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SEEK not to be like evil men, neither desire to be with them:

Ver. 1.  Like.  Be not allured by their prosperity to  imitate them.  Ps. xxxvi. 1.



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2 Because their mind studieth robberies, and their lips speak deceits. 3 By wisdom the house shall be built, and by prudence it shall be strengthened.

Ver. 3.  Wisdom and virtue, and not by injustice can the  house be established.


4 By instruction the storerooms shall be filled with all precious and most beautiful wealth. 5 A wise man is strong: and a knowing man, stout and valiant.

Ver. 5.  Valiant, as well as a good economist.  v. 4.  C.

 


6 Because war is managed by due ordering: and there shall be safety where there are many counsels.

Ver. 6.  Counsels.  "Consult many what ought to be done, but only a few of the most faithful, or rather thyself alone, what thou art about to do."  Veget. iii. 9. and 27.


7 Wisdom is too high for a fool, in the gate he shall not open his mouth.

Ver. 7.  High.  Thus the fool excuses himself.  But wisdom condescends to our weakness, if we be truly in earnest.  Deut. xxxii. 12.  Mouth.  To defend himself, or to give advice.  C.


8 He that deviseth to do evils, shall be called a fool. 9 The thought of a fool is sin: and the detracter is the abomination of men.

Ver. 9.  Of a fool.  In as much as he is wicked.  Though he may have some pious thoughts, he attends not to them.  H.

 

--- He thinks how he may commit evil, and renders himself hateful.  C.

 

--- Heb. "a wicked thought is the sin of folly."  Sept. "the fool dieth in sins."

 

--- Detractor.  Heb. "scoffer."  H.


10 If thou lose hope being weary in the day of distress, thy strength shall be diminished.

Ver. 10.  Diminished.  This is the sad consequences of too much dejection.  Eph. iv. 19.  Despairing, they abandon themselves to impurities.  H.


11 Deliver them that are led to death: and those that are drawn to death forbear not to deliver.

Ver. 11.  Deliver.  The Jews often put people to death without any formal trial, pretending zeal, as they did S. Stephen, &c.  Our Saviour rescued the adulteress from such a situation, as Daniel had done Susanna.  Yet this text may regard poor debtors.  Ps. lxxi. 4.  C.

 

--- Christian bishops used all their influence to preserve the lives of those who did not deserve death.  S. Amb. in Ps. cxviii. Ser. viii.  Off. i. 36. and ep. xxv. and xxvi.



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12 If thou say: I have not strength enough: he that seeth into the heart, he understandeth, and nothing deceiveth the keeper of thy soul, end he shall render to a man according to his works.

Ver. 12.  I have.  Heb. "behold, we know not this man."  Pagn.  H.

 

--- He is a stranger.  But all mankind are brethren, and have a charge to assist one another, even though they be enemies.  Eccli. xvii. 12.  Ex. xxiii. 4.  C.

 

--- Keeper.  Heb. notser, "preserver."  As thou hast received many good things from God, shew mercy to thy neighbour.


13 Fat honey, my son, because it is good, and the honeycomb most sweet to thy throat:

Ver. 13.  Honey.  Of wisdom, which is most delicious.  M.



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14 So also is the doctrine of wisdom to thy soul: which when thou hast found, thou shalt have hope in the end, and thy hope shall not perish.

Ver. 14.  Thou shalt.  Heb. "yea, it is the last."  Mont.

 

--- "Then there shall be a reward."  Prot.

 

--- Thou shalt enjoy old age, or have posterity.  C.


15 Lie not in wait, nor seek after wickedness in the house of the just, nor spoil his rest. 16 For a just man shall fall seven times and shall rise again: but the wicked shall fall down into evil.

Ver. 16.  Fall into smaller sins, (S. Greg. vi. in 2 Reg. xv. &c.) or into disgrace, as yippol (H.) rather intimates.  Vat.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xi. 31.

 

--- Both significations agree with the context.  See Job v. 27.  Matt. xviii. 21.  C.

 

--- He who is not subject to mortal sin, may still be exposed to  many failings, and venial sins, which do not deprive him of the title of just; whereas the wicked consents to mortal sin, from which he riseth not so easily.  Hence the wise man admonishes us not to lie in wait, or calumniously seek impiety in the house or soul of the just.  W.


17 When thy enemy shall fall, be not glad, and in his ruin let not thy heart rejoice: 18 Lest the Lord see, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

Ver. 18.  From.  To punish thee.  C.

 

--- Thus will thy thirst of vengeance be disappointed.  H.

 

--- The Hebrews believed that there was no evil, which was not caused by sin; and this was true in some sense.  But still God often afflicts his servants, (v. 16,) as the whole book of Job tends to prove.  C.


19 Contend not with the wicked, nor seek to be like the ungodly:

Ver. 19.  Contend.  Or Heb. "associate."

 

--- Like.  v. 1.  Ps. xxxvi. 1.


20 For evil men have no hope of things to come, and the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

Ver. 20.  Come.  Prot. "no reward," (H.) prosperity, &c. as designated also by the lamp.  v. 14.  C.


21 My son, fear the Lord and the king: and have nothing to do with detracters.

Ver. 21.  Detractors.  Or those who speak ill of God or the king.  C.

 

--- Prot. "that are given to change," (H.) and relapses.


22 For their destruction shall rise suddenly: and who knoweth the ruin of both? 23 These things also to the wise: It is not good to have respect to persons in judgment.

Ver. 23.  These.  Sept. have an addition, and then our C. xxx. to v. 15. after which follows the remainder of this chap. and then the ten first verses of the 31st.  H.

 

--- Solomon here resumes the sententious style.  C. xxii. 17.  C.



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24 They that say to the wicked man: Thou art just: shall be cursed by the people, and the tribes shall abhor them.
25 They that rebuke him, shall be praised: and a blessing shall come upon them. 26 He shall kiss the lips, who answereth right words.

Ver. 26.  Lips.  And be deemed a friend.  M.


27 Prepare thy work without, and diligently till thy ground: that afterward thou mayst build thy house.

Ver. 27.  House, and support thy family.  Before building, great deliberation is requisite.  Lu. xiv. 28.  Those who attempt to instruct others, must first set good example.


28 Be not witness without cause against thy neighbour: and deceive not any man with thy lips.

Ver. 28.  Cause, and necessity.  Sept. "be not a false witness against thy fellow-citizen."


29 Say not: I will do to him as he hath done to me: I will render to every one according to his work.

Ver. 29.  Work.  Revenge is often reprobated, though the law allowed of retaliation, which the more virtuous did not insist upon.



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30 I passed by the field of the slothful man, and by the vineyard of the foolish man:

Ver. 30.  Man.  Those who neglected their land were despised.  C.

 

--- The ancient Romans esteemed agriculture as a most laudible and profitable employment.  Cato. Rust. i.  Cic. Off. i.


31 And behold it was all filled with nettles, and thorns had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall was broken down. 32 Which when I had seen, I laid it up in my heart, and by the example I received instruction.

Ver. 32.  Which.  Sept. "at last I repented: I looked forward to receive instruction."


33 Thou wilt sleep a little, said I, thou wilt slumber a little, thou wilt fold thy hands a little to rest:

Ver. 33.  Said I, is not in Heb.  C. vi. 10.  C.

 

--- Sept. "I will slumber a while," to rest.  Sept. "I will enfold my breast in my hands a little."  H.



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34 And poverty shall come to thee as a runner, and beggary as an armed man.
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