Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Doctrine. Or he gives proof of his good education, (Calmet) and excites even his father to advance in piety. (Ven. Bede) — Septuagint, “is obedient to his father; but the disobedient son is in destruction.” (Haydock)
Ver. 2. Mouth. In reward of his good speeches. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “of justice the good man eateth; but the souls of the lawless perish before the time,” chap. xii. 13.
Ver. 3. Hath. Hebrew, “who openeth his lips inconsiderately, is lost, Judges xi. 35. (Haydock)
Ver. 4. Willeth not. Hebrew, “hath not.” He only desires riches, or to be converted, and will not labour, chap. xxi. 25., and Ecclesiasticus v. 8.
Ver. 5. Confounded. The detractor is like swine, stirring up dirt. (St. Chrysostom, 32. ad Pop.) — The liar is not believed, even when he speaks the truth. (Aristotle)
Ver. 6. Sinner. Symmachus, “draweth on sin.” Virtue is the best safeguard.
Ver. 7. Riches. Such was St. Paul, 2 Corinthians vi. 10. Some affect to be rich, while others are never satisfied. Semper avarus eget. Lazarus was very rich in God’s sight.
Ver. 8. Reprehension. Or is not able to defend himself, like the rich. (Calmet) — He is not exposed so much to great revolutions. (Bayn.)
Ver. 9. Out. They are hated as well as their offspring. (Calmet)
Ver. 10. Contentions. As none will yield. (Menochius) — Hebrew, “only by pride cometh contention.” (Protestants) — “Pride is the mother of all sects.” (St. Augustine)
Ver. 11. Haste. Hebrew, “by vanity,” and injustice. Those who become rich on a sudden fall under suspicion, as a Roman objected to Sylla, who had inherited nothing. (Plut.[Plutarch?]) — By little. Hebrew, “he that gathereth by labour, (Septuagint, piety) shall increase.” (Protestants) (Haydock)
Ver. 12. Hope. Septuagint, “(the just shews mercy and lends) better is he who begins heartily to assist, than he who promises and leads to hope. For a bad (Grabe substitutes good) desire is a tree of life.” — Soul. Protestants, “maketh the heart sick.” (Haydock) — The pain increases in proportion to our eager desire. Calvin maintains, that the souls of the blessed are not yet in heaven, but hope: and of course he would establish a sort of purgatory for them. (Haydock)
Ver. 13. Come. To defend what he has asserted, or to pass for a liar. Hebrew, “shall be destroyed by it.” (Mont.[Montanus?]) (Haydock) — Those who despise God’s order shall perish. — Deceitful, &c. This is not in Hebrew, nor in some of the Latin editions. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “to the deceitful son nothing shall be good. But the ways of the wise servant shall prosper, and his paths shall be made straight,” chap. xiv. 15. (Haydock)
Ver. 14. That. Septuagint, “but the fool is slain in the snare.” (Haydock)
Ver. 15. Grace. God assists those who strive to be well instructed. (Calmet)
Ver. 17. Of the. Hebrew, “a wicked ambassador.” A king generally chooses people like himself. (Menochius) — Septuagint have read melec. “A rash king shall,” &c.
Ver. 18. To him. Hebrew, “destroy discipline,” so that the most wretched are often noted for immorality. Septuagint, “instruction takes away poverty,” as “the whole earth supports the man that has a trade,” technion, according to the Greek proverb. (Calmet)
Ver. 19. That is. Septuagint, “of the pious, but the works of the impious are far from knowledge.” (Haydock)
Ver. 20. Become. Septuagint, “be known.” A person’s disposition may be seen by the company which he frequents.
Ver. 22. Heirs. This was more observable under the old law: yet we often see the distress to which the unjust are exposed. De male quæsitis non gaudet tertius hæres. (Calmet)
Ver. 23. Fathers. Heirs often lose their property by their misconduct. Hebrew and (Haydock) Chaldean read, “of the poor,” who till their land better than those who have too large farms. (Menochius) — Nature requires but little. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “the just shall spend many years in affluence: but the unjust are cut off at once.” (Haydock)
Ver. 24. Betimes. God has always treated his friends in this manner, to preserve them from sin, or to increase their reward. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
1 A wise son heareth the doctrine of his father: but he that is a scorner, heareth not when he is reproved.
2 Of the fruit of his own mouth shall a man be filled with good things: but the soul of transgressors is wicked.
3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his soul: but he that hath no guard on his speech shall meet with evils.
4 The sluggard willeth and willeth not: but the soul of them that work, shall be made fat.
5 The just shall hate a lying word: but the wicked confoundeth, and shall be confounded.
6 Justice keepeth the way of the innocent: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
7 One is as it were rich, when he hath nothing: and another is as it were poor, when he hath great riches.
8 The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but he that is poor, beareth not reprehension.
9 The light of the just giveth joy: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
10 Among the proud there are always contentions: but they that do all things with counsel, are ruled by wisdom.
11 Substance got in haste shall be diminished: but that which by little and little is gathered with the hand, shall increase.
12 Hope that is deferred afflicteth the soul: desire when it cometh, is a tree of life.
13 Whosoever speaketh ill of any thing, bindeth himself for the time to come: but he that feareth the commandment, shall dwell in peace.
Deceitful souls go astray in sins: the just are merciful, and shew mercy.
14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, that he may decline from the ruin of death.
15 Good instruction shall give grace: in the way of scorners is a deep pit.
16 The prudent man doth all things with counsel: but he that is a fool, layeth open his folly.
17 The messenger of the wicked shall fall into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
18 Poverty and shame to him that refuseth instruction: but he that yieldeth to reproof shall be glorified.
19 The desire that is accomplished, delighteth the soul: fools hate them that flee from evil things.
20 He that walketh with the wise, shall be wise: a friend of fools shall become like to them.
21 Evil pursueth sinners: and to the just good shall be repaid.
22 The good man leaveth heirs, sons, and grandsons: and the substance of the sinner is kept for the just.
23 Much food is in the tillage of fathers: but for others it is gathered without judgment.
24 *He that spareth the rod, hateth his son: but he that loveth him, correcteth him betimes.
25 The just eateth and filleth his soul: but the belly of the wicked is never to be filled.
24: Proverbs xxiii. 13.