Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Evils. God will make all turn to the advantage of the elect.
Ver. 3. To him. God will fulfill all his promises. (Calmet) — Greek continues, “as the interrogation (Haydock) of the Urim, (delon. Calmet) prepare what to say, and so thou shalt be heard. Put on instruction, and thus reply.” (Haydock) — Speak not without being prepared.
Ver. 5. Cart. Inconstant and grating. (Calmet) — The wicked turn from one vice to another, as heretics devise many errors, not having their heart established in grace, Hebrews xiii. 9. (Worthington)
Ver. 6. Him. And will be unmanageable, (Menochius) when he has any thing to ridicule. (Calmet) — Qui captat risus. (Horace, i. Sat. 4.)
Ver. 7. Another. God’s will alone appoints one to be holy or fine; and another to be stormy, or dedicated to labour. (Calmet) — And one. Greek, “and all the light of the day throughout the year proceeds from the sun.”
Ver. 8. The sun. Greek, “and he distinguished the seasons and holidays (10.) some,” &c.
Ver. 10. Great. Greek, “holy.” (Haydock) — Thus all men are by nature equal. Yet what difference do we not find in their condition? Some live in obscurity, who might have shone upon the throne; and this is God’s will. (Calmet)
Ver. 12. Station. Exterminating the Chanaanites. God disposes of all with sovereign power and justice, Romans ix. 29.
Ver. 14. Ordering. All depend on God. (Calmet) — “The predestination of the saints is nothing but the foreknowledge and preparation of God’s benefits, by which those are most certainly liberated who obtain their freedom. But where are the rest left; except in the mass of perdition, by the just judgment of the Deity? (St. Augustine, Persev. xiv. n. 35, and Corrept. xiii. n. 42.)
Ver. 15. Another. Lights and shades both contribute to form the beauty of a picture. (Haydock) — Antitheses adorn a discourse, as opposite things do the universe. (St. Augustine, City of God xi. 18.) — God will make the wicked subservient to his glory.
Ver. 16. Of all. Solomon, Ezechias, &c., made various collections of similar maxims. (Calmet) — The books of the Machabees were alone written after this in the Old Testament. (Menochius) — Greek places what follows after chap. xxx. 26. These four verses may be regarded as a sort of preface. (Haydock)
Ver. 21. Change thee. That is, so as to have this power over thee. (Challoner) — Be inflexible on this head. (Calmet)
Ver. 23. The pre-eminence. That is, be master in thy own house, and part not with thy authority. (Challoner) — Let not thy wife or servants rule in thy name. (Menochius)
Ver. 25. Fodder. Greek prefixes “on slaves.” (Haydock) — They were bought like horses. Aristotle (Œcon. i. 5.) gives the like instructions on their treatment. (Calmet)
Ver. 27. A stiff. Greek, “the neck, (28.) torture,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 31. Faithful, is not expressed in Greek but must be understood. — Blood. Taking him prisoner at the hazard of thy life. The like misfortune might easily have befallen thee. (Calmet) — Seneca (ep. 47.) says, “live so with thy inferior, as thou wouldst have thy superior live with thee.”
Ver. 33. Thou. Greek, “on what road wilt thou seek for him?”
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The fear of God is the best security. Times and men are in the hands of God. Take care of thyself as long as thou livest, and look to thy servants.
1 No evils shall happen to him that feareth the Lord, but in temptation God will keep him, and deliver him from evils.
2 A wise man hateth not the commandments and justices, and he shall not be dashed in pieces as a ship in a storm.
3 A man of understanding is faithful to the law of God, and the law is faithful to him.
4 He that cleareth up a question, shall prepare what to say, and so having prayed he shall be heard, and shall keep discipline, and then he shall answer.
5 *The heart of a fool is as a wheel of a cart: and his thoughts are like a rolling axle-tree.
6 A friend that is a mocker, is like a stallion horse: he neigheth under every one that sitteth upon him.
7 Why doth one day excel another, and one light another, and one year another year, when all come of the sun?
8 By the knowledge of the Lord they were distinguished, the sun being made, and keeping his commandment.
9 And he ordered the seasons, and holidays of them, and in them they celebrated festivals at an hour.
10 Some of them God made high and great days, and some of them he put in the number of ordinary days. And all men are from the ground, *and out of the earth, from whence Adam was created.
11 With much knowledge the Lord hath divided them, and diversified their ways.
12 Some of them hath he blessed, and exalted: and some of them hath he sanctified, and set near himself: and some of them hath he cursed and brought low, and turned them from their station.
13 *As the potter’s clay is in his hand, to fashion and order it.
14 All his ways are according to his ordering: so man is in the hand of him that made him, and he will render to him according to his judgment.
15 Good is set against evil, and life against death: so also is the sinner against a just man. And so look upon all the works of the most High. Two and two, and one against another.
16 And I awaked last of all, and as one that gathereth after the grape-gatherers.
17 In the blessing of God I also have hoped: and as one that gathereth grapes, have I filled the wine-press.
18 *See that I have not laboured for myself only, but for all that seek discipline.
19 Hear me, ye great men, and all ye people, and hearken with your ears, ye rulers of the church.
20 Give not to son or wife, brother or friend, power over thee while thou livest; and give not thy estate to another: lest thou repent, and thou entreat for the same.
21 As long as thou livest, and hast breath in thee, let no man change thee.
22 For it is better that thy children should ask of thee, than that thou look toward the hands of thy children.
23 In all thy works keep the pre-eminence.
24 Let no stain sully thy glory. In the time when thou shalt end the days of thy life, and in the time of thy decease, distribute thy inheritance.
25 Fodder, and a wand, and a burden, are for an ass: bread, and correction, and work, for a slave.
26 He worketh under correction, and seeketh to rest: let his hands be idle, and he seeketh liberty.
27 The yoke and the thong bend a stiff neck, and continual labours bow a slave.
28 Torture and fetters are for a malicious slave: send him to work, that he be not idle:
29 For idleness hath taught much evil.
30 Set him to work: for so it is fit for him. And if he be not obedient, bring him down with fetters, but be not excessive towards any one: and do no grievous thing without judgment.
31 *If thou have a faithful servant, let him be to thee as thy own soul: treat him as a brother: because in the blood of thy soul thou hast gotten him.
32 If thou hurt him unjustly, he will run away:
33 And if he rise up and depart, thou knowest not whom to ask, and in what way to seek him.
5: Ecclesiasticus xxi. 17.
10: Genesis ii. 7.
13: Romans ix. 11.
18: Ecclesiasticus xxiv. 47.
31: Ecclesiasticus vii. 21.