Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Sluggard. Who neglects his own and others’ welfare. (Calmet) — Disgrace. He is still despised here, and punished eternally, Matthew xxv. 30. (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Pelted. Greek, “compared to a lump of dung.” (Haydock)
Ver. 3. Loss. “I wish,” said Augustus, “I had never married, or that I had died without children.” (Suetonius)
Ver. 4. Inheritance. Her wisdom and economy, Proverbs xxxi. 29. Women had no inheritance among the Jews, when they had brothers.
Ver. 5. Bold. In speaking and acting without restraint. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Mourning. St. Jerome (ep. ad Julian) quoting this sentence, calls it “divine Scripture,” Proverb xxv. 20. — Of time. Or “stripes and instruction well-timed, are wisdom.” (Haydock) — Only the wise know how to correct with advantage.
Ver. 7. Fool. Who is incapable of understanding. Those who have sense may be corrected, though they may have taken evil courses.
Ver. 9. This? The Athenian philosophers and Festus derided St. Paul, Acts xvii. 32.
Ver. 10. For the fool. In the language of the Holy Ghost, he is styled a fool that turns away from God to follow vanity and sin. And what is said by the wise man against fools is meant of such fools as these. (Challoner) — Their wicked life is worse than death. (Worthington)
Ver. 13. Days. There was a longer time assigned for great men, Genesis l. 3., Numbers xx. 30., and Deuteronomy xxxiv. 8. — Life. This is understood of those who have lost all reason, or sense of religion. St. Monica wept for her son, hoping that he would repent, as a certain bishop had comforted her. (St. Augustine, Confessions iii. ultra.[last chapter])
Ver. 17. Lead? Gold alone is heavier. But the fool is compared with lead, and is most insupportable.
Ver. 19. Wood. Such were used in the walls of Jerusalem, (4 Machabees ii.) and of the temple and palace, 3 Kings vi. 36., and vii. 12.
Ver. 21. Cost. Of lime. (Calmet) — Greek omits this comparison, as well as the 23d verse. (Haydock)
Ver. 23. Not fear. This seems contrary to what goes before. But fools are sometimes intrepid even to harshness. (Calmet)
Ver. 24. Resentment. Or “sense,” (Haydock) by means of pungent reprimands. (Calmet)
Ver. 25. Away. Greek literally, “will knock them down,” dejiciet. (Haydock) — Deliberate provocations (ver. 27.) are pardoned with more difficulty than a sudden impulse of wrath, ver. 26. On such occasions we may withdraw our confidence, but not our charity and patience, Matthew v. 11. (Calmet) — A true friend will not be lost for a temporal damage; but he must not be slighted. (Worthington)
Ver. 29. Inheritance. Greek adds, “for poverty is not always contemptible, nor is the senseless rich worthy of admiration.” (Haydock)
Ver. 32. Of him. Yet I will not follow their example. (Calmet) — If my friend has behaved ill to me, he will be the greatest sufferer. (Haydock)
Ver. 33. Not. Psalm cxl. 3. Who can sufficiently guard his tongue? (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Wise sayings on divers subjects.
1 The sluggard is pelted with a dirty stone, and all men will speak of his disgrace.
2 The sluggard is pelted with the dung of oxen: and every one that toucheth him will shake his hands.
3 A son ill taught is the confusion of the father: and a foolish daughter shall be to his loss.
4 A wise daughter shall bring an inheritance to her husband: but she that confoundeth, becometh a disgrace to her father.
5 She that is bold shameth both her father and husband, and will not be inferior to the ungodly: and shall be disgraced by them both.
6 A tale out of time is like music in mourning: but the stripes and instruction of wisdom are never out of time.
7 He that teacheth a fool, is like one that glueth a potsherd together.
8 He that telleth a word to him that heareth not, is like one that waketh a man out of a deep sleep.
9 He speaketh with one that is asleep, who uttereth wisdom to a fool: and in the end of the discourse he saith: Who is this?
10 *Weep for the dead, for his light hath failed: and weep for the fool, for his understanding faileth.
11 Weep but a little for the dead, for he is at rest.
12 For the wicked life of a wicked fool is worse than death.
13 *The mourning for the dead is seven days: but for a fool and an ungodly man all the days of their life.
14 Talk not much with a fool, and go not with him that hath no sense.
15 Keep thyself from him, that thou mayst not have trouble, and thou shalt not be defiled with his sin.
16 Turn away from him, and thou shalt find rest, and shalt not be wearied out with his folly.
17 What is heavier than lead? and what other name hath he but fool?
18 *Sand and salt, and a mass of iron, is easier to bear, than a man without sense, that is both foolish and wicked.
19 A frame of wood bound together in the foundation of a building, shall not be loosed: so neither shall the heart that is established by advised counsel.
20 The thought of him that is wise at all times, shall not be depraved by fear.
21 As pales set in high places, and plasterings made without cost, will not stand against the face of the wind:
22 So also a fearful heart in the imagination of a fool shall not resist against the violence of fear.
23 As a fearful heart in the thought of a fool at all times will not fear, so neither shall he that continueth always in the commandments of God.
24 He that pricketh the eye, bringeth out tears: and he that pricketh the heart, bringeth forth resentment.
25 He that flingeth a stone at birds, shall drive them away: so he that upbraideth his friend, breaketh friendship.
26 Although thou hast drawn a sword at a friend, despair not: for there may be a returning. To a friend,
27 If thou hast opened a sad mouth, fear not, for there may be a reconciliation: except upbraiding, and reproach, and pride, and disclosing of secrets, or a treacherous wound: for in all these cases a friend will flee away.
28 Keep fidelity with a friend in his poverty, that in his prosperity also thou mayst rejoice.
29 In the time of his trouble continue faithful to him, that thou mayst also be heir with him in his inheritance.
30 As the vapour of a chimney, and the smoke of the fire goeth up before the fire: so also injurious words, and reproaches, and threats, before blood.
31 I will not be ashamed to salute a friend, neither will I hide myself from his face: and if any evil happen to me by him, I will bear it.
32 But every one that shall hear it, will beware of him.
33 *Who will set a guard before my mouth, and a sure seal upon my lips, that I fall not by them, and that my tongue destroy me not?
10: Ecclesiasticus xxxviii. 16.
13: Genesis l. 10.
18: Proverbs xxvii. 3.
33: Psalm cxl. 3.