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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



ECCLESIASTICUS 6

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

Ver. 1.  Instead.  Gr. "and instead," &c.  Syriac begins this chapter with the preceding verse, with which this is connected.  Detraction will separate friends.

 

Ver. 2.  Extol.  This conduct is inimical to true friendship, which requires that we should make allowance for one another's faults.  C. --- Like.  Gr. "lest thy soul be torn away like a bull.  Thou wilt eat," &c.  H. --- Vulg. is better.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Wilderness.  Thus was Nabuchodonosor humbled.  Dan. iv.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  Appeaseth.  Gr. "and an eloquent tongue multiplies good words."  H. --- The affable gain our affections.  Gideon pacified the incensed Ephraimites by a mild answer.  Jud. viii.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Counsellor. Only few are capable of this office, (H.) or of keeping a secret.  Yet we must have peace, if possible, with all.  Rom. xii. 18.  C. --- The Scythians condemned many friends, no less than many wives, (Luc. Tox.) and Aristotle (Eth. ix. 10.) commends this maxim of Hesiod: mhte poluxeinoV mht azeinoV; "neither to have too many guests, or intimate friends, nor to be without any."

 

Ver. 7.  Get.  Lit. "dost possess a friend, possess him in trial," (H.) as the Greek also has it.  But the Heb. term kanah, means likewise, "to acquire," and a friend ought to be chosen with judgment. It is too late to try him after he has been received.  C. --- One must try much before a companion be chosen, that he may be afterwards preserved.  Plut. --- "Possess not friends quickly, but those whom thou hast obtained, reject not with disgrace."  Solon.  Laert. i. and ii. 8.

 

Ver. 8.  Trouble.  Such are interested friends; but true friendship is a kind and perfect agreement in all divine and human affairs."  Cic.  S. Aug. c. Acad. iii. --- Religion must be the foundation.

 

Ver. 9.  Reproaches.  Disclosing all your imperfections.  C. --- "The closest alliances, being broken, produce the most bitter enmities."  Pliny, xxxvii. 4.

 

Ver. 12.  Humble.  "Friends must have a respect for each other."  Cic.

 

Ver. 13.  Friends.  Such as have been just described.  Of these the maxim of Bias may be true, that people should "love as if they were to hate," at some future period.  Laert. i. --- Entire confidence becomes those who are friends indeed.

 

Ver. 14.  Defence.  Jonathas and Chusai saved David.

 

Ver. 16.  And immortality, is not in Greek.  C. --- But shews the meaning of life is this place; as a true friend will not cease to give good advice for eternity.  H. --- But even in this world, nothing can be more advantageous.  C. --- Amicus magis necessarius est quam ignis et aqua.  Cic.  S. Amb. off iii. --- Him.  Cicero himself says, "friendship can subsist only among the virtuous."  Yet these, judging others by themselves, are more easily imposed upon, and ought, therefore, to address themselves to God.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Be.  He will instill into his friend sentiments of piety, if he have them not before.  Amicitia similes invenit aut facit.  "Pythagoras desires that in friendship one should be formed of many."  Cic. v. 11.  H.

 

Ver. 18.  Wisdom.  A good education will, at last, bring forth fruit, though the passions may choke the good seed for a time.  C. --- "Take wisdom for the provision on thy journey, from youth to old age."  Bias.  Laert. i.

 

Ver. 22.  Trial.  Such stones were used to try people's strength, (Zach. xii. 3.  C.) or to try gold.  Vat. --- The Syriac explains it of a precious stone.  But the first idea is preferable.  Many will not so much as attempt to become acquainted with wisdom and piety.

 

Ver. 23.  Name.  Perhaps the author may compare the Greek word Sophia, (C.) with Tsopuie, (H.) "hidden," or with the Greek term, zophos, which means "darkness."  See c. xliii. 8. and xlvi. 1.  The original Heb. test is lost, so that we cannot determine to what word allusion is made.  See Corn. a Lapide, who has written the best commentary on this book. --- But, &c. is not in Greek.  C. --- Many prefer learning before piety.  But S. Aug. says, the unlearned rise and take the kingdom of heaven, while we with our learning, devoid of heart, (or charity.  H.) behold we fall into the dirt.  Conf. viii. 8.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Thee.  She will even seek thee first.  Wisd. vi. 14.  Prov. viii.  Matt. vii. 7. --- Gotten.  Continence does not here signify being chaste, (C.) though this is one of the fruits of wisdom.  Wisd. viii. 21.  Gal. v. 23.  H.

 

Ver. 30.  Firm.  Lit. "bases of virtue;" (H.) which is not in Gr. and rather embarrasses the sentence; (C.) though it may signify, that if we serve the Lord with fidelity, our building will never be overturned.  H.

 

Ver. 35.  Wise.  Lit. "prudent."  The Latin has this epithet, because old people are not always such, though it may be expected of them.  C. --- "While wisdom increases, all other faculties decrease."  S. Jer. ad Nepot.

 

Ver. 36.  Morning, with the utmost diligence.  C. --- "The very meeting of the wise is of advantage; and thou mayst learn something of a great man, though he open not his mouth."  Sen. ep. xciv.

 

 








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