Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Little. Small expenses, often repeated, will ruin an estate, (Haydock) and the neglect of venial sins is of the most dangerous consequence. (Calmet) — The best way to avoid great faults, is to guard against small ones. (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Off. From God (Calmet) and religion. See Genesis xix. 33., and 2 Kings xi. 1., and Osee iv. 11.
Ver. 3. Number. Of the living. (Haydock) — The venereal disease seems to be described.
Ver. 4. Credit. To harlots, 1 Corinthians vi. 18. (Calmet)
Ver. 5. Hateth. Greek, “resisteth pleasure, shall crown his life. He who guardeth his tongue, shall live without contention: and he,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 6. He. Greek omits this explication of the preceding verse.
Ver. 8. Not. Only to God and his minister. Friends do not require to be informed of such things. Greek, “disclose not the conduct of others.” — Be. Greek, “be not.” Do not boast of sins which thou hast not committed, (Calmet) as St. Augustine did before his conversion. (Haydock) — But the Vulgate seems preferable. (Calmet) — In ordinary conversation to reveal our faults would be dangerous, but not in confession, or in religious orders, for advancement in virtue. (Worthington)
Ver. 9. Hate thee. Whether thou hast spoken of thy own or of others’ faults, he will distrust thee.
Ver. 10. Burst thee. Like poison, or as new wine (Calmet) does a leathern bottle. (Haydock) — This expression well implies the eagerness which some manifest to divulge a secret injurious to their neighbour. (Calmet)
Ver. 13. Understood. Greek, “done it.” (Haydock) — For want of coming to a timely explanation, many friendships are broken, owing to groundless surmises.
Ver. 15. Committed. Or “a false report,” commissio. (Calmet) — Greek, “a foolish calumny.” (Haydock) — Monere et moneri proprium est verę amicitię. (Cicero)
Ver. 17. Him. Gentle means must be first tried, Matthew xviii. 15., and Galatians vi. 1. (Haydock)
Ver. 18. Place. Love true piety. (Calmet) — Disposition. Greek, “complying with.” (Haydock) — The Complutensian has several additions which are not in the Roman edition. (Calmet) — Grabe inserts them. But it is not necessary to mark here every such variation. (Haydock)
Ver. 22. Unjust. St. James (iii. 15.) describes true and false wisdom, Romans xvi. 19. (Calmet)
Ver. 23. Wickedly. Greek, “in black,” (Haydock) wearing the robes of mourning. (Grotius)
Ver. 24. And. Greek, “there,” &c. (Haydock) — The hypocrite abstains from exterior crimes, only through fear. (Calmet) — False pretence of piety, is hypocrisy; and it is wrong for a superior to reveal his secret faults to his subjects. Reason must direct. (Worthington)
Ver. 26. Countenance. Yet this is not always the case, ver. 28. We may sometimes condemn a person unjustly, on such outward appearances. (Calmet)
Ver. 28. Lying. Greek, “a reproof which is not seemly; and there is one,” &c. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Admonitions against sundry vices.
1 A workman that is a drunkard shall not be rich: and he that contemneth small things, shall fall by little and little.
2 *Wine and women make wise men fall off, and shall rebuke the prudent:
3 And he that joineth himself to harlots, will be wicked. Rottenness and worms shall inherit him, and he shall be lifted up for a greater example, and his soul shall be taken away out of the number.
4 *He that is hasty to give credit, is light of heart, and shall be lessened: and he that sinneth against his own soul, shall be despised.
5 He that rejoiceth in iniquity, shall be censured, and he that hateth chastisement, shall have less life: and he that hateth babbling, extinguisheth evil.
6 He that sinneth against his own soul, shall repent: and he that is delighted with wickedness, shall be condemned.
7 Rehearse not again a wicked and harsh word, and thou shalt not fare the worse.
8 Tell not thy mind to friend or foe: and if there be a sin with thee, disclose it not.
9 For he will hearken to thee, and will watch thee, and as it were defending thy sin he will hate thee, and so will he be with thee always.
10 Hast thou heard a word against thy neighbour? let it die within thee, trusting that it will not burst thee.
11 At the hearing of a word the fool is in travail, as a woman groaning in the bringing forth a child.
12 As an arrow that sticketh in a man’s thigh: so is a word in the heart of a fool.
13 *Reprove a friend, lest he may not have understood, and say; I did it not: or if he did it, that he may do it no more.
14 Reprove thy neighbour, for it may be he hath not said it: and if he hath said it, that he may not say it again.
15 Admonish thy friend: for there is often a fault committed.
16 And believe not every word. There is one, that slippeth with the tongue, but not from his heart.
17 *For who is there that hath not offended with his tongue? Admonish thy neighbour before thou threaten him.
18 And give place to the fear of the Most High: for the fear of God is all wisdom, and therein is to fear God, and the disposition of the law is in all wisdom.
19 But the learning of wickedness is not wisdom: and the device of sinners is not prudence.
20 There is a subtile wickedness, and the same is detestable: and there is a man that is foolish, wanting in wisdom.
21 Better is a man that hath less wisdom, and wanteth understanding, with the fear of God, than he that aboundeth in understanding, and transgresseth the law of the Most High.
22 There is an exquisite subtilty, and the same is unjust.
23 And there is one that uttereth an exact word, telling the truth. There is one that humbleth himself wickedly, and his interior is full of deceit.
24 And there is one that submitteth himself exceedingly with a great lowliness: and there is one that casteth down his countenance, and maketh as if he did not see that which is unknown:
25 And if he be hindered from sinning for want of power, if he shall find opportunity to do evil, he will do it.
26 A man is known by his look, and a wise man, when thou meetest him, is known by his countenance.
27 The attire of the body, and the laughter of the teeth, and the gait of the man, shew what he is.
28 There is a lying rebuke in the anger of an injurious man: and there is a judgment that is not allowed to be good: and there is one that holdeth his peace, and he is wise.
2: Genesis xix. 33.; 3 Kings xi. 1.
4: Josue ix. 15. and xxii. 11.
13: Leviticus xix. 17.; Matthew xviii. 15.; Luke xvii. 3.
17: James iii. 8.