Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. My son. God speaks, or the master instructs his disciple, ver. 21. (Calmet) — We must remember and love instruction, and reduce it to practice. (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Peace. These prefigured more substantial blessings. (Calmet)
Ver. 3. Truth. Be kind and faithful to all, Genesis xxiv. 27., and Psalm xxiv. 10.
Ver. 4. Good. Septuagint, “forecast good before the Lord and men.” St. Paul seems to allude to this version, Romans xii. 17., and 2 Corinthians viii. 22. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. All. God will have nothing by halves. — Lean not. By pride, 2 Corinthians xii. 13. All must be referred to God. (Calmet) — In him we may safely trust. (Worthington)
Ver. 8. Bones. Thou shalt enjoy perfect health.
Ver. 9. Fruits. Septuagint add, “of justice;” to intimate that no presents will be acceptable, which have been unjustly acquired.
Ver. 11. Him. Correction is rather a proof of love than of anger, Psalm iii. 19. (Calmet) — God thus shews that he approves of his servants; and therefore his other promises, which seem of a temporal nature, must be understood with reference to the next life. (Worthington)
Ver. 12. And as. Septuagint, “but he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth,” as St. Paul quotes this passage, Hebrews xii. 6. The verb is now wanting in Hebrew, or ceab; “as a father” may signify “scourgeth, in piel, (Menochius) with i prefixed. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Riches. Hebrew peninim, (Haydock) “pearls,” Job xxviii. 18. (Calmet)
Ver. 16. Glory. Her hands are full, and she grants favours with profusion, (Haydock) as with both hands, promising eternal life. (Worthington)
Ver. 18. Life. Like that planted in paradise, Genesis ii. 9.
Ver. 19. Wisdom. Hitherto he had spoken of that virtue. Now he treats of the uncreated wisdom, (Calmet) which is God the Son. (Menochius) (Jansenius) (St. Gregory, Mor. xii. 4.)
Ver. 20. Out. The higher and lower waters being divided, (Calmet) or the channels formed to receive the waters. (Piscator) — It may also speak of the deluge. (Ven. Bede) — With. Hebrew, “have distilled dew.” This is so copious, as to resemble rain in Palestine, Judges vi. 37., and 2 Kings xvii. 12.
Ver. 22. Mouth. There have been wise and virtuous men afflicted, ver. 11. But they have borne all with patience, and have merited a more glorious reward than what this earth could afford. (Calmet)
Ver. 27. Able. Protestants, “withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” Relieve the distressed. (Haydock) — They have a title to that wealth, since those who possess it are bound to relieve the indigent. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “refrain not from doing good,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 28. Present. Alms in season are doubly valuable. (Worthington) — Antigonus acquired the title of Doson, “about to give,” as he never gave, (Plutarch) but only promised.
Ver. 30. Cause. We may defend ourselves; but herein great discretion is necessary. (Calmet) — Cum pari contendere anceps est: cum superiore furiosum; cum inferiore sordidum. (Seneca, Prov.)
Ver. 31. Ways. Of injustice. Seek not to attain his prosperity by the same means. (Calmet)
Ver. 33. Want. Hebrew, “a curse.” — Shall be. Hebrew, “he blesseth.” (Haydock)
Ver. 34. Scorners. Literally, “he will delude the scorners.” (Haydock) — He will treat them as they would treat others, Psalm xvii. 27. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “the Lord resisteth the proud,” &c. So the apostles quote this passage, 1 Peter v. 5., and James iv. 6. (Haydock)
Ver. 35. Disgrace. They are seen by more, and their fall is more dangerous. (Calmet) — “A fool extols what is ignominious.” (Pagnin) (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
An exhortation to the practice of virtue.
1 My son, forget not my law, and let thy heart keep my commandments.
2 For they shall add to thee length of days, and years of life, and peace.
3 Let not mercy and truth leave thee, put them about thy neck, and write them in the tables of thy heart.
4 And thou shalt find grace, and good understanding before God and men.
5 Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence.
6 In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps.
7 *Be not wise in thy own conceit: fear God, and depart from evil:
8 For it shall be health to thy navel, and moistening to thy bones.
9 *Honour the Lord with thy substance, and give him of the first of all thy fruits;
10 And thy barns shall be filled with abundance, and thy presses shall run over with wine.
11 *My son, reject not the correction of the Lord: and do not faint when thou art chastised by him:
12 For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth: and as a father in the son he pleaseth himself.
13 Blessed is the man that findeth wisdom, and is rich in prudence:
14 The purchasing thereof is better than the merchandise of silver, and her fruit than the chief and purest gold:
15 She is more precious than all riches: and all the things that are desired, are not to be compared to her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and glory.
17 Her ways are beautiful ways, and all her paths are peaceable.
18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and he that shall retain her is blessed.
19 The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth, hath established the heavens by prudence.
20 By his wisdom the depths have broken out, and the clouds grow thick with dew.
21 My son, let not these things depart from thy eyes: keep the law and counsel:
22 And there shall be life to thy soul, and grace to thy mouth.
23 Then shalt thou walk confidently in thy way, and thy foot shall not stumble:
24 If thou sleep, thou shalt not fear: thou shalt rest, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, nor of the power of the wicked falling upon thee.
26 For the Lord will be at thy side, and will keep thy foot that thou be not taken.
27 Do not withhold him from doing good, who is able: if thou art able, do good thyself also.
28 Say not to thy friend: Go, and come again: and to-morrow I will give to thee: when thou canst give at present.
29 Practise not evil against thy friend, when he hath confidence in thee.
30 Strive not against a man without cause, when he hath done thee no evil.
31 *Envy not the unjust man, and do not follow his ways.
32 For every mocker is an abomination to the Lord, and his communication is with the simple.
33 Want is from the Lord in the house of the wicked: but the habitations of the just shall be blessed.
34 He shall scorn the scorners, and to the meek he will give grace.
35 The wise shall possess glory: the promotion of fools is disgrace.
7: Romans xii. 16.
9: Tobias iv. 7.; Luke xiv. 13.
11: Hebrews xii. 5.; Apocalypse iii. 10.
31: Psalm xxxvi. 1.