 24.  Earth.  Wandering and insatiable, and deeming the acquisition of wisdom too difficult.


25 A foolish son is the anger of the father: and the sorrow of the mother that bore him. 26 It is no good thing to do hurt to the just: nor to strike the prince, who judgeth right.

Ver. 26.  No good.  But very criminal.  See Jer. vii. 31.

27 He that setteth bounds to his words. is knowing and wise: and the man of understanding is of a precious spirit.

Ver. 27.  Precious and reserved spirit.  This is a mark of wisdom.  C.


28 Even a fool, if he will hold his peace shall be counted wise: and if he close his lips, a man of understanding.
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Holy Spirit