Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Judge. Greek, “instruct.” (Challoner) — The example of rulers is very powerful. (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Therein. Regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis. (Claud.) — As a whole city is infected with the vices of princes, so it may be corrected by their good behaviour, (continentia.) (Cicero, Leg. 3.)
Ver. 3. Rulers. All who wish to live under just kings, Proverbs xxix. 4.
Ver. 4. It, as he did David, Job xxxiv. 30., and Daniel ii. 20. (Calmet)
Ver. 5. The scribe. That is, the man that is wise and learned in the law. (Challoner) — It also denotes an officer, Judges v. 14. God must give light and success. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Injury, out of revenge. (Haydock) (Leviticus xix. 18.) — “Cæsar used to forget nothing but injuries.” (Cicero, Ligar.) — This at least is the character of a great man. (St. Augustine, ep. 138., and 54.)
Ver. 7. Men. It invades the rights of the former, and disturbs the repose of mankind. — All. Greek is obscure, “and from both proceeds injustice;” (Calmet) or, “it shall act unjustly.” (Haydock) — Pride attacks both God and man. (Grotius)
Ver. 8. Deceits. Hence kingdoms are changed. (Worthington) — The ambition and luxury of subjects (Cato) and the negligence of the rulers, bring on confusion. (St. Augustine, City of God v. 13.)
Ver. 9. Man. The desire of plunder, or of glory, occasions revolutions. (Haydock) — Covetousness is the root of all evils, and causes people to abandon the faith, 1 Timothy vi. 10. (Worthington)
Ver. 10. Bowels, and would have no compassion for others or for himself. Some Greek copies leave out as far as sale, but Grabe replaces the omission from the Complutensian.
Ver. 14. Beginning, or summit; arche. (Calmet) — Thus Lucifer and Adam fell by pride. (St. Augustine, City of God xii. 6.) All sin, being a contempt of God, springs from pride, (Prosper. contemp. iii. 3.) and from an inordinate self-love. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Sin, because man abandons God’s law, and falls into all misery. (Worthington) — The proud easily yield to all sorts of iniquity. (Menochius)
Ver. 16. Disgraced. Greek, “hath taken an exemplary vengeance, and hath,” &c. (Haydock) — Them, as he did the giants, Sodom, Nabuchodonosor, &c.
Ver. 17. Stead. Luke i. 52. (Calmet) — “Thales being asked what was difficult to be seen; replied, a tyrant grown old.” (Laertius 1.)
Ver. 18. Nations, the Chanaanites, who submitted to the yoke: or rather the Hebrews. (Calmet) — Greek, “instead of them.”
Ver. 19. Foundation: overturning Sodom, Babylon, and even Jerusalem, for their sins. (Calmet)
Ver. 28. Wise. When Diogenes was exposed to sale, and asked what he could do, he answered, “I know how to command free men.” (Laertius 6.) — Joseph and Daniel obtained authority by their wise conduct. (Calmet)
Ver. 31. Desert. Let not avarice deprive thee of the necessities of life, nor do any thing beneath thy dignity, Luke xxi. 19.
Ver. 33. Glorified. Greek, “honoured on account of his knowledge, and the rich is, ” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 34. And. Greek omits this sentence: (Calmet) yet Grabe has, And the man who is without honour in wealth, how much more so will he be in poverty? (Haydock) (Ecclesiastes vii. 12.)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The virtues and vices of men in power: the great evil of pride.
1 A wise judge shall judge his people, and the government of a prudent man shall be steady.
2 *As the judge of the people is himself, so also are his ministers: and what manner of man the ruler of a city is, such also are they that dwell therein.
3 *An unwise king shall be the ruin of his people: and cities shall be inhabited through the prudence of the rulers.
4 The power of the earth is in the hand of God, and in his time he will raise up a profitable ruler over it.
5 The prosperity of man is in the hand of God, and upon the person of the scribe he shall lay his honour.
6 Remember not any injury done thee by thy neighbour, *and do thou nothing by deeds of injury.
7 Pride is hateful before God and men: and all iniquity of nations is execrable.
8 *A kingdom is translated from one people to another, because of injustices, and wrongs, and injuries, and divers deceits.
9 But nothing is more wicked than the covetous man. Why is earth and ashes proud?
10 There is not a more wicked thing than to love money: for such a one setteth even his own soul to sale: because while he liveth, he hath cast away his bowels.
11 All power is of short life. A long sickness is troublesome to the physician.
12 The physician cutteth off a short sickness: so also a king is to-day, and to-morrow he shall die.
13 For when a man shall die, he shall inherit serpents, and beasts, and worms.
14 The beginning of the pride of man is to fall off from God:
15 Because his heart is departed from him that made him: *for pride is the beginning of all sin: he that holdeth it, shall be filled with maledictions, and it shall ruin him in the end.
16 Therefore hath the Lord disgraced the assemblies of the wicked, and hath utterly destroyed them.
17 God hath overturned the thrones of proud princes, and hath set up the meek in their stead.
18 God hath made the roots of proud nations to wither, and hath planted the humble of these nations.
19 The Lord hath overthrown the lands of the Gentiles, and hath destroyed them even to the foundation.
20 He hath made some of them to wither away, and hath destroyed them, and hath made the memory of them to cease from the earth.
21 God hath abolished the memory of the proud, and hath preserved the memory of them that are humble in mind.
22 Pride was not made for men: nor wrath for the race of women.
23 That seed of men shall be honoured, which feareth God: but that seed shall be dishonoured, which transgresseth the commandments of the Lord.
24 In the midst of brethren their chief is honourable: so shall they that fear the Lord, be in his eyes.
25 The fear of God is the glory of the rich, and of the honourable, and of the poor:
26 Despise not a just man that is poor, and do not magnify a sinful man that is rich.
27 The great man, and the judge, and the mighty, is in honour: and there is none greater than he that feareth God.
28 *They that are free, shall serve a servant that is wise: **and a man that is prudent and well instructed, will not murmur when he is reproved: and he that is ignorant, shall not be honoured.
29 Extol not thyself in doing thy work, and linger not in the time of distress.
30 *Better is he that laboureth, and aboundeth in all things, than he that boasteth himself and wanteth bread.
31 My son, keep thy soul in meekness, and give it honour according to its desert.
32 Who will justify him that sinneth against his own soul? and who will honour him that dishonoureth his own soul?
33 The poor man is glorified by his discipline and fear: and there is a man that is honoured for his wealth.
34 But he that is glorified in poverty, how much more in wealth? and he that is glorified in wealth, let him fear poverty.
2: Proverbs xxix. 12.
3: 3 Kings xii. 13.
6: Leviticus xix. 13.
8: Daniel iv. 14.
15: Proverbs xviii. 11.[12.?]
28: Proverbs xvii. 2. — ** 2 Kings xii. 13.
30: Proverbs xii. 9.