Proverbs ix.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. House. The sacred humanity, (St. Ignatius; St. Augustine, City of God xvii. 20.) or the Church. (St. Gregory, Mor. xxxiii. 15.) — Here we may receive all instruction, the seven sacraments, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Pleasure had mentioned her attractions: now those of true wisdom are set before us. (Calmet) — God sent his pastors at all times, to invite people to embrace the latter. They are all included in the number seven, both before and under the law, as well as in the gospel, where St. Paul styles Sts. Peter, James, and John, pillars, Galatians ii. This is the literal sense, on which the mystical is grounded, and both are intended by the Holy Ghost, intimating that the uncreated wisdom took flesh of the blessed Virgin Mary, prepared the table of bread and wine, as Priest according to the order of Melchisedec, and chose the weak of this world to confound the strong, as St. Augustine explains this passage. (Sup. and q. 51.) (Worthington)

Ver. 2. Victims. Moses ordered the blood to be poured out at the door of the tabernacle, and a part given to the priests, after which the rest might be taken away. The like was probably done at Jerusalem, Leviticus xvii. 4. These victims are contrasted with those of pleasure, chap. vii. 14. — Mingled. It was not customary for any but barbarians and the gods to take pure wine. Some mixed two, others three, five, or even twenty parts of water. But the scholiast of Aristophanes says, the best method was to have three parts of water, and two of wine. Mercury complains that his wine was half water. (Arist. Plut. v. Sun. i.) — The Fathers often apply this text to the feast of Jesus Christ in the blessed Eucharist. (Calmet) — St. Cyprian (ep. iii.) citeth the whole passage of Christ’s sacrifice in the forms of bread and wine. (Worthington)

Ver. 3. Maids. Septuagint, “servant men,” the pastors of the church, inviting all to piety in so public a manner, that none can plead ignorance. (St. Gregory) (Calmet) — To invite. Protestants, “she crieth upon the highest places of the city.” (Haydock) — Christ enjoins his apostles to preach on the roofs, Matthew x. 37.

Ver. 4. One. Simple, but not inconstant, like children, 1 Corinthians xiv. 20. Pleasure addresses the same, (chap. vii. 7.) but for their destruction. (Calmet)

Ver. 7. Scorner. This is the reason why wisdom speaks only to the simple. The conceited would only laugh at her instructions. These scoffers represent heretics and libertines, chap. i. 22. (Calmet) — Where there is no hope of amendment, prudence and charity require us to be silent, as our rebukes would only procure us enmity, and make the sinner worse. (Worthington) — Of such St. John was afraid, and therefore ceased from writing, 3 John 9. Yet St. Paul commands public reprehension, 1 Timothy v. 20. (Menochius) — When there is any prospect of good, all, particularly superiors, are bound to correct. (St. Augustine, City of God i. 9.; and St. Basil, reg. fus. 158.) (Worthington)

Ver. 9. Occasion. This word is found in Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic. We might supply instruction, (Calmet) with Protestants.

Ver. 10. Prudence. Or “prudence is the science of the saints,” (Haydock) directing what to choose on all occasions to obtain heaven. (Calmet) — The knowledge contained in the holy Scriptures, and possessed by the saints, is superior to all other sciences. (Menochius)

Ver. 13. And full. Protestants, “she is simple and knoweth nothing.” Septuagint, “is in want of a piece of bread.” They have several verses before this, which are here omitted. (Haydock) — Wisdom and pleasure are opposed to each other. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. Pleasant. Impure pleasures are more delightful (Calmet) to sensual men. (Haydock) — The prohibition increases appetite. (Menochius)

Ver. 18. Giants. Who lived when all flesh had corrupted its ways, (Genesis vi. 12.) and were sentenced to hell, Job xxvi. 5., and Isaias xiv. 9. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Wisdom invites all to her feast. Folly calls another way.

1 Wisdom hath built herself a house, she hath hewn her out seven pillars.

2 She hath slain her victims, mingled her wine, and set forth her table.

3 She hath sent her maids to invite to the tower, and to the walls of the city:

4 Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me. And to the unwise she said:

5 Come, eat my bread, and drink the wine which I have mingled for you.

6 Forsake childishness, and live, and walk by the ways of prudence.

7 He that teacheth a scorner, doth an injury to himself; and he that rebuketh a wicked man, getteth himself a blot.

8 Rebuke not a scorner lest he hate thee. Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

9 Give an occasion to a wise man, and wisdom shall be added to him. Teach a just man, and he shall make haste to receive it.

10 *The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is prudence.

11 For by me shall thy days be multiplied, and years of life shall be added to thee.

12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be so to thyself: and if a scorner, thou alone shalt bear the evil.

13 A foolish woman and clamorous, and full of allurements, and knowing nothing at all,

14 Sat at the door of her house, upon a seat, in a high place of the city,

15 To call them that pass by the way, and go on their journey:

16 He that is a little one, let him turn to me. And to the fool she said:

17 Stolen waters are sweeter, and hidden bread is more pleasant.

18 And he did not know that giants are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell.



10: Psalm cx. 10.; Proverbs i. 7.; Ecclesiasticus i. 16.