Ecclesiasticus xv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Good. Greek, “these things, and he who possess the knowledge of the law will find her,” (Calmet) or, “he who keeps the law, will receive her.” (Grabe) (1 Corinthians iv. 20.) (Haydock) — All who resolve to be virtuous, will have God’s grace, which preventeth them, and continueth to afford them assistance. (Worthington)

Ver. 2. Married. Literally, “from virginity.” (Haydock) Those who have been espoused in youth have the most durable love for one another, Proverbs ii. 17., and Malachias ii. 14. (Calmet)

Ver. 5. She. Or Greek, “he shall open his mouth, (6.) he shall find joy and a crown of exultation, and shall inherit,” &c. (Haydock) — Church, or assembly of the people. In both, the wise shall be heard with respect. (Calmet)

Ver. 9. Praise. Or Greek, “a proverb,” Proverbs xvii. 7., and xxvi. 7. (Calmet) — David invites even dragons to praise God, but sinners never. (St. Chrysostom, orat. prebyt.) (Psalm xlix. 16.) — The person who preaches well, and lives not accordingly, injures God. (Worthington)

Ver. 10. Wisdom. Greek, “it was not sent to him, (Calmet) or he was not commissioned by the Lord. For praise shall be spoken in wisdom, and the Lord will give him success.”

Ver. 11. She. Ignorance and vice are defects, and consequently not the work of God, but of the perversion of free-will. See James i. 13., and Ezechiel xxxiii. 11. (St. Augustine, Grat. &. lib. ii.) (Calmet) — Beza says, that God ordained Adam’s fall, but for a good end; and decreed justly what men unjustly perform, (ref. Castel. ii.) which is refuted here, and Deuteronomy vii. 11., &c. (Worthington)

Ver. 14. Counsel. Many explain this of Adam, before his fall, when he stood not in need of asking continually for God’s assistance. (St. Augustine, correp. ii. n. 35.) — But if we examine the context, it shews that man, in his present state, is declared inexcusable if he yield to sin, as he has still free-will, which may avoid it, with the grace of God, (Calmet) which is always ready to support us. Greek subjoins, (ver. 16.) “if thou wilt, thou shall keep the commandments, even to execute faithfully the good pleasure. (17.) He.” &c. (Haydock)

Ver. 15. Precepts. These would never be imposed, if man were not free. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. And fire. Or, good and evil, as the Vulgate explains it, (ver. 18.) though the Greek be silent. (Haydock) — The law written on the heart, as well as on the tables of stone, shews man his duty;; and he has free-will to comply with it, Deuteronomy xxx. 15., and Jeremias xxi. 8. (Calmet) — He may enjoy every advantage of life, denoted by these two elements. (Lyr.[Lyranus?])

An quod in his vitæ causa est, hæc perdidit exul

His nova fit conjux; hæc duo magna putant. (Ovid, Fast. 4.)

Ver. 21. Commanded. He only permitted the wickedness of Semei, (2 Kings xvi. 10.) and the persecutors of his people, whose hearts are already bent on evil. (St. Augustine, Grat. & lib. xx.)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Wisdom embraceth them that fear God. God is not the author of sin.

1 He that feareth God, will do good: and he that possesseth justice, shall lay hold on her,

2 And she will meet him as an honourable mother, and will receive him as a wife married of a virgin.

3 With the bread of life and understanding she shall feed him, *and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink: and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved:

4 And she shall hold him fast, and he shall not be confounded: and she shall exalt him among his neighbours,

5 And in the midst of the church she shall open his mouth, and shall fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and shall clothe him with a robe of glory.

6 She shall heap upon him a treasure of joy and gladness, and shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.

7 But foolish men shall not obtain her: and wise men shall meet her, foolish men shall not see her: for she is far from pride and deceit.

8 Lying men shall not be mindful of her: but men that speak truth shall be found with her, and shall advance, even till they come to the sight of God.

9 Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner:

10 For wisdom came forth from God: for praise shall be with the wisdom of God, and shall abound in a faithful mouth, and the sovereign Lord will give praise unto it.

11 Say not: It is through God that she is not with me: for do not thou the things that he hateth.

12 Say not: He hath caused me to err: for he hath no need of wicked men.

13 The Lord hateth all abomination of error, and they that fear him shall not love it.

14 God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel.

15 He added his commandments and precepts.

16 *If thou wilt keep the commandments, and perform acceptable fidelity for ever, they shall preserve thee.

17 He hath set water and fire before thee: stretch forth thy hand to which thou wilt.

18 *Before man is life and death, good and evil; that which he shall choose shall be given him:

19 For the wisdom of God is great, and he is strong in power, seeing all men without ceasing.

20 *The eyes of the Lord are towards them that fear him, and he knoweth all the work of man.

21 He hath commanded no man to do wickedly, and he hath given no man licence to sin:

22 For he desireth not a multitude of faithless and unprofitable children.



3: John iv. 10.

16: Matthew xix. 17.; John viii. 31. and 32.

18: Jeremias xxi. 8.

20: Psalm xxxiii. 17.; Hebrews iv. 13.