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MY son, attend to my wisdom, and incline thy ear to my prudence. 2 That thou mayst keep thoughts, and thy lips may preserve instruction. Mind not the deceit of a woman.

Ver. 2.  Thoughts.  Or wisdom; and act with discretion.


--- Mind, &c. is omitted in Heb. and S. Jer.  C.


--- By woman all concupiscence, or the inducement to sin, is commonly understood.  We must not think of such things.  W.


3 For the lips of a harlot are like a honeycomb dropping, and her throat is smoother than oil. 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, and sharp as a two-edged sword.

Ver. 4.  Sword.  "It is a crime even to hearken."  S. Amb. de Abrah. ii. 11.  She seeks thy ruin.  v. 5.  c. ii. 16.

5 Her feet go down into death, and her steps go in as far as hell. 6 They walk not by the path of life, her steps are wandering, and unaccountable.

Ver. 6.  They.  Heb. "if perhaps thou ponder the path of life."  Pagn.  H.


--- Or "she ponders not," &c.  She walks inconsiderately, and consults only her passions.  c. vii. 10.  C.


--- No one can depend on her love.  M.

7 Now therefore, my son, hear me, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the doors of her house. 9 Give not thy honour to strangers, and thy years to the cruel.

Ver. 9.  Strangers.  The world, the flesh, and the devil are such; cruelly devising our ruin.  W.

10 Lest strangers be filled with thy strength, and thy labours be in another man's house,

Ver. 10.  Strength.  Or children.  v. 16.  Gen. xlix. 3.  C.

11 And thou mourn it the last, when thou shalt have spent thy flesh and thy body, and say:

Ver. 11.  Body.  He alludes to a shameful disease, the just punishment of intemperance.  Eccli. xix. 3.

12 Why have I hated instruction, and my heart consented not to reproof,
13 And have not heard the voice of them that taught me, and have not inclined my ear to masters? 14 I have almost been in all evil, in the midst of the church and of the congregation.

Ver. 14.  Evil.  Infirm and worn out, having lost my reputation, &c.  C.


--- Though I lived among the faithful, I was under no restraint.  M.

15 Drink water out of thy own cistern, and the streams of thy own well:

Ver. 15.  Well.  Live comfortably on your own property, (Cajet.) with your own wife.  C.

16 Let thy fountains be conveyed abroad, and in the streets divide thy waters.

Ver. 16.  Waters.  Mayst thou have a numerous offspring, (v. 10.) and be liberal.  Many copies of the Sept. &c. have a negation, with Aquila, "let not thy," &c. (C.) though it my be read with and interrogation, "are the waters of thy fountain to be?" &c.  De Dieu.


--- By not means.  Origen (in Num. xii.) acknowledges both readings.  C.


--- Good  instructions must be given to those who are well disposed, but not to scoffers, or obstinate infidels.  W.


--- Husbands are exhorted to be content with their own wives, (v. 15. 20.) so that the negative particle seems to be here wanting, as it is, c. vi. 17. in MS. 60, (Kennicott) and c. xiv. 33.  Sept. &c.  Capellus.

17 Keep them to thyself alone, neither let strangers be partakers with thee.

Ver. 17.  Thee.  Stick to thy own wife.  In a moral sense, let those who instruct others, take care not to neglect themselves.

18 Let thy vein be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth:

Ver. 18.  Vein.  Thou shalt have a numerous progeny.  Ps. lxvii. 28.  Is. xlviii. 1.  C.

19 Let her be thy dearest hind, and most agreeable fawn: let her breasts inebriate thee at all times; he thou delighted continually with her love.

Ver. 19.  Love.  This is spoken by way of permission, and to withdraw people from unlawful connections.  Eccle. ii. 1. and 1 Cor. vii. 29.  C.

20 Why art thou seduced, my son, by a strange woman, and art cherished in the bosom of another? 21 The Lord beholdeth the ways of man, and considereth all his steps.


22 His own iniquities catch the wicked, and he is fast bound with the ropes of his own sins.

Ver. 22.  Ropes.  "Evil habits unrestrained induce a necessity," (S. Aug. Conf. viii. 5.) though not absolute.  H.


--- The libertine thinks he can get free as soon as he pleases; not being aware of the chains which he is forging for himself.  C.


--- Sin requires punishment.  M.

23 He shall die, because he hath not received instruction, and in the multitude of his folly he shall be deceived.
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Holy Spirit