Ecclesiasticus xiv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Mouth. He is perfect, James iii. 2.

Ver. 3. Envious. Who will neither use his wealth himself, nor bestow it. The true use of riches is to take a sufficiency, and to relieve the poor. (Calmet)

Ver. 4. Gathereth. Greek, “taketh from his,” &c. (Haydock) — Such misers are continually derided, but will never be cured, Ecclesiastes ii. 18., and vi. 2. An old proverb says, “The miser doth nothing right but when he dies.” (Calmet)

Ver. 6. Envieth. By refusing himself the necessaries of life, he rejects God’s gifts, and scandalizes his neighbour. (Worthington)

Ver. 7. Wickedness. Persisting covetous till death, as is commonly the case.

Ver. 11. Offerings. Make a proper use of what God has bestowed. (Calmet)

Ver. 12. The covenant of hell. The decree by which all are to go down to the regions of death, (Challoner) which hell frequently denotes. (Haydock) — Under the old law, all went down into some part of hell. (Worthington) — Hath been. Greek, “hath not,” &c. We know not when we shall die, though all must taste of death, (Haydock) and therefore we must make haste to do good. (Menochius) — Shall, or “is, he shall die the death,” (Genesis ii. 17.) as the Greek has this sentence, ver. 18. (Haydock)

Certo veniunt ordine Parcæ,

Nulli jusso cessare licet. (Sen.[Seneca?] Hercul.)

Ver. 15. Sorrows. Greek, “toils,” or what thou hast amassed with much care. (Haydock)

Ver. 16. Take. Alms-deeds will ensure the remission of sins. This usury is lawful. We must also keep up a good society with our friends. (Calmet) — Justify. Greek, “sanctify thy soul (17.) for.” (Grabe) (Haydock) — Some read “love,” or divert thy soul by lawful amusements. The argument is addressed to Jews and Gentiles. (Calmet)

Ver. 18. Fade. Greek, “grow old like a garment. For the covenant from the beginning is, he shall die the death. Like a leaf flourishing on a bushy tree.” (Haydock) — Homer has the same thought, Iliad vi.

Ver. 20. End. The fruits of the Spirit are alone immortal, ver. 21., and Galatians vi. 8.

Ver. 27. Glory. As under the miraculous pillar, Exodus xxiv. 17. He who shall abide with wisdom shall have nothing to fear. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The evil of avarice: works of mercy are recommended, and the love of wisdom.

1 Blessed *is the man that hath not slipt by a word out of his mouth, and is not pricked with the remorse of sin.

2 Happy is he that hath had no sadness of his mind, and who is not fallen from his hope.

3 Riches are not comely for a covetous man and a niggard, and what should an envious man do with gold?

4 He that gathereth together by wronging his own soul, gathereth for others, and another will squander away his goods in rioting.

5 He that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good? and he shall not take pleasure in his goods.

6 There is none worse than he that envieth himself, and this is the reward of his wickedness.

7 And if he do good, he doth it ignorantly, and unwillingly: and at the last he discovereth his wickedness.

8 The eye of the envious is wicked: and he turneth away his face, and despiseth his own soul.

9 The eye of the covetous man is insatiable in his portion of iniquity: he will not be satisfied till he consume his own soul, drying it up.

10 An evil eye is towards evil things: and he shall not have his fill of bread, but shall be needy and pensive at his own table.

11 My son, if thou have any thing, do good to thyself, and offer to God worthy offerings.

12 Remember that death is not slow, and that the covenant of hell hath been shewn to thee: for the covenant of this world shall surely die.

13 *Do good to thy friend before thou die; and according to thy ability, stretching out thy hand, give to the poor.

14 Defraud not thyself of the good day, and let not the part of a good gift overpass thee.

15 Shalt thou not leave to others to divide by lot thy sorrows and labours?

16 Give and take, and justify thy soul.

17 Before thy death work justice: for in hell there is no finding food.

18 *All flesh shall fade as grass, and as the leaf that springeth out on a green tree.

19 Some grow, and some fall off: so is the generation of flesh and blood: one cometh to an end, and another is born.

20 Every work that is corruptible, shall fail in the end: and the worker thereof shall go with it.

21 And every excellent work shall be justified: and the worker thereof shall be honoured therein.

22 *Blessed is the man that shall continue in wisdom, and that shall meditate in his justice, and in his mind shall think of the all-seeing eye of God.

23 He that considereth her ways in his heart, and hath understanding in her secrets, who goeth after her as one that traceth and stayeth in her ways:

24 He who looketh in at her windows, and hearkeneth at her door:

25 He that lodgeth near her house, and fastening a pin in her walls, shall set up his tent nigh unto her, where good things shall rest in his lodging for ever:

26 He shall set his children under her shelter, and shall lodge under her branches:

27 He shall be protected under her covering from the heat, and shall rest in her glory.



1: Ecclesiasticus xix. 17.

13: Ecclesiasticus iv. 1.; Tobias iv. 7.; Luke xvi. 9.

18: Isaias xl. 6.; James i. 10.; 1 Peter i. 24.

22: Psalm i. 2.