Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Goodness. Entertain just sentiments of the Deity, and avoid all duplicity. This truth is placed in the strongest light in the five first chapters, or preface.
Ver. 3. Unwise. He shews that their wisdom is all folly, and that they cannot withstand his power. (Calmet) — There are mortal sins of thought. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Subject. Or “enslaved to sin.” (Haydock) — Soul and body are intimately connected, so that the actions of one defile the other, and banish wisdom.
Ver. 5. Discipline. The instructive light of the Holy Ghost. — Understanding. Those who deny God or Providence, (Calmet) and lead a wicked life, are abandoned. (Haydock) — Not abide. Elegchthesetai: “He shall be connected or manifested,” shewing that he will not acquit the guilty, ver. 6. (Menochius) — When Solomon fell, his wisdom ceased. Iniquity soon betrays itself. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. That. St. Augustine reads hic, “this who,” more correctly than hoc, as it refers to the spirit, (Calmet) which having made and filled all things, must be perfectly acquainted with every transaction. (Haydock)
Ver. 10. Jealousy. God is strong and jealous, Exodus xx. (Calmet) — He examines the smallest deviation from the paths of rectitude. (Haydock)
Ver. 12. Seek not with such eagerness (zelare) your own ruin, (Calmet) by an evil life, (Worthington) or rather throw not the blame on death, as if you were necessitated to sin. God created man to be immortal.
Ver. 14. Health. Good, Genesis i. 31. (Calmet) — Poison, or medicine, (Worthington) medicamentum. (Worthington) — Poison and wild beasts become noxious to man only after sin. It is this which infects the veins. All may derive an antidote from Jesus Christ.
Ver. 16. It. Septuagint, auton. — Death. The wicked strive (Menochius) to draw upon themselves the second death (Calmet) as they will not repent. (Worthington) (Isaias xxviii. 15.) (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
An exhortation to seek God sincerely, who cannot be deceived, and desireth not our death.
1 Love justice, *you that are the judges of the earth. Think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in simplicity of heart:
2 *For he is found by them that tempt him not: and he sheweth himself to them that have faith in him.
3 For perverse thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise:
4 For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins.
5 For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, and will withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, and he shall not abide when iniquity cometh in.
6 *For the spirit of wisdom is benevolent, and will not acquit the evil speaker from his lips: **for God is witness of his reins, and he is a true searcher of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.
7 *For the Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world: and that which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice.
8 Therefore he that speaketh unjust things, cannot be hid, neither shall the chastising judgment pass him by.
9 For inquisition shall be made into the thoughts of the ungodly, and the hearing of his words shall come to God, to the chastising of his iniquities.
10 For the ear of jealousy heareth all things, and the tumult of murmuring shall not be hid.
11 Keep yourselves, therefore, from murmuring, which profiteth nothing, and refrain your tongue from detraction, for an obscure speech shall not go for nought: and the mouth that belieth, killeth the soul.
12 Seek not death in the error of your life, neither procure ye destruction by the works of your hands.
13 *For God made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.
14 For he created all things, that they might be: and he made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth.
15 For justice is perpetual and immortal.
16 But the wicked, with works and words have called it* to them: and esteeming it a friend, have fallen away, and have made a covenant with it: because they are worthy to be of the part thereof.
1: 3 Kings iii. 9.; Isaias lvi. 1.
2: 2 Paralipomenon xv. 2.
6: Galatians v. 22. — ** Jeremias xvii. 10.
7: Isaias vi. 3.
13: Ezechiel xviii. 32. and xxxiii. 11.
16: Isaias xxviii. 15.