Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Knowledge. It is a great kindness to shew us our faults. But God’s grace is necessary to make us reap benefit from correction, (Calmet) as self-love recoils at it.
Ver. 2. But. Hebrew, “and he will condemn the man of devices,” (Mont.[Montanus?]; Haydock) or, “the man of thoughts doth wickedly,” (Calmet) as he trusts in them, rather than in God. (Menochius)
Ver. 4. Diligent. Hebrew, “strong or virtuous,” (Haydock) including all the perfections of the sex, and in particular those of economy and chastity, chap. xiv. 1., and xxxi. 10.
Ver. 7. Turn. In a moment the wicked is not to be found, chap. x. 25., and Psalm xxxvi. 35.
Ver. 8. Learning. We apply to those things which we love, and those who study sacred (Calmet) or useful sciences, shall receive praise.
Ver. 9. Glorious. Or a boaster, (Haydock) as many noblemen are, who are involved in debt, Ecclesiasticus x. 30. (Menochius) — It is better to have a sufficiency, than to be of noble parentage; and starving through a stupid idea, that work would be disgraceful.
Ver. 10. Beasts. Those who treat them with cruelty, would do the like with men. God gives regulations to let brute beasts have rest, Leviticus xxii. 28. (Calmet) (St. Chrysostom in Romans xxix.)
Ver. 11. Idleness. Hebrew, “the idle.” Their company is seducing. — He that, &c. This occurs in the Septuagint, but not in the Hebrew or the new edition of St. Jerome. (Calmet) — Wine. Or “in taverns.” — Holds. Soldiers have thus been often surprised. (Menochius) — “Drunkenness is an incitement to lust and madness, the poison of wisdom.” (St. Ambrose)
Ver. 12. Men. They wish to supplant one another.
Ver. 13. Lips. Liars often become the victims of their own deceit.
Ver. 16. Wise. It is more difficult to repress, than to avoid anger. (St. Ambrose) — To dissemble, so as to seek an opportunity of revenge, is not commended.
Ver. 17. That. Hebrew, “the truth announceth justice.” We easily give credit to an honest man. (Calmet)
Ver. 18. Promiseth. Septuagint, “there are, who speaking, wound with the sword; but,” &c. Hebrew bote (Haydock) means also, making a foolish promise, which causes remorse. (Menochius) — This was the case with Herod, when he was pleased with Herodias, Matthew xiv. 8. (Calmet) — Hebrew, “speaketh like the piercings of a sword,” (Protestants; Haydock) as detractors, and those who disseminate impious and scandalous maxims do.
Ver. 19. Frameth. He studies how to escape detection. Hebrew, “a lying tongue is but for a moment;” it is presently discovered.
Ver. 20. Deceit. Or uneasiness. (Calmet) — Honi soit qui mal y pense: “let him be covered with shame who thinks evil in it,” seems nearly of the same import. (Haydock)
Ver. 21. Sad. Even if he fall into sin, he will not lose all hope. (Calmet) — The accidents accompanying this life will not overwhelm him. (St. Chrysostom) — Hebrew, “no evil shall befall the just.” If he be afflicted here, he will be amply rewarded hereafter. Septuagint, “the just will not be pleased with any injustice.”
Ver. 23. Cautious. Versutus is taken in a good, as well as in a bad sense. The wise are reserved in speaking, Proverbs xvi. 14. (Calmet)
Ver. 25. Grief. Septuagint, “a fearful speech troubleth the heart of a (just) man.” (Grabe) (Haydock)
Ver. 26. Just. A true friend will make any sacrifice. (Calmet) — “I am convinced that friendship can subsist only among the good,” says Cicero. Hebrew, “the just hath more, (Calmet; Protestants) or is more excellent than his neighbour.” Septuagint, “the intelligent just is his own friend; (but the sentences of the impious are contrary to equity. Evils shall pursue sinners) but the way,” &c. (Grabe) (Haydock)
Ver. 27. Gain. Hebrew and Septuagint, “his prey,” (Calmet) or what “he took in hunting.” (Protestants) (Haydock)
Ver. 28. Bye-way. Of vice. Hebrew, “and a way which leadeth to death,” or “its paths conduct to death.” (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
1 He that loveth correction, loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof, is foolish.
2 He that is good, shall draw grace from the Lord: but he that trusteth in his own devices, doth wickedly.
3 Man shall not be strengthened by wickedness: and the root of the just shall not be moved.
4 A diligent woman is a crown to her husband: and she that doth things worthy of confusion, is as rottenness in his bones.
5 The thoughts of the just are judgments: and the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood: the mouth of the just shall deliver them.
7 Turn the wicked, and they shall not be: but the house of the just shall stand firm.
8 A man shall be known by his learning: but he that is vain and foolish, shall be exposed to contempt.
9 *Better is the poor man that provideth for himself, than he that is glorious and wanteth bread.
10 The just regardeth the lives of his beasts: but the bowels of the wicked are cruel.
11 *He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that pursueth idleness is very foolish.
He that is delighted in passing his time over wine, leaveth a reproach in his strong holds.
12 The desire of the wicked is the fortification of evil men: but the root of the just shall prosper.
13 For the sins of the lips ruin draweth nigh to the evil man: but the just shall escape out of distress.
14 By the fruit of his own mouth shall a man be filled with good things, and according to the works of his hands it shall be repaid him.
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that is wise hearkeneth unto counsels.
16 A fool immediately sheweth his anger: but he that dissembleth injuries is wise.
17 He that speaketh that which he knoweth, sheweth forth justice: but he that lieth, is a deceitful witness.
18 There is that promiseth, and is pricked as it were with a sword of conscience: but the tongue of the wise is health.
19 The lip of truth shall be steadfast for ever: but he that is a hasty witness, frameth a lying tongue.
20 Deceit is in the heart of them that think evil things: but joy followeth them that take counsels of peace.
21 Whatsoever shall befall the just man, shall not make him sad: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord: but they that deal faithfully, please him.
23 A cautious man concealeth knowledge: and the heart of fools publisheth folly.
24 The hand of the valiant shall bear rule: but that which is slothful shall be under tribute.
25 Grief in the heart of a man shall bring him low, but with a good word he shall be made glad.
26 He that neglecteth a loss for the sake of a friend, is just: but the way of the wicked shall deceive them.
27 The deceitful man shall not find gain: but the substance of a just man shall be precious gold.
28 In the path of justice is life: but the bye-way leadeth to death.
9: Ecclesiasticus x. 30.
11: Ecclesiasticus xx. 30.