Proverbs xiv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. House. Giving her children a proper education, and taking care of her house, chap. xii. 4., and Titus ii. 5. (Calmet)

Ver. 2. And, is not in Hebrew. — Is. Hebrew, “but the perverse in his ways despiseth him;” (Haydock) shewing by his conduct that he cares not for the Lord. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “he shall be dishonoured, that,” &c.

Ver. 3. Pride. He chastiseth with haughtiness, and is ever quarrelling.

Ver. 4. Empty. As the land has not been cultivated. (Haydock) — Strength, or number of oxen. (Calmet) — “The virtue of the preachers is manifested where there are many converted to produce fruit.” (St. Gregory vii. ep. viii.)

Ver. 6. Not. Because they seek it ill, like the pagan sages. Septuagint, “thou shalt seek wisdom among the wicked, and shalt not find it,” &c.

Ver. 7. Prudence. Thou wilt presently perceive his weakness. Hebrew, “abandon a,” &c. He is not capable of hearing reason: keep at a distance.

Ver. 8. Way. This science of the saints is the only true wisdom. — Erreth. They are inconstant. Hebrew, “is deceit.” They are bent on it.

Ver. 9. Sin. Chap. x. 23. Hebrew, “excuse sin,” (Calmet) or “mock at sin,” (Haydock) committed by others. (Menochius) — Grace, or good-will. They are agreeable to all. (Calmet)

Ver. 10. Stranger. Such cannot well comfort the afflicted. A man is alone acquainted with the affections of his own heart. Septuagint, “he mixeth not insult” (Symmachus) “with strangers.”

Ver. 12. Death. How many, under the garb of piety, follow their passions! How many are misled by their singularity, or by unskilful directors! (Calmet) — We must suspect our own judgment. (Menochius) — If any Turks, Jews, or heretics, lead a moral good life, it seemeth both to themselves and to other ignorant people that they are in the right way to salvation; but their error in faith leadeth them to eternal damnation. (Worthington) — The persecutors thought they did God a service by putting the apostles to death. Will they be excused? (Haydock)

Ver. 13. Laughter. Septuagint, “with content sorrow is not mixed.” (Haydock) — Joy. Such is the condition of earthly things. (Pindar, Pyth. viii.)

Ver. 14. Above him.  Septuagint, “with his counsels,” enjoying the content of a good conscience, and a heavenly reward; while the wicked, with all his self-approbation, shall be punished.

Ver. 15. Innocent. Good, and unsuspecting; (Josue ix. 14., and 1 Corinthians xiii. 7.) or rather credulous, 1 John iv. 1. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “the man who is not bad.” — Steps. Septuagint, “repenteth.” (Haydock) — No, &c. This occurs (chap. xiii. 13.) in several copies: but here it is omitted in Hebrew, &c.

Ver. 17. Folly. Wrath betrays us into great extravagances. — Hateful. Hebrew also, “hateth” folly. Septuagint, “the prudent beareth much,” Job v. 2. (Calmet)

Ver. 20. Many. “Riches make friends, poverty tries them.” (Syrus.) — False friends resemble swallows, which retire at the approach of winter. (Cicero, ad Heren. iv.)

Ver. 21. He….mercy, is not found in Hebrew, Greek, or Latin manuscripts. (Calmet)

Ver. 22. Truth. Those who are kind and faithful. (Haydock) (Chap. iii. 3.) — Septuagint add, (Calmet) as a second version, (Grabe) “the workers of evils understand not mercy and truth: but kind and faithful actions are with those who do good.”

Ver. 24. Imprudence. This they always betray, while the wise use their riches to assist their fellow-creatures, and receive a crown of glory. (Haydock)

Ver. 28. King. Who formerly was styled “a shepherd,” to remind him of the care with which he ought to seek the welfare of his subjects. (Calmet)

Ver. 30. Bones. As a sound heart preserves the rest of the body, so a good intention often excuses from mortal sin, when the error is not gross. But envy corrupts the works which seem good, and which cannot bear a strict examination. (St. Gregory, Mor. v. 34.) (Worthington) — Envy ruins the health. (Menan. ap. Gort.[Grotius?]) — Septuagint, “a too sensible heart is the,” &c. This is beautiful; but not quite conformable to the Hebrew.

