Ecclesiasticus xvi.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Rejoice. Greek, “desire not an useless multitude of children,” &c.

Ver. 2. Labours. All will end in ruin which springs from corruption. (Haydock) — Achab and Gedeon had seventy sons, but all were presently exterminated, while Abraham had a numerous posterity by his son Isaac.

Ver. 7. Out. They shall perish by civil and foreign wars, (Calmet) and by God’s indignation, Deuteronomy xxxii. 23. (Haydock) — They who yield to the fire of concupiscence, will feel God’s wrath for ever. (Worthington)

Ver. 9. Of their word, is not in Greek, but may imply the effrontery of the Sodomites, who were not ashamed of openly professing their brutality, Ezechiel xvi. 49. (Calmet)

Ver. 11. Six hundred thousand footmen, &c. Viz., the children of Israel, whom he sentenced to die in the wilderness, Numbers xiv., (Challoner) and Exodus xii. 37.

Ver. 14. Off. The virtuous shall be rewarded, Romans ii. 6. Greek, “the patience of the impious shall not delay.” He shall soon be punished, (Haydock) while he who gives only a cup of cold water to the poor, shall find a recompense, Matthew x. (Worthington)

Ver. 15. And, &c., is not in Greek, the different editions of which vary. (Calmet) — Instead of this sentence, Grabe inserts from the Complutensian, “the Lord hardened Pharao, that he might not know him, that his surprising works might be manifest under heaven. To every creature his mercy is evident, and he has divided his light from darkness with adamant.[“] (Haydock) — His counsels are unsearchable, and the good are entirely separated from the reprobate, 1 Timothy vi. 16., and Luke xvi. 26.

Ver. 16. High. God would not be God if he were indifferent about virtue. None of his creatures can be beneath his notice. All the world is but like a drop of water to him, Isaias xl 15, 22. He cannot be distracted. (Calmet)

Ver. 20. And. Greek, “his ways,” ver. 21. (Haydock) — God’s threats and promises touch not the sinner.

Ver. 22. Testament. The law, or the judgment, which God shall pronounce. (Calmet)

Ver. 26. And their. The heavenly bodies continue their courses, (Grotius; Jansenius) and all things still subsist, (Haydock) being formed and preserved by an intelligent being. He refutes the epicureans. (Calmet)

Ver. 29. Be. Greek, “they shall not disobey his order for ever.” (Haydock) — After the sun, &c., had been regulated on the fourth day, God set in order sublunary things, ver. 30. (Calmet)

Ver. 31. Forth, the glory and power of God upon the earth. (Challoner) — Before. Greek, “hath covered its (the earth’s) face, and into it,” &c. (Haydock) — All living creatures shall return to dust, Psalm ciii. 29. (Calmet) — Rational and brute creatures praise God by answering the ends designed by him. (Worthington)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

It is better to have none than many wicked children. Of the justice and mercy of God. His ways are unsearchable.

1 Rejoice not in ungodly children, if they be multiplied: neither be delighted in them, if the fear of God be not with them.

2 Trust not to their life, and respect not their labours.

3 For better is one that feareth God, than a thousand ungodly children.

4 And it is better to die without children, than to leave ungodly children.

5 By one that is wise, a country shall be inhabited; the tribe of the ungodly shall become desolate.

6 Many such things hath my eyes seen, and greater things than these my ear hath heard.

7 *In the congregation of sinners a fire shall be kindled, and in an unbelieving nation wrath shall flame out.

8 *The ancient giants did not obtain pardon for their sins, who were destroyed, trusting to their own strength:

9 And he spared not the place where Lot sojourned, but abhorred them for the pride of their word.

10 He had not pity on them, destroying the whole nation that extolled themselves in their sins.

11 *So did he with the six hundred thousand footmen, who were gathered together in the hardness of their heart: and if one had been stiff-necked, it is a wonder if he had escaped unpunished:

12 For mercy and wrath are with him. He is mighty to forgive, and to pour out indignation:

13 According as his mercy is, so his correction judgeth a man according to his works.

14 The sinner shall not escape in his rapines, and the patience of him that sheweth mercy shall not be put off.

15 *All mercy shall make a place for every man according to the merit of his works, and according to the wisdom of his sojournment.

16 Say not: I shall be hidden from God. and who shall remember me from on high?

17 In such a multitude I shall not be known: for what is my soul in such an immense creation?

18 Behold the heaven, and the heavens of heavens, the deep, and all the earth, and the things that are in them, shall be moved in his sight:

19 The mountains also, and the hills, and the foundations of the earth: when God shall look upon them, they shall be shaken with trembling.

20 And in all these things the heart is senseless: and every heart is understood by him:

21 And his ways who shall understand, and the storm, which no eye of man shall see?

22 For many of his works are hidden: but the works of his justice who shall declare? or who shall endure? for the testament is far from some, and the examination of all is in the end.

23 He that wanteth understanding, thinketh vain things: and the foolish and erring man thinketh foolish things.

24 Hearken to me, my son, and learn the discipline of understanding, and attend to my words in thy heart.

25 And I will shew forth good doctrine in equity, and will seek to declare wisdom: and attend to my words in thy heart, whilst with equity of spirit I tell thee the virtues that God hath put upon his works from the beginning, and I shew forth in truth his knowledge.

26 The works of God are done in judgment from the beginning, and from the making of them he distinguished their parts, and their beginnings in their generations.

27 He beautified their works for ever; they have neither hungered, nor laboured, and they have not ceased from their works.

28 Nor shall any of them straiten his neighbour at any time.

29 Be not thou incredulous to his word.

30 After this, God looked upon the earth, and filled it with his goods.

31 The soul of every living thing hath shewn forth before the face thereof, and into it they return again.



7: Ecclesiasticus xxi. 10.

8: Genesis vi. 4.

11: Numbers xiv. 20. and xxvi. 51.

15: Romans ii. 6.