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MY son, forget not my law, and let thy heart keep my commandments.

Ver. 1.  My son.  God speaks, or the master instructs his disciple.  v. 21.  C.

 

--- We must remember and love instruction, and reduce it to practice.  W.


2 For they shall add to thee length of days, and years of life and peace.

Ver. 2.  Peace.  These prefigured more substantial blessings.  C.


3 Let not mercy and truth leave thee, put them about thy neck, and write them in the tables of thy heart:

Ver. 3.  Truth.  Be kind and faithful to all.  Gen. xxiv. 27.  Ps. xxiv. 10.


4 And thou shalt And grace and good understanding before God and men.

Ver. 4.  Good.  Sept. "forecast good before the Lord and men."  S. Paul seems to allude to this version, Rom. xii. 17. and 2 Cor. viii. 22.  H.


5 Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence.

Ver. 5.  All.  God will have nothing by halves.

 

--- Lean not.  By pride.  2 Cor. xii. 13.  All must be referred to God.  C.

 

--- In him we may safely trust.  W.


6 In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps. 7 Be not wise in thy own conceit: fear God, and depart from evil:

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8 For it shall be health to thy navel, and moistening to thy bones.

Ver. 8.  Bones.  Thou shalt enjoy perfect health.


9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and give him of the first of all thy fruits:

Ver. 9.  Fruits.  Sept. add, "of justice;" to intimate that no presents will be acceptable, which have been unjustly acquired.



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10 And thy barns shall be filled with abundance, and thy presses shall run over with wine. 11 My son, reject not the correction of the Lord: and do not faint when thou art chastised by him:

Ver. 11.  Him.  Correction is rather a proof of love than of anger.  Ps. iii. 19.  C.

 

--- God thus shews that he approves of his servants; and therefore his other promises, which seem of a temporal nature, must be understood with reference to the next life.  W.



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12 For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth: and as a father in the son he pleaseth himself.

Ver. 12.  And as.  Sept. "but he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth," as S. Paul quotes this passage.  Heb. xii. 6.  The verb is now wanting in Heb. or ceab; "as a father" may signify "scourgeth, in piel, (M.) with i prefixed.  C.


13 Blessed is the man that findeth wisdom and is rich in prudence: 14 The purchasing thereof is better than the merchandise of silver, and her fruit than the chiefest and purest gold: 15 She is more precious than all riches: and all the things that are desired, are not to be compared with her.

Ver. 15.  Riches.  Heb. peninim, (H.) "pearls."  Job xxviii. 18.  C.


16 Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and glory.

Ver. 16.  Glory.  Her hands are full, and she grants favours with profusion, (H.) as with both hands, promising eternal life.  W.


17 Her ways are beautiful ways, and all her paths are peaceable. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and he that shall retain her is blessed.

Ver. 18.  Life.  Like that planted in paradise.  Gen. ii. 9.


19 The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth, hath established the heavens by prudence.

Ver. 19.  Wisdom.  Hitherto he had spoken of that virtue.  Now he treats of the uncreated wisdom, (C.) which is God the Son.  M.  Jans.  S. Greg. Mor. xii. 4.


20 By his wisdom the depths have broken out, and the clouds grow thick with dew

Ver. 20.  Out.  The higher and lower waters being divided, (C.) or the channels formed to receive the waters.  Piscat.

 

--- It may also speak of the deluge.  Ven. Bede.

 

--- With.  Heb. "have distilled dew."  This is so copious, as to resemble rain in Palestine.  Judg. vi. 37. and 2 K. xvii. 12.


21 My son, let not these things depart from thy eyes: keep the law and counsel: 22 And there shall be life to thy soul, and grace to thy mouth.

Ver. 22.  Mouth.  There have been wise and virtuous men afflicted, v. 11.  But they have borne all with patience, and have merited a more glorious reward than what this earth could afford.  C.


23 Then shalt thou walk confidently in thy way, and thy foot shall not stumble: 24 If thou sleep, thou shalt not fear: thou shalt rest, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, nor of the power of the wicked falling upon thee. 26 For the Lord will be at thy side, and will keep thy foot that thou be not taken. 27 Do not withhold him from doing good, who is able: if thou art able, do good thyself also.

Ver. 27.  Able.  Prot. "withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it."  Relieve the distressed.  H.

 

--- They have a title to that wealth, since those who possess it are bound to relieve the indigent.  C.

 

--- Sept. "refrain not from doing good," &c.  H.


28 Say not to thy friend: Go, and come again: and to morrow I will give to thee: when thou canst give at present.

Ver. 28.  Present.  Alms in season are doubly valuable.  W.

 

--- Antigonus acquired the title of Dwswn, "about to give," as he never gave, (Plutarch) but only promised.


29 Practise not evil against thy friend, when he hath confidence in thee. 30 Strive not against a man without cause, when he hath done thee no evil.

Ver. 30.  Cause.  We may defend ourselves; but herein great discretion is necessary.  C.

 

--- Cum pari contendere anceps est: cum superiore furiosum; cum inferiore sordidum.  Senec. Prov.


31 Envy not the unjust man, and do not follow his ways:

Ver. 31.  Ways.  Of injustice.  Seek not to attain his prosperity by the same means.  C.



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32 For every mocker is an abomination to the Lord, and his communication is with the simple. 33 Want is from the Lord in the house of the wicked: but the habitations of the just shall be blessed.

Ver. 33.  Want.  Heb. "a curse."

 

--- Shall be.  Heb. "he blesseth."  H.


34 He shall scorn the scorners, and to the meek he will give grace.

Ver. 34.  Scorners.  Lit. "he will delude the scorners."  H.

 

--- He will treat them as they would treat others.  Ps. xvii. 27.  C.

 

--- Sept. "the Lord resisteth the proud," &c.  So the apostles quote this passage.  1 Pet. v. 5.  Jam. iv. 6.  H.



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35 The wise shall possess glory: the promotion of fools is disgrace.

Ver. 35.  Disgrace.  They are seen by more, and their fall is more dangerous.  C.

 

--- "A fool extols what is ignominious."  Pagn.  H.


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