Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 2. Thereof. “Di tibi divitias dederunt artemque fruendi.” (Horace, i. Ep. 4.) — The proper use of riches is rare. (Calmet) — Misery. Riches do not make people happy. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Than he, since the latter has injured no one, nor experienced any evil in the world, (Calmet) by his own fault; (Menochius) whereas the miser has both hurt himself and others, and has neglected to make himself friends of the mammon of iniquity.
Ver. 4. He. The infant, though some explain it of the miser. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Mouth. We are always providing food. (St. Jerome) — The rich are wholly bent on pleasure; or the poor cannot get a sufficiency.
Ver. 8. Life. The wise poor shall be blessed. Hebrew, “the poor knowing how to walk before the living,” (Haydock) in society (Calmet) among the saints. (Haydock)
Ver. 9. Know. Enjoyment has the advantage over hope. Hebrew, “better is the sight of the eyes than the going of the soul,” which denotes her desires. (Calmet) — Presumption. Hebrew, “vexation.” (Haydock)
Ver. 10. He, &c. This is plainly spoken of Christ, whose name was given before he was born; (St. Jerome; Worthington) or men resemble each other in all ages, (chap. i. 9.; Calmet) being proud, fragile, &c.
Ver. 11. Disputing. Are we better acquainted with nature than former ages? This is another subject of confusion. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The misery of the covetous man.
1 There is also another evil, which I have seen under the sun, and that frequent among men:
2 A man to whom God hath given riches, and substance, and honour, and his soul wanteth nothing of all that he desireth: yet God doth not give him power to eat thereof, but a stranger shall eat it up. This is vanity and a great misery.
3 If a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, and attain to a great age, and his soul make no use of the goods of his substance, and he be without burial: of this man I pronounce, that the untimely born is better than he.
4 For he came in vain, and goeth to darkness, and his name shall be wholly forgotten.
5 He hath not seen the sun, nor known the distance of good and evil:
6 Although he lived two thousand years, and hath not enjoyed good things: do not all make haste to one place?
7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, but his soul shall not be filled.
8 What hath the wise man more than the fool? and what the poor man, but to go thither, where there is life?
9 Better it is to see what thou mayst desire, than to desire that which thou canst not know. But this also is vanity, and presumption of spirit.
10 *He that shall be, his name is already called: and it is known that he is man, and cannot contend in judgment with him that is stronger than himself.
11 There are many words that have much vanity in disputing.
10: 1 Kings xiii. 14. and 3 Kings xiii. 2.