Ver. 31. Him. God takes the poor under his special protection, (Matthew xxv. 40.) and is the distributor of all riches. What would the rich do without the poor? (Calmet)

Ver. 33. And. Protestants, “but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.” (Haydock) — A vessel full of gold makes no noise, while that which contains only a few pieces sounds much. (Munster.) (Cornelius a Lapide) — Thus the fool makes a parade of all that he knows. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “but in the heart of fools, it is not known.” (Haydock) — Aquila and Theodotion have the negation, (Calmet) as well as the Syriac and Arabic. See chap. v. 16. (Kennicott)

Ver. 34. Miserable. This sentence ought to be engraven in all public places. Hebrew, “and mercy the sinful people,” whom God spares on account of their alms-deeds, (Daniel iv. 24.) or “sin is the shame of peoples.” (Calmet) — Montanus renders chesed mercy, and Pagnin “ignominy.” The former is scarcely intelligible, et misericordia populorum peccatum, unless sin be here taken for a sin-offering, (Haydock) as it is by Vatable, Grotius, &c. (Calmet)

Ver. 35. Nothing. Literally, “useless,” which often means bad. (Haydock) — A servant who does not discharge his duty is such. Hebrew, “he that causeth to blush,” and has no economy. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “He removes shame by his good management. Anger destroys the prudent; but a mild,” &c. (Haydock)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

1 A wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish will pull down with her hands that also which is built.

2 He that walketh in the right way, and feareth God, *is despised by him that goeth by an infamous way.

3 In the mouth of a fool is the rod of pride: but the lips of the wise preserve them.

4 Where there are no oxen, the crib is empty: but where there is much corn, there the strength of the ox is manifest.

5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a deceitful witness uttereth a lie.

6 A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: the learning of the wise is easy.

7 Go against a foolish man, and he knoweth not the lips of prudence.

8 The wisdom of a discreet man is to understand his way: and the imprudence of fools erreth.

9 A fool will laugh at sin, but among the just grace shall abide.

10 The heart that knoweth the bitterness of his own soul, in his joy the stranger shall not intermeddle.

11 The house of the wicked shall be destroyed: but the tabernacles of the just shall flourish.

12 There is a way which seemeth just to a man: but the ends thereof lead to death.

13 Laughter shall be mingled with sorrow, and mourning taketh hold of the ends of joy.

14 A fool shall be filled with his own ways, and the good man shall be above him.

15 The innocent believeth every word: the discreet man considereth his steps.

No good shall come to the deceitful son: but the wise servant shall prosper in his dealings, and his way shall be made straight.

16 A wise man feareth, and declineth from evil: the fool leapeth over, and is confident.

17 The impatient man shall work folly: and the crafty man is hateful.

18 The childish shall possess folly, and the prudent shall look for knowledge.

19 The evil shall fall down before the good: and the wicked before the gates of the just.

20 The poor man shall be hateful even to his own neighbour: but the friends of the rich are many.

21 He that despiseth his neighbour, sinneth: but he that sheweth mercy to the poor, shall be blessed.

He that believeth in the Lord, loveth mercy.

22 They err that work evil: but mercy and truth prepare good things.

23 In much work there shall be abundance: but where there are many words, there is oftentimes want.

24 The crown of the wise, is their riches: the folly of fools, imprudence.

25 A faithful witness delivereth souls: and the double dealer uttereth lies.

26 In the fear of the Lord is confidence of strength, and there shall be hope for his children.

27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to decline from the ruin of death.

28 In the multitude of people is the dignity of the king: and in the small number of people the dishonour of the prince.

29 He that is patient, is governed with much wisdom: but he that is impatient, exalteth his folly.

30 Soundness of heart is the life of the flesh: but envy is the rottenness of the bones.

31 *He that oppresseth the poor, upbraideth his maker: but he that hath pity on the poor, honoureth him.

32 The wicked man shall be driven out in his wickedness: but the just hath hope in his death.

33 In the heart of the prudent resteth wisdom, and it shall instruct all the ignorant.

34 Justice exalteth a nation: but sin maketh nations miserable.

35 A wise servant is acceptable to the king: he that is good for nothing shall feel his anger.



2: Job xii. 4.

31: Proverbs xvii. 5.