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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PROVERBS 23

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Sit.  Saul sat at table, and the custom of lying down was adopted only a little while before the captivity.  It was recent among the Romans.  C. --- Soliti patres considere mensis.  Æn. vii. 170.

 

Ver. 2.  Throat.  Restrain  intemperance and talkativeness.  Eccli. xxxi. 12.  Sept. "stretch forth thy hand, knowing that thou must prepare the like; but if thou be more insatiable, (3.) desire not his meats, for he has them of deceitful life."  They cannot afford real happiness, (H.) and to vie with the rich would only reduce them to poverty.  Eccli. xiii. 2.  S. Aug. (tr. xlvii. in Joan.) explains this text of the blessed Eucharist, observing, that we must give our life for our brethren, as Christ did for us.  Before communion, we must slay the old man, and subdue our passions. C. --- Power.  Prot. "if thou be a man given to appetite."  The situation of a courtier is very critical.  H. --- Those who eat with the kings of Persia, were nicely observed by an eunuch, lest they should cast their eyes on any of his concubines.  Lucian. de Merced.

 

Ver. 3.  Deceit.  Poison.  He wishes to discover thy secret.

 

Ver. 4.  Prudence.  Be more solicitous for this, than to acquire riches.  C. --- Yet this wisdom must be sober.  Rom. xii. 3.  1 Tim. vi. 9.  Sept. "being poor, do not stretch forth thyself to the rich, but prudently retire.  v. 2.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Riches.  Sept. "to him, the rich man, he no where appears.  He has prepared," &c.  H. --- Like. Heb. "as the eagle, it will fly," &c.  H. --- We must therefore fix our hearts on more durable goods.

 

Ver. 6.  Man.  Heb. "eat not bread of an evil eye," the envious, or rather the sordid miser.

 

Ver. 7.  Like.  Prot. "as he thinketh is his heart, so is he: eat," &c.  H. --- He is still convinced that his guests will ruin him: or "like one guarding, or trembling for his soul."  Sept. "swallowing a hair, he saith," &c.  He is afraid of expense, and would allow himself as little as possible. --- Diviner.  Such endeavour to speak what may come to pass, but are full of anxiety; so the miser's words are contrary to his real sentiments, (C.) as the diviner knows that he is imposing on mankind.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Words.  Thou wilt be disgusted, and repine.  Eccli. xxxi. 25.

 

Ver. 10.  Ones.  Heb. and Sept. "ancient boundaries."

 

Ver. 11.  Kinsman.  Heb. Gaal, "tutor, defendant, or redeemer," the Lord (H.) himself.  Lev. xxv. 25.

 

Ver. 16.  Reins.  Inmost affections.

 

Ver. 18.  Thou.  Prot. "surely there is an end."  Marg. "reward."  H. --- The testimony of a good conscience affords the greatest comfort in death.  Sept. "if thou observe these things, thou shalt  have posterity."  Heb. "hopes."

 

Ver. 20.  Eat.  Such feasts tend to corrupt the morals, and to misspend time.

 

Ver. 21.  Rags.  At death the insolent shall be exposed to shame.

 

Ver. 23.  Sell.  Acquire as much wisdom as possible, and keep it with care.  C. --- Sept. "do not drive wisdom from thee."

 

Ver. 27.  Pit.  It is difficult to overcome this passion, when once it has got possession of the heart.  We must therefore watch over it, and consecrate it in variably to wisdom.  v. 26.

 

Ver. 28.  Him.  Prot. "increaseth the transgressors among men," (H.) and like a harpy, kills all whom she can entrap.

 

Ver. 29.  Whose father.  S. Jerom has read ab avi, instead of abo, (C.) which is an interjection, (Boch.) alas! or it means, "trouble."  Sept. "drunkenness," (Chal.  C.) or "sorrow."  Prot. --- Falls.  Sept. "hath sorrows."  Heb. "babbling," (Prot.  H.) or discontents of mind.  C. --- Cause.  Drunkards often fall upon their best friends, as Alexander did on Clytus.  M.

 

Ver. 31.  Yellow.  Or bright, as it is said there is only one red wine in Palestine. --- Pleasantly.  Heb. "it goeth right," and is excellent.  C.

 

Ver. 32.  Basilisk, (regulus).  Heb. Tsiphoni, (H.) as asp.  Cerastes, &c.  Ps. xc. 13.

 

Ver. 33.  Women.  Wine excites to lust.  C.  See c. xx. 1. --- Shall.  Sept. "shall these."  H.

 

Ver. 34.  When.  Sept. "in a great wave."  Never is reason more wanted, nor less able to perform her duty.

 

Ver. 35.  Drew.  Chal. "plundered."  Sept. "mocked at me." --- Again.  This is the woeful effect of drunkenness, that men are not deterred from it, though they be sensible of its dreadful consequences.  M.

 

 








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