Ecclesiasticus xvii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. And made. This is transposed in Greek to the end of the third verse. (Haydock) — The creation of other things had been specified before. Man was designed to be immortal, and was made like to God in his soul, which is spiritual, intelligent, &c. But sin caused his days to be shortened. (Calmet) — By original sin, he lost the justice which he had at first received. (Worthington)

Ver. 4. Dominion. This is greatly diminished since the fall. (Calmet)

Ver. 6. Evil. Man has understanding, and may merit, which brutes cannot.

Ver. 7. Hearts. God will bring them to judgment, and has given them a law. (Calmet)

Ver. 9. Life. The observance of which will insure life both now and for ever, Romans x. 5. This was the peculiar privilege of Israel, (Calmet) though the natural law had the same effect, and God had left none without sufficient light. (Haydock) — The law was for a trial of obedience, Genesis ii. (Worthington)

Ver. 10. Everlasting. The gospel has perfected or fulfilled the law, Matthew v. 17.

Ver. 11. Saw. When he gave the law on Mount Sinai. (Challoner) (Exodus xx. 18.) — Voice. Thunder, Psalm xxviii. 4. (Calmet)

Ver. 12. Neighbour. Of whom the second table, or the seven last precepts of the law, speak. (Haydock)

Ver. 13. Eyes. He conducted them in the pillar, and always watched over them. Roman Greek adds, “their ways are bent on evils from youth, and he could not.” Complutensian, “for every man is bent on evils from youth, and they could not from stony hearts make them fleshy, (Ezechiel xxxvi. 26.; Calmet) for in the division of the nations of all the earth (14.) over,” &c. (Grabe)

Ver. 15. God. Complutensian adds, “he nourishes him as his first-born with instruction, and dividing the light of love, he does not abandon him.” (Haydock) — But the Roman edition agrees with us. God declared himself king of Israel, (Calmet) and its guardian, while he intrusted other nations to angels. (Origen; St. Augustine; Psalm cxxxviii.; Glossa.; Deuteronomy xxxii. 8.)

Ver. 16. Ways. He suffers them not to follow their own inclinations, like the Gentiles; but chastises them if they have done wrong, Acts xiv. 15. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. Covenants. Greek, “injustices were not concealed from him, and all,” &c. (Haydock) — God. Complutensian adds, “but the Lord being good, and knowing his work, neither left nor abandoned them, still sparing them,” Hebrews xiii. 5. (Haydock) — This is a gloss omitted in the Roman edition, Psalm lxxvii. 34.

Ver. 18. Alms, and all good works are placed in God’s treasury, and as a ring which a person wears on his finger with the utmost care, Jeremias xxii. 24., and Canticle of Canticles viii. 6. — Eye. Greek Complutensian adds, (Calmet) “dividing to his sons and daughters penance, (19.) And.” (Haydock) — The Roman and Aldus edition agree with the Vulgate. — Head. Giving a crown of glory. — And shall, &c., is not in Greek. It implies that the wicked will be punished like Core. (Calmet)

Ver. 22. Offend less: minue offendicula. That is, remove sins, and the occasions of sins. (Challoner)

Ver. 24. And. Greek, “return to the Highest, and be converted from injustice, (for he shall lead from darkness to the light of health) and greatly abhor abomination. Who shall praise the most high in hell, instead of the living, and of those who make a return of praise, or confession? Praise perisheth from the dead, as from one who has had no being. The living and sound of heart shall praise the Lord. (28.) How,” &c. (Haydock) (Psalm lxxxvii. 11.) (Calmet) — We cannot merit perseverance, but must pray for it incessantly. (Worthington)

Ver. 25. Go to the side, &c. Fly from the side of satan and sin, and join with the holy ones that follow God and godliness. (Challoner) — Christ is styled the father of the age to come, Isaias ix. (Menochius)

Ver. 29. Immortal. We all stand in need of a pardon. (Calmet) — And. Greek, (30.) “what….and it fails. And flesh and blood shall study evil. (31.) He.” (Haydock) — We cannot exact absolute perfection from any mortal. But still a person may be watchful, and trust in God’s mercies, chap. xviii. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The creation and favour of God to man. An exhortation to turn to God.

1 God created man of the earth, *and made him after his own image.

2 And he turned him into it again, and clothed him with strength according to himself.

3 He gave him the number of his days and time, and gave him power over all things that are upon the earth.

4 He put the fear of him upon all flesh, and he had dominion over beasts and fowls.

5 *He created of him a help-mate like to himself: he gave them counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, and ears, and a heart to devise: and he filled them with the knowledge of understanding.

6 He created in them the science of the spirit, he filled their heart with wisdom, and shewed them both good and evil.

7 He set his eye upon their hearts, to shew them the greatness of his works:

8 That they might praise the name which he hath sanctified: and glory in his wondrous acts, that they might declare the glorious things of his works.

9 Moreover, he gave them instructions, and the law of life for an inheritance.

10 He made an everlasting covenant with them, and he shewed them his justice and judgments.

11 And their eye saw the majesty of his glory, and their ears heard his glorious voice, and he said to them: Beware of all iniquity. 12 And he gave to every one of them commandment concerning his neighbour.

13 Their ways are always before him, they are not hidden from his eyes.

14 *Over every nation he set a ruler.

15 And Israel was made the manifest portion of God.

16 And all their works are as the sun in the sight of God: and his eyes are continually upon their ways.

17 Their covenants were not hid by their iniquity: and all their iniquities are in the sight of God.

18 *The alms of a man is as a signet with him, and shall preserve the grace of a man as the apple of the eye:

19 *And afterward he shall rise up, and shall render them their reward, to every one upon their own head, and shall turn them down into the bowels of the earth.

20 But to the penitent he hath given the way of justice, and he hath strengthened them that were fainting in patience, and hath appointed to them the lot of truth.

21 Turn to the Lord, and forsake thy sins:

22 Make thy prayer before the face of the Lord, and offend less.

23 Return to the Lord, and turn away from thy injustice, and greatly hate abomination.

24 And know the justices and judgments of God, and stand firm in the lot set before thee, and in prayer to the most high God.

25 Go to the side of the holy age, *with them that live and give praise to God.

26 Tarry not in the error of the ungodly, give glory before death. Praise perisheth from the dead as nothing.

27 Give thanks whilst thou art living, whilst thou art alive and in health thou shalt give thanks, and shalt praise God, and shalt glory in his mercies.

28 How great is the mercy of the Lord, and his forgiveness to them that turn to him!

29 For all things cannot be in men, because the son of man is not immortal, and they are delighted with the vanity of evil.

30 What is brighter than the sun? yet it shall be eclipsed. Or what is more wicked than that which flesh and blood hath invented? and this shall be reproved.

31 He beholdeth the power of the height of heaven: and all men are earth and ashes.



1: Genesis i. 27. and v. 1.

5: Genesis ii. 18.

14: Romans xiii. 1.

18: Ecclesiasticus xxix. 6.

19: Matthew xxv. 35.

25: Psalm vi. 6.; Isaias xxxviii. 19.