Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Father. He shews the greatest respect for his parents, ver. 3. (Calmet)
Ver. 3. As. This is not expressed. (Haydock) — But Solomon was not the only son of Bethsabee, as St. Luke (iii. 23.) specifies Nathan, his brother. See 2 Kings xii. 24. Septuagint have “beloved in,” &c.
Ver. 4. He. Hebrew is masculine. (Calmet) — As David instructed his son, so the latter teaches all how they may learn wisdom. (Worthington)
Ver. 7. Beginning. The first part of wisdom is to desire it. For nothing hindereth from being just, but that justice is not desired. (St. Augustine, in Psalm cxviii. 20.) (Worthington) — “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get,” &c. (Protestants) (Haydock) — It is the one thing necessary. (Calmet) — The pearl, to acquire which we must part with every thing else, if required, Matthew xiii. 46. (Menochius)
Ver. 17. Wickedness. Acquired thereby, or they make sin their food, chap. xxvi. 6.
Ver. 18. Day. They are children of light, (John xii. 35.) and give edification, always advancing in virtue. (Menochius)
Ver. 19. Fall. They are unconcerned about sin, and neither avoid it, nor strive to repent. (Calmet)
Ver. 22. Flesh. All may derive benefit from their consideration. (Haydock)
Ver. 23. From it. As the heart is the principal part of the body, so the will is the chief power of the soul, from which good or evil proceeds. (Worthington) — A clean heart gives life, a corrupt one, death, Matthew xv. 11, 19.
Ver. 24. From thee. Neither detract, nor give any countenance to detractors.
Ver. 25. Steps. Be attentive to thy own affairs, Proverbs xvii. 24.
Ver. 26. Straight. Hebrew, “ponder.” Examine what thou takest in hand, and walk not at random, Hebrews xii. 13.
Ver. 27. For, &c. What follows in not in Hebrew or the Complutensian (Calmet) Septuagint. But it is in the Roman [Septuagint], &c., (Haydock) and in the new edition of St. Jerome, as it was explained by Ven. Bede. Lyranus and Cajetan reject it. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
A further exhortation to seek after wisdom.
1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend, that you may know prudence.
2 I will give you a good gift, forsake not my law.
3 For I also was my father’s son, tender, and as an only son in the sight of my mother:
4 And he taught me, and said: Let thy heart receive my words, keep my commandments, and thou shalt live.
5 Get wisdom, get prudence: forget not, neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6 Forsake her not, and she shall keep thee: love her, and she shall preserve thee.
7 The beginning of wisdom, get wisdom, and with all thy possession purchase prudence.
8 Take hold on her, and she shall exalt thee: thou shalt be glorified by her, when thou shalt embrace her.
9 She shall give to thy head increase of graces, and protect thee with a noble crown.
10 Hear, O my son, and receive my words, that years of life may be multiplied to thee.
11 I will shew thee the way of wisdom, I will lead thee by the paths of equity:
12 Which when thou shalt have entered, thy steps shall not be straitened, and when thou runnest, thou shalt not meet a stumbling-block.
13 Take hold on instruction, leave it not: keep it, because it is thy life.
14 Be not delighted in the paths of the wicked, neither let the way of evil men please thee.
15 Flee from it, pass not by it: go aside, and forsake it.
16 For they sleep not, except they have done evil: and their sleep is taken away unless they have made some to fall.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of iniquity.
18 But the path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forwards, and increaseth even to perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is darksome: they know not where they fall.
20 My son, hearken to my words, and incline thy ear to my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thy eyes, keep them in the midst of thy heart:
22 For they are life to those that find them, and health to all flesh.
23 With all watchfulness keep thy heart, because life issueth out from it.
24 Remove from thee a froward mouth, and let detracting lips be far from thee.
25 Let thy eyes look straight on, and let thy eye-lids go before thy steps.
26 Make straight the path for thy feet, and all thy ways shall be established.
27 Decline not to the right hand, nor to the left: turn away thy foot from evil. For the Lord knoweth the ways that are on the right hand: but those are perverse which are on the left hand. But he will make thy courses straight, he will bring forward thy ways in peace.