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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PROVERBS 20

 

CHAPTER XX.

 

Ver. 1.  A luxurious thing.  Heb. "a scoffer."  Chal. "renders one a scoffer." --- Drunkenness.  Heb. ssocor, any strong drink, particularly palm-wine.  Intemperance places the strongest obstacles in the way of wisdom.  It causes a person to mock at all sacred things, and to be quarrelsome.  C. xxiii. 29.  Eph. v. 18.

 

Ver. 3.  Reproaches.  It is better not to commence a lawsuit, even when we are in the right.  C. xvii. 11.  C. --- Plena victoria est ad clamantem tacere.  Val. Max.

 

Ver. 5.  Out.  So David discovered the meaning of the Thecuite, 2 K. xiv. 18.  A wise politician carefully examines everything in a foreign court.

 

Ver. 6.  Faithful.  Few continue steady to their engagements or friends, whom they will assist to a certain point.  In God these two virtues always go together.  Ps. lxxxiv. 11.  But they are rarely found in men.  C.

 

Ver. 8.  Look.  It is the duty of kings to administer justice.

 

Ver. 9.  Sin.  Prot. "my sin?"  We know not when it is remitted.  H. --- Without a special revelation, no one can be secure, 1 Jo. i. 8.  Eccle. ix. 1.  Bayn.  S. Aug. in Ps. cxlix.

 

Ver. 10.  Measures.  In commerce, (C.) as well as in judging.  S. Greg. in Ezec. iv.

 

Ver. 11.  Right.  We may form some judgment of his future conduct, from the inclinations which he manifests in his infancy.

                            Naturam expellas furca, tamen ipsa recurret,

                            Et mala perrumpet furtim fastidia victrix.  Hor.

 

Ver. 12.  Both.  Consequently he will know all our actions.  Ps. xciii. 9.  We must refer all to him, as he gives us the means of learning.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Sleep.  Sept. "back-biting, that thou mayst not be taken off."  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Buyer.  This is the common practice; yet it is not without exceptions.  S. Aug. (Trin. xiii. 3.) observes, that the mountebank having promised to tell what every person had in his heart, many came to the theatre, when he told them that they all wished to by cheap, and to sell dear.  They all applauded the remark.  C. --- Sept. is here defective.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Strangers.  For whom he has bound himself foolishly.  C. vi. 1.  All who have the care of others, must answer for them.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Lying.  Deceit, and unlawful pleasures.  C. ix. 17.  But God mingles disgust with them, and will punish the guilty, at least hereafter.  Worldly enjoyments seem sweet, but they are full of gravel, and hurtful.

 

Ver. 18.  Governments.  Or prudence, else the best designs may prove abortive.

 

Ver. 19.  Lips.  And speaketh much.  These people are unworthy of our friendship.

 

Ver. 20.  Lamp.  Prosperity, or children.

 

Ver. 21.  Blessing.  It is morally impossible that they should have been acquired justly.  C. xiii. 11. and xxi. 5.

 

Ver. 22.  Evil.  And revenge myself.  This belongs to the Lord.  Deut. xxxii. 35.  Man would be too favourable to himself, and would also pronounce his own condemnation, as he is also a sinner.

 

Ver. 24.  Way?  Jer. x. 23.  Independently of God, who can do any good?  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Ones.  Heb. "the saint or holy thing."  H. --- Chal. "to make a vow for the sanctuary, and afterwards repent;" having acted  inconsiderately at first.  To attack the persons or relics of the saints, or to plunder what is consecrated to pious uses, will bring on destruction; so also to make vows, and then seek to evade them, will not pass unpunished.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Wheel.  Or triumphal arch, fornicem.  Ven. Bede.  Jans. --- He will make his enemies lie prostrate under his chariot-wheels, 2 K. xii. 31.

 

Ver. 27.  Lamp.  The breath of life, (Gen. ii. 7.) and the light of man.  1 Cor. ii. 11.

 

Ver. 28.  Clemency.  Such a king need not fear rebellion.  C.

 

Ver. 29.  Hairs, and experience.  They have a greater contempt of death and pleasures.  S. Amb. Hex. i. 8.

 

Ver. 30.  Evils.  The wicked shall derive benefit from correction. --- Belly.  They shall feel the remorse of conscience, as Chal. seems to indicate.  C. --- A serious illness often causes people to repent.  M.

 

 








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