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DOTH not wisdom cry aloud, and prudence put forth her voice?

Ver. 1.  Voice.  Men are wanting to themselves: they cannot plead ignorance.  C.

 

--- Wisdom stands on high in the Catholic Church inviting all to virtue and happiness.  W.

 

--- Some explain this of the light which is communicated to men; but the Fathers apply it to Jesus Christ, some of the expressions regarding his divinity, and others his human nature.  Eccli. xxiv.


2 Standing in the top of the highest places by the way, in the midst of the paths. 3 Beside the gates of the city, in the very doors she speaketh, saying:

Ver. 3.  Doors.  Amid disputants, whose eagerness ought to convince us of the preference due to wisdom over all terrestrial concerns.  v. 10.


4 O ye men, to you I call, and my voice is to the sons of men. 5 O little ones, understand subtilty, and ye unwise, take notice. 6 Hear, for I will speak of great things: and my lips shall be opened to preach right things. 7 My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness. 8 All my words are just, there is nothing wicked nor perverse in them. 9 They are right to them that understand, and just to them that find knowledge. 10 Receive my instruction, and not money: choose knowledge rather than gold.

Ver. 10.  Money.  They are generally incompatible.


11 For wisdom is better than all the most precious things: and whatsoever may be desired cannot be compared to

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12 I wisdom dwell in counsel, and am present in learned thoughts.

Ver. 12.  Thoughts.  All good comes from God, the eternal wisdom, (C.) which speaks here.  W.


13 The fear of the Lord hateth evil: I hate arrogance, and pride, and every wicked way, and a mouth with a double tongue. 14 Counsel and equity is mine, prudence is mine, strength is mine. 15 By me kings reign, and lawgivers decree just things,

Ver. 15.  Things.  Power and knowledge are the gift of the Almighty.  Rom. xii. 1.  A prince who resembles God the most, is his best present.  Pliny in Trajan.


16 By me princes rule, and the mighty decree justice. 17 I love them that love me: and they that in the morning early watch for me, shall find me. 18 With me are riches and glory, glorious riches and justice. 19 For my fruit is better than gold and the precious stone, and my blossoms than choice silver.

Ver. 19.  Stone.  So the Sept. translate paz, (H.) which designates a more pure sort of gold.  Gen. ii. 11.  C.


20 I walk in the way of justice, in the midst of the paths of judgment, 21 That I may enrich them that love me, and may fill their treasures.

Ver. 21.  Enrich.  Heb. "grant what is (real goods) an inheritance to them," &c.

 

--- Treasures.  Sept. add, "with goods.  If I announce to you daily occurrences, I will admonish you to number the things of the world," (H.) and all past events.  C.


22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning.

Ver. 22.  Possessed.  As Christ was with God, equal to him in eternity.  Jo. i.  Sept. "created," which many of the Fathers explain of the word incarnate, (see Corn. a Lapide.  Bossuet) or he hath "placed me," (S. Athan. iii. con. Arian.  Euseb.) a pattern of all virtues.  The Sept. generally render kana, "possessed," as Aquila does here.  C.



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23 I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made.

Ver. 23.  Up.  Heb. "anointed."  Sept. "he founded."  Christ was appointed to be the foundation, on which we must be built.  S. Athan. iii. Orat.


24 The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived. neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out:

Ver. 24.  Conceived.  Having yet manifested none of my works.  Since the creation, wisdom only seeks to communicate itself to us.  C.


25 The mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth: 26 He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world.

Ver. 26.  Poles.  Heb. "head or height of the dust of the world."  H.

 

--- I subsisted with the chaos, before things appeared in their present form.  C.

 

--- The poles denote the north and south, or the four quarters of the world.  M.


27 When he prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths:

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28 When he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters:

Ver. 28.  Sky.  Prot. "clouds."  Pagn. "the air."  Vulg. æthera.  Sept. "the clouds above."  H.

 

--- Moses assigns the higher and lower waters the same origin.  Gen. i. 7.


29 When he compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when be balanced the foundations of the earth;

Ver. 29.  Pass.  This is often remarked.  Ps. xli. 8.

 

--- Earth.  See Job xxxviii. 8.  C.


30 I was with him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before him at all times;

Ver. 30.  Forming.  Heb. "one nursed," (C.) or nursing, nutritius.  Pagn.

 

--- He was not an idle spectator.

 

--- Playing.  With ease and surprising variety.  C.


31 Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men.

Ver. 31.  Men.  God saw that all was good, but delighted most in his own image.  M.

 

--- He prefers  man before all other corporeal creatures.  W.

 

--- To  him alone below he has granted understanding, and a soul capable of virtue.  The Son has also assumed our nature.  Bar. iii. 37.


32 Now therefore, ye children, hear me: Blessed are they that keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. 34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. 35 He that shall find me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord:

Ver. 35.  Lord.  Wisdom, or Jesus Christ, is our salvation, happiness, and life.  Sept. "and the will is prepared by the Lord."  S. Aug. often quotes this to prove the necessity of preventing grace.  Ep. ccxvii. and clxxxvi.  C.


36 But he that shall sin against me, shall hurt his own soul. All that hate me love death.

Ver. 36.  Death.  Not in itself, (H.) but by adhering to such things as bring death.  M.


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