Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Ruler. Or king of the feast, alluding to an ancient custom, Esther i. 8. (Calmet) — Nec regna vini sortiere talis. (Horace, Athen. Dipn.; Plut.[Plutarch?], Symp. i. q. 14.) — Humility is most requisite for those in power, and it is most difficult to contemn vain honours, when enjoyed. (St. Gregory, pastor.) (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Contribution, towards the feast, (Menochius) or company. This sentence is not in Greek, “rejoice on their account, and for the excellent disposition, mayst receive a corner.” (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Music. Which usually accompanied the meals of the rich. (Horace, ii. ode 11.) — “A lyre is handed round, on which each one plays. When Themistocles confessed that he knew not how, he was deemed deficient.” indoctior. (Tusc. i. Quint. i.)
Ver. 6. Words. Some Greek copies have, “where there is a concert, pour,” &c. (Calmet) — And be. Greek, “and utter not wise sayings out of season.”
Ver. 7. Wine was not used at all meals. (Calmet) — After they were ended, the pagans sung in honour of Bacchus, or of great men. (Plut.[Plutarch?], Sym.) — But the Jews directed their hymns to God, Matthew xxvi. 30. (Philo, Contemp.)
Ver. 9. Hear. Greek, (10.) “young man speak if there be wanted of thee; scarcely twice if thou be asked. Sum up thy speech, much in few words. Be knowing and still silent. (11.) In the,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 13. Thee. Greek implies to be equal. (Calmet)
Ver. 14. Storm. Literally, “hail.” Greek, “thunder.” (Haydock) — It comes forth at the same time as the lightning, but travels slower. (Calmet) — For. Greek, (15.) “at,” &c. (Haydock) — Young people must leave the table, and take recreation.
Ver. 17. Bless. This is taught by the light of reason, (chap. v. 7.) and the omission before or after meals betrays a want of faith and gratitude, particularly in Christians. — Replenisheth. Greek, “inebriateth thee with his goods.” (Haydock)
Ver. 20. Light. They shall advance in virtue and glory, Proverbs iv. 18. (Calmet)
Ver. 21. Excuse. Literally, “comparison.” “He will bend the law to his desires.” Thus heretics interpret Scripture. (Haydock) — Greek, “he will find condemnation.”
Ver. 24. Without counsel; or “by himself,” (Calmet) cum eo. — And. Greek, “do nothing without counsel, and in acting do not repent,” (Haydock) but execute what has been prudently devised. (Calmet) — God directs; yet he would have us to ask advice. (Worthington)
Ver. 25. Rugged way. The end of which is unknown, Luke xiv. 28. (Calmet) — Lest. Greek, “and keep a guard over thy children. In every good work confide in thy soul; for,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 27. In faith. That is, follow sincerely thy soul in her faith and conscience, (Challoner) when it is well informed. Greek, “in every good work believe thy soul; for,” &c. (Calmet) — Act not in opposition to it. (Worthington) — Rondet and Grotius would read, “in every work believe in God with all thy soul.” — All that is not of faith is sin, (Romans xiv. 23.) inasmuch as it is against conscience. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Lessons for superiors and inferiors. Advantages of fearing God, and doing nothing without counsel.
1 Have they made thee ruler? be not lifted up: be among them as one of them.
2 Have care of them, and so sit down, and when thou hast acquitted thyself of all thy charge, take thy place:
3 That thou mayst rejoice for them, and receive a crown as an ornament of grace, and get the honour of the contribution.
4 Speak, thou that art elder: for it becometh thee,
5 To speak the first word with careful knowledge, and hinder not music.
6 Where there is no hearing, pour not out words, and be not lifted up out of season with thy wisdom.
7 A concert of music in a banquet of wine is as a carbuncle set in gold.
8 As a signet of an emerald in a work of gold: so is the melody of music with pleasant and moderate wine.
9 Hear in silence, and for thy reverence good grace shall come to thee.
10 Young man, scarcely speak in thy own cause.
11 If thou be asked twice, let thy answer be short.
12 In many things, be as if thou wert ignorant, and hear in silence, and withal seeking.
13 In the company of great men take not upon thee: and when the ancients are present, speak not much.
14 Before a storm goeth lightning: and before shamefacedness goeth favour: and for thy reverence good grace shall come to thee.
15 And at the time of rising be not slack: but be first to run home to thy house, and there withdraw thyself, and there take thy pastime.
16 And do what thou hast a mind, but not in sins or proud speech.
17 And for all these things bless the Lord, that made thee, and that replenisheth thee with all his good things.
18 He that feareth the Lord, will receive his discipline: and they that will seek him early, shall find a blessing.
19 He that seeketh the law, shall be filled with it: and he that dealeth deceitfully, shall meet with a stumbling-block therein.
20 They that fear the Lord, shall find just judgment, and shall kindle justice as a light.
21 A sinful man will flee reproof, and will find an excuse according to his will.
22 A man of counsel will not neglect understanding, a strange and proud man will not dread fear:
23 Even after he hath done with fear without counsel, he shall be controlled by the things of his own seeking.
24 My son, do thou nothing without counsel, and thou shalt not repent when thou hast done.
25 Go not in the way of ruin, and thou shalt not stumble against the stones: trust not thyself to a rugged way, lest thou set a stumbling-block to thy soul.
26 And beware of thy own children, and take heed of them of thy household.
27 In every work of thine regard thy soul in faith: for this is the keeping of the commandments.
28 He that believeth God, taketh heed to the commandments: and he that trusteth in him, shall fare never the worse.