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WISDOM hath built herself a house, she hath hewn her out seven pillars.

Ver. 1.  House.  The sacred humanity, (S. Ignat.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xvii. 20.) or the Church.  S. Greg. Mor. xxxiii. 15.

 

--- Here we may receive all instruction, the seven sacraments, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost.  Pleasure had mentioned here attractions: now those of true wisdom are set before us.  C.

 

--- God sent his pastors at all times, to invite people to embrace the latter.  They are all included in the number seven, both before and under the law, as well as in the gospel, where S. Paul styles SS. Peter, James, and John, pillars.  Gal. ii.  This is the literal sense, on which the mystical is grounded, and both are intended by the Holy Ghost, intimating that the uncreated wisdom took flesh of the blessed Virgin, prepared the table of bread and wine, as Priest according to the order of Melchisedec, and chose the weak of this world to confound the strong, as S. Aug. explain this passage.  Sup. and q. 51.  W.


2 She hath slain her victims, mingled her wine, and set forth her table.

Ver. 2.  Victims.  Moses ordered the blood to be poured out at the door of the tabernacle, and a part given to the priests, after which the rest might be taken away.  The like was probably done at Jerusalem.  Lev. xvii. 4.  These victims are contrasted with those of pleasure.  c. vii. 14.

 

--- Mingled.  It was not customary for any but barbarians and the gods to take pure wine.  Some mixed two, others three, five, or even twenty parts of water.  But the scholiast of Aristophanes says, the best method was to have three parts water, and two of wine.  Mercury complains that his wine was half water.  Arist. Plut. v. Sun. i.

 

--- The Fathers often apply this text to the feast of Jesus Christ in the blessed Eucharist.  C.

 

--- S. Cyprian (ep. iii.) citeth the whole passage of Christ's sacrifice in the forms of bread and wine.  W.


3 She hath sent her maids to invite to the tower, and to the walls of the city:

Ver. 3.  Maids.  Sept. "servant men," the pastors of the church, inviting all to piety in so public a manner, that none can plead ignorance.  S. Greg.  C.

 

--- To invite.  Prot. "she crieth upon the highest places of the city."  H.

 

--- Christ enjoins his apostles to preach on the roofs.  Matt. x. 37.


4 Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me. And to the unwise she said:

Ver. 4.  One.  Simple, but not inconstant, like children.  1 Cor. xiv. 20.  Pleasure addresses the same, (c. vii. 7.) but for their destruction.  C.


5 Come, eat my bread, and drink the wine which I have mingled for you.

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6 Forsake childishness, and live, and walk by the ways of prudence. 7 He that teacheth a scorner, doth an injury to himself: and he that rebuketh a wicked man, getteth himself a blot.

Ver. 7.  Scorner.  This is the reason why wisdom speaks only to the simple.  The conceited would only laugh at her instructions.  These scoffers represent heretics and libertines.  c. i. 22.  C.

 

--- Where there is no hope of amendment, prudence and charity require us to be silent, as our rebukes would only procure us enmity, and make the sinner worse.  W.

 

--- Of such S. John was afraid, and therefore ceased from writing.  3 Jo. 9.  Yet S. Paul commands public reprehension.  1 Tim. v. 20.  M.

 

--- When there is any prospect of good, all, particularly superiors, are bound to correct.  S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. i. 9.; and S. Bas. reg. fus. 158.  W.


8 Rebuke not a scorner lest he hate thee. Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9 Give an occasion to a wise man, and wisdom shall be added to him. Teach a just man, and he shall make haste to receive it.

Ver. 9.  Occasion.  This word is found in Sept. Syr. and Arab.  We might supply instruction, (C.) with Prot.


10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is prudence.

Ver. 10.  Prudence.  Or "prudence is the science of the saints," (H.) directing what to choose on all occasions to obtain heaven.  C.

 

--- The knowledge contained in the holy Scriptures, and possessed by the saints, is superior to all other sciences.  M.



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11 For by me shall thy days be multiplied, and years of life shall be added to thee. 12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be so to thyself: and if a scorner, thou alone shalt bear the evil.
13 A foolish woman and clamorous, and full of allurements, and knowing nothing at all,

Ver. 13.  And full.  Prot. "she is simple and knoweth nothing."  Sept. "is in want of a piece of bread."  They have several verses before this, which are here omitted.  H.

 

--- Wisdom and pleasure are opposed to each other.  C.


14 Sat at the door of her house, upon a seat, in a high place of the city, 15 To call them that pass by the way, and go on their journey: 16 He that is a little one, let him turn to me. And to the fool she said: 17 Stolen waters are sweeter, and hid den bread is more pleasant.

Ver. 17.  Pleasant.  Impure pleasures are more delightful (C.) to sensual men.  H.

 

--- The prohibition increases appetite.  M.


18 And he did not know that giants are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell. The Parables of Solomon

Ver. 18.  Giants.  Who lived when all flesh had corrupted its ways, (Gen. vi. 12.) and were sentenced to hell.  Job xxvi. 5.  Is. xiv. 9.  C.


